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聲gel Ontalva - 聲gel Ontalva & Vespero: Carta Marina CD (album) cover


聲gel Ontalva


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 99 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars 'Carta Marina' is a collaboration of multi-talented artist Angel ONTALVA from Spain and Russian band VESPERO. Hopefully not the last, I would like to add straightaway. 2017 they came in touch in Astrakhan, the band's homebase, due to an exhibition of his paintings there. They also managed to play together for about a week. Soon after that Ontalva started to compose pieces of music, the Vespero members had to take care of the arrangements furthermore. That's it, here we go! The main inspiration for the process came from the eponymous map first published in 1539, which shows the nordic Scandinavian countries, this decorated with strange creatures and a bunch of other interesting details.

Thus I would have expected just an image of this map as the front cover. But, due to copyright restrictions, finally the used painting went to be another one, contributed by Ontalva. Now obviously, music-wise the project is trying to accomplish a symbiosis of an avantgarde respectively fusion oriented guitarist and some experimental space prog rockers. Well, no problem at all! This 60 minute affair is fundamented by an extraordinary chemistry regarding those musicians. Eclectic from the result, equipped with complex structure. Therefore the music is extra difficult to describe with words. You definitely must hear this, let it have a lasting effect please.

Very special, we have two guitarists in place, immediately to recognize when starting with the album's title track. Ontalva and Kuzovlev both are stylistically differing for sure, nevertheless complementing in excellent manner throughout. And Vitaly Borodin's violin comes on top. The title song evolves like ebb and flow featuring jazzy fast-paced parts in between, a real challenge for rhythm brothers Arkady and Ivan Fedotov. Insula Magnetica then marks an appealing meandering space tune, where keyboarder Alexey Klabukov is carefully juggling with quirky and twittering synths.

Extra applause for the inspired atmosphere on Sledges Crossing The Gulf Of Bothnia, a wonderful mandolin is serving some proper ethno feeling. Could be designated as a soundtrack for a movie showing people underway along the coast on the widespread frozen ice in wintertime. I would prefer it in the native way anyhow, via reindeer-driven sledge. But the band ultimately gains pace up into a somewhat wild and nervous groove, so even the modern snowmobile could be an alternative for one or two. Constantly stunning, 'Carta Marina' is an album strongly recommended! I'm sure all involved musicians will have extended their musical horizon during the recording process. 4.5 stars so far.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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