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Kotebel - Ouroboros CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 126 ratings

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4 stars The Spanish progrock band Kotobel prooves that almost 40 years after the birth of the progressive rock, bands are still able to make progressive rock in the true meaning of the word!' In 2017 Kotebel released their latest (7th) album entitled Cosmology , this is a look at their fifth, my favourite one, entitled Ouroboros.

Well, from the very first moment I am absolutely delighted about Ouroboros and every listening session I got more excited, what an excellent blend of symphonic rock and jazzrock (with some avant-garde sidesteps)! The six studio tracks contain very inventive arrangements (evoking the great spirit of Gentle Giant) with a lot of tension and dynamics, the interplay between the musicians is awesome and we can enjoy many strong musical ideas. The powerful and propulsive rhythm-section, fiery electric guitar and majestic violin-Mellotron waves remind me of 1974-era King Crimson. But Kotebel sounds less dark and aggressive, more in the vein of the King Crimson inspired bands that emerged in Sweden in the Nineties like Anglagard, Anekdoten and White Willow. On this new album I would like to emphasize the ingredients that in my opinion makes listening to Ouroboros to such a captivating musical experience. First the excellent interplay between the musicians, second the huge tension between the guitar and the keyboards and third the exciting breaks, build-ups, accellarations and shifting moods. Never a dull moment. The one moment a swinging rhythm with powerful bass and fiery electric guitar or an intro with tender Grand piano and sensitive electric guitar. The other moment a tight rhythm with powerful jazz rock oriented guitar and propulsive drum beats. Or from a splendid build-up from dreamy with xylophone, acoustic guitar and choir-Mellotron to bombastic with heavy work on drums, guitar and keyboards. The focus on this album is a bit more on the interplay between the harder-edged guitar and the energetic and dynamic rhythm-section. But I would like to mention the outstanding way the two keyboard players colour the compositions: from tender Grand piano, a soaring strings sound, ominous violin-Mellotron waves, spacey synthesizer sounds and impressive choir-Mellotron eruptions to spectacular synthesizer flights, sparkling piano and lush violin-Mellotron waves. Especially in the short track Legal Identity V1.5 I am blown away by the virtuosic interplay between the swinging piano and majestic church-organ-like sound. This CD ends with the long (around 16 minutes) and varied live bonus track entitled Mysticae Visiones (recorded at the Portuguese Gouveia Festival in 2007) featuring singer Carolina Prieto with her high pitched voice along lots of variety and strong solos on guitar and keyboards.

What a fantastic new album, check out their website to listen to extracts of this exciting and captivating album!

For those who want to discover more of the captivating and overlooked Spanish progressive rock, here are my recommendations (from neo-prog and fusion to symphonic rock and Rock Andaluz).

The compilations Rockandalus (1-CD), Duende Electrico (2-CD) Hijos Del Agobio Y Del Dolor (2-CD + DVD).

The collaboration of flamenco guitarists with progrock musicians by Juan Martin - Picasso Portraits (featuring Simon Phillips, Tony Hymas and Ian Mosley), Sabicas - Rock Encounter With Joe Beck (featuring Tony Levin) and Diego De Moron - Same (with members from Triana and Granada).

Rock Andaluz bands Triana, Iman, Mezquita, Azahar, Medina Azahara, Cai, Alameda and Guadalquivir.

And Spanish prog bands (past and present) Iceberg, Granada, Itoiz, Fusioon, PI2, Bijou, Dr. No, Senogul, Taifa, Albatros and The Paco De Lucia Sextet (awesome prog folk). Muchas alegrias!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |


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