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Saena - Saena CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.98 | 16 ratings

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4 stars What a breath of fresh air this album is. Saena are 5 talented musicians from Mexico and this is at present their only album though from the sound they skilfully produce its clear there's no lack of experience here. They produce a refreshing blend of symphonic Prog with classical, folk and jazz touches and a latin flavour, most noticeable with the vocals of Margarita Botello which are often without words, becoming more of an additional instrument. The instrumentation is often acoustic based - acoustic guitars, piano, accordion, drums and violin; the violin in particular being dominant in their sound much of the time. It's not all acoustic though with bass guitar, electric guitar and keyboards adding to the sound.

Musically the album has a similar feel throughout and without going into detail of every track opener Astromelia is as good a representation of Saena's sound as any. Opening with Botello's wordless vocals the band come in, expertly weaving piano, guitar, bass, violin and drums with a light touch weaving all the afore mentioned influences into the sound and at almost 9 minutes giving ample scope for the musicians to stretch out.

The album is enjoyable for its entire 68 minute length but personal favourites are the 12 minute Venenos Y Antidotos with its jazz inflected piano and swooping violin part. Drummer, Adrian Zarate adds a subtle light jazz touch perfectly in keeping with the overall sound. Cosecha has a beautiful haunting melody, heavily piano and violin based alongside Botello's vocals until changing tack as electric guitar comes, which has a bit of a King Crimson feel, alongside organ, violin, bass and drums turning it into one of the albums most dynamic pieces. Final Del Juego offers a bit of diversification from the prevalent feel of the album with an almost dischordant guitar riff at times, piano, violin, bass and drums expertly weaving around it - once again having a bit of a King Crimson feel to it in places.

I thoroughly enjoyed this cd and anyone wanting to experience some symphonic prog with a difference would be advised to check out Saena. I'll certainly have no hesitation in buying their next album, this one being a strong contender to make my top 10 albums of 2008.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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