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Tempus Fugit - Chessboard CD (album) cover

CHESSBOARD

Tempus Fugit

 

Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 63 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
4 stars Tempus Fugit is one of my favorite prog band because they choose to venerate our beloved symphonic genre with their unique Brazilian temperament in creating "happy" prog as opposed to the "Strum & Drang" that most progheads pray to infuse in their complex musical minds. The tropical spirit never goes below the even slight despondence, preferring to breeze with unabashed delight, perhaps very melancholic but never sad. That's pretty refreshing especially when there are many multi-genre aficionados on our site who go from one style to another extreme, a swerve into further prog horizons, looking for a new buzz. Hence, a seasoned collector and prog purist like my revered sinkadotentree has commented on the simply splendid previous Tempus masterpiece "Dawn After the Storm" , heaping copious serenades on the strength of an album of drop dead gorgeous melodies, scintillating solos and overall bliss, with an omnipresent sense of leisurely smiles and understanding glances. Certainly in my humble view, one of the best recent prog records EVER. I am confident in stating that many proggers are truly missing out on a recording that inexorably will PLEASE and seduce them into their sexy-prog world. It also happens to be excellent music while flirting with some lovely creature, blaring gently in the background for quite a few romantic dinners "a deux" as I have! Get's you in the moooooood! So the avidly awaited follow-up after a too long stretch of silence was not going to get away with impunity and taking over first place! Hard pressed, they evidently understood that it would even more honorable to, while keeping many of the band's obvious attributes (no, not talking about the Love Beach artwork!), just "progress" into another realm, certainly brainier and more esthetically symphonic in structure. So the chessboard becomes the inspiration and it doesn't get more challenging genius than that game, so the boys really kick it up. The two-part "Pontos de Fuga" slings the proceedings into electric overdrive, with slithering massed synths boldly establishing the onslaught, guitarist extraordinaire Henrique Simoes lights up like a manic blast of flame-thrower, spewing harsh rhythmics and supple, ultra-agile melodic leads, while the nimble bass of Andre Ribeiro bounces around in strict dementia and the forceful drums splash the arrangement with unrestrained enthusiasm and effort. "Unfair World" introduces Andre Mello's oft criticized vocals but his timbre and fragility is what makes the beauty of the melodies function with such grace and resplendence. And what a whopping tune this is, loaded with melancholia and supreme elegance, the hallmark of the previous "Dawn After the Storm" jewel. Simoes signs a resourceful solo with his unique tone, not really Latimer, Hackett or Gilmour (as some have misguidedly suggested), a lyrical virtuoso with a burning resonance fueled by a canny devotion to "feeling". This is a tremendous track that will please you! "Only to be With You" is unfortunately a bit pedantic but has some incredible bass tremors, some jazzier keyboard splurges and a series of twist and turns that border on experimental (at least for them). A windswept synth solo is also exhilarating, an okay vocal passage but this track just doesn't do it for me, even though the instrumental parts are quite impressive, Simoes again displaying his craft. The two-part "The Princess" has a beautiful main chorus on which Mello sings brilliantly, a simple vulnerability exudes from the spirit of this appealing tune, a rare acoustic guitar solo is one of the finest ever, seeping overt Brazilian traditions in serenade ("Let me dry your tears away" ), while the second segment highlights a scorching, bombastic almost desperate axe lead that leaps out and explodes with incredible pain and agony, rippling like a seismic fault and soaring imperially. Wow, what a mother! If anyone has doubts, pheew! The title cut is also a two-seater, with a torrential symphonic onslaught, growling slashes of guitar and howling keyboard fanfare, slowly shaping the masterful main theme, a self-assured musical statement when the shining lead torturously overtakes it and the clouds have parted, electric piano and a dreamy vocal, elastic bass and a groovy synth-led journey begins. The mood then dives into a massive prog slugfest, with sensational chops by all four conspirators. While a perfectly enjoyable album, it cannot fairly compare to their masterwork's monumental collection of classics and perhaps as I mentioned , it is a good thing , giving even more class to the entire Tempus Fugit catalog as the first album "Tales of a Forgotten World" is also quite a stunner. Chessboard will do nicely thank you, with great artwork to boot. Sink was right again !4 carioca pawns.
tszirmay | 4/5 |

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