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Senogul - III CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.77 | 67 ratings

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4 stars Spain is a very interesting country to explore for progheads, to compare with Italy but on a smaller scale. Both countries have an impressive history of classical music, a huge variety with ethnic/folk music and a strong tradition in growing up with music. From the late Sixties until now the Spanish progressive music has delivered many unique bands, blending classical ? and ethnic/folk music with jazz, psychedelia, rock and blues, from Seventies Bloque, Canarios, Iceberg, Triana and Itoiz to more recent Albatros, Taifa, Calle Silvio and ... Senogul, in my opinion one of the most genuine progressive rock bands in the last two decades. Unfortunately they have disbanded after their third and final effort simply named III, from 2011.

Senogul featured very talented and creative musicians, with a very varied taste. Their eponymous CD from 2007 (first official release after the demo CD Transitos from 2005) is an exciting blend of symphonic rock, jazz, avant- garde, Rock Andaluz and other ethnic elements. In 2009 Senogul released the successor entitled Aural Impressions, not really their 'usual sound': a musical stew of ambient and folk with instruments from India, Africa and Latin- America along avant-garde and some progrock.

On this third album Senogul partly returns to their formula on Senogul but now with a fair amount of jazz and avant-garde, pretty experimental like King Crimson and Frank Zappa. Despite those references Senogul have developed an own sound because every composition is a musical adventure in which atmosphere, tempo, style and instruments frequently change.

For example, Pijamas starts with experimental sounds, then a swinging rhythm with strong interplay (with hints from Gentle Giant) and synthesizer flights. Next a part on Grand piano, followed by a Hammond organ solo, the climate turns into a fluent rhythm with a powerful fagot. After a piano solo, jazzy guitar, again fagot and a wide range of experimental sounds, the track culminates in a King Crimson atmosphere with fiery guitar runs. The next track is La Serpiente De Jade begins dreamy with saxophone, piano and violin, then twanging acoustic guitar, very beautiful. This is followed by a fluent rhythm, now coloured by accordion and violin and later propulsive guitar riffs, how captivating. After a Keith Emerson inspired Grand piano solo, the composition concludes with a swinging rhythm, I enjoy the pleasant harmony of saxophone, accordion and violin. Then the only non-instrumental track entitled Parana, delivering vocal harmonies and great work on guitar and keyboards (like an exciting duel in a jazzrock climate). Next three pretty experimental compositions: The Black Cat (strong duo guitar play), Tales From Buanga (blend of avant-garde and jazzrock with Fender electric piano) and Gameland, tastefully coloured by marimba, jazzrock guitar and a final part with Minimoog synthesizer. The final track (close to 14 minutes) is the epic Sopa Colora, the first part is a wonderful tribute to Rock Andaluz bands like Alameda and Guadalquivir. We can enjoy a huge variety of instruments, including palmas (hand clapping) and howling electric guitar, this is top notch Rock Andaluz, and Senogul at their best! The Spanish guitar legend Luis Cobo "Manglis", (Gong, Guadalquivir, Triana and Manteca) delivers a very strong contribution. Halfway there's a long and impressive Grand piano solo and in the end Senogul plays in the Seventies symphonic rock tradition with Rick Wakeman inspired fat Minimoog flights.

My conclusion about this final Senogul album: captivating, surprising and adventurous but also complex, quirky and contrasting. Those progheads who are into styles like jazz, avant-garde, RIO and bands like Gentle Giant, King Crimson and Frank Zappa will be pleasantly surprised. This is progressive rock in the true meaning of the word, so I award this unique prog music adventure with four stars. Because if you like this kind of prog it's an excellent addition to your collection.

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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