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Trili - Trili Pt. 1 CD (album) cover

TRILI PT. 1

Trili

 

Heavy Prog

3.03 | 5 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Raff
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is not commonly known as a hotbed of progressive rock ? with a few notable exceptions, the best-known of which is a guy called Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, founder and mastermind of The Mars Volta, and undoubtedly one of the most exciting musicians of the new century. Even if the island continues to be mostly known for music that has nothing to do with prog (or rock for that matter), the few outfits that have come out of it in the past few years seem to share one thing: they are purveyors of an intriguingly modern brand of prog, which nevertheless is firmly rooted in the glorious past of the genre.

Five-piece Trili are indeed one of the most pleasant surprises of the year for fans of instrumental prog played with both skill and soul. Interestingly, their self-titled debut album was released as two parts, each featuring six tracks. The band's music, fluid and energetic, mostly instrumental (with an exception on each album), is full of surprises, and comes across as remarkably accomplished for such a young band. Though they draw inspiration from a number of apparently disparate sources ? the band members are into the likes of classic rock, prog, punk, jam bands, jazz, blues, and Latin music ? the final product sounds influenced, but never derivative.

As a whole, the album alternates high-energy, heavily guitar-based passages with slower, atmospheric, spacey ones. One of the most striking features of Trili's music is the sleek, dynamic interplay between the guitars (played by Joel and Gaby, the latter also a member of prog metal outfit Ongo), reminiscent of Nineties-era King Crimson. The KC inspiration is quite evident in the album's first two tracks, "Gabitronix Pt. 1" and "Depredador Pt. 1" ? the former track also features some cool Latin-flavoured rhythms at the beginning, while the latter sounds almost post-rockish at times. "Dirt" is the only real song on the album, featuring the vocals of Lily Valdez ? a slow, moody offering that could easily be called a 'torch song', definitely more traditional in structure (including a brilliant guitar solo); while "Lliijaa", very much in contrast, has an almost punkish vibe, and some more great lead guitar work.

That leaves the album's two longest tracks, "Depredador Pt. 2" and "SaKlaKK (Otro Lugar pt. 2). The former is probably the composition which most clearly shows the influence of The Mars Volta, namely their "Frances the Mute" album, alternating high-volume, high-energy parts with quieter, more atmospheric ones. The latter, instead, is the album's epic, their "Echoes" ? and Pink Floyd is definitely their main inspiration here (even the guitar sounds very Gilmour-like). However, it is a very personal interpretation of the classic PF prog-meets-psychedelia sound, with a very modern bite to the faster, more energetic sections, and a pulsating, dreamy quality to the more spacey ones. If this is the main direction towards which the band are heading, it is a very promising one indeed.

Since "Trili Pt. 2" has its own, separate entry, my review will continue there. Though it may seem a rather unusual way to release an album, in my opinion it only adds to the band's originality and appeal.

Raff | 4/5 |

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