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RC2 - Future Awaits CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.93 | 39 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars RC2's sophomore album is an undisputed improvement on their debut album, released 5 years earlier: while "RC2" established a peculiar dynamics in the band's mixture of melodic prog-metal and standard neo-prog, "Future Awaits" happens to take this musical stance to another level by reshaping its dynamics and enriching it with enhanced eclecticism. RC2 is at the time being an English-lyric band (not unlike fellow band Aisles, Argentinean acts William Gray and Fughu, plus a host of Brazilian bands). The almost 11 minute long opener 'Time Pieces' with a robust delivery of musical colorfulness: this piece states the crafty equilibrium between rocking power and melodic drive that we are to witness throughout most part of the album. The complementation between the softer and harder passages is implemented is such a fluid manner that the contrasts almost seem to disappear. The dominant neo framework shows coincidences with the sort of sound that bands such as In Nomine and Sylvan pursue; there is also some Yes influence here, more concerning the softer passages' mood than any individual musician trying to emulate Howe, Squire or Wakeman. The follower is the title track, which is the one that brings the prog-metal element to play an important role in the sonic framework: more specifically, it is the influence of Rudess-era DT that becomes more apparent in the extroverted parts. This electrifying resource meets a mid-term with the melodic agility of standard neo. The final part includes some cosmic nuances for good effect. '11' bears a more explicit hook, it is certainly catchy, but we are not talking about indulging into simplistic pop: quite the opposite, the eerie atmosphere created for the softer passages state a sophisticated source of variation against the dynamics delivered in the powerful instrumental expansions (halfway between Arena and DT). 'Autumn' solidly recapitulates the dominant moods from the previous two pieces, even taking the emotional drive to an enhanced level, which in no small degree is due to the lead vocalist's defining input ? as a whole, this song represents a convenient culmination for the album's first half. And so we get to the instrumental 'El Diablo Suelto', an inventive piece that finds the band exploring a folkish vibe through symphonic prog filters. The basic rhythm pace, based on the Venezuelan joropo, is tremendously delightful: the rhythm duo shines here big time, and so does guitarist Barroeta with his vigorous phrases. Just before getting at the 3 minute mark, the track shifts to a calm, piano-led interlude, which serves as a threshold toward the folkish reprise that states the coda. 'Coming Down Again' is a whole different beast: a progressive travel with plenty of electronic sources, fed with modern space-rock nuances and occasional heavy prog ornaments ? Porcupine Tree seems to be the main influential reference here. The synth solo performed halfway marks the track's central mood. The last nearly 16 minutes of the album are occupied by the two-part 'Voices Of The Storm'. The first part is totally instrumental, and once again we are face to face with the band's most energetic side, with the musical scheme equilibrated between neo and prog-metal. Part 2 bears a less pompous sonic framework, but the expressiveness remains at the same level. The very brief interlude that starts at minute 7 is just lovely, a small moment of intensity before the eerie sung closure (which somehow reminds me of Yes-meets-PF). This is how this very good prog album ends: "Future Awaits" is the definitive RC2 statement so far, so now we prog collectors must feel glad that this band is being more noticed gradually and expect more good albums from them in the future.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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