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Medina Azahara - ...En Al-Hakim CD (album) cover

...EN AL-HAKIM

Medina Azahara

 

Symphonic Prog

3.56 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After the release of two weak albums (of which the last one Caravana Española was a total disaster), this band rested for a while and took four years to release En El-Hakim.

It is with some sadness that I discovered that their great guitar player Miguel Galán has left the band. He was the heart and soul from this band and he really held the level of their music to a high standard (he alone saved their third album from mediocrity).

In some sort, this is a return to their symphonic work from the early days, but unfortunately this feeling is mostly noticeable during the first two songs from this album: the opener Al Hakim ... Otro Lugar and Otoño.

This album sounds even more Spanish-oriented as their first two albums. One can feel this in the lead vocal work from Manuel Martinez (who is a founding member).

There is also the addition of some fine flamenco guitar on three songs and you'll get it all: the Triana filiation has never been closer (El Destino or La Guitarra). Still, the pop angle hasn't disappear unfortunately. I particularly dislike Velocidad, but the pop-rock Déjame Vivir is dispensable as well.

To be honest, a song as Tal Como Es can't be considered as prog either. It is simple and straight- forward pop-rock like in the darkest days of their early eighties production. Not my cup of tea. Press next.

The best you can expect from this album is the closing and bombastic Desde Córdoba. Upbeat rhythms, soaring electric guitar combined with some flamenco notes are such a nice treat. The whole band is at his best here. Passionate Manuel on vocals and symphonic keyboards. This song is fully in- line with their best album (their debut one). Not many songs here can compete actually.

If ever you would like to get the most symphonic side from this little known band, you should grab their eponymous first album released ten years prior to this one. Three stars for En El-Hakim.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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