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Kotebel - Omphalos CD (album) cover

OMPHALOS

Kotebel

 

Symphonic Prog

3.94 | 62 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars This Spanish outfit's fourth album is a fair one consisting of both gentle acoustic/classical arrangements and flashy symphonic jazz rock. I don't particularly mind the classical feminine voice that bleeds all over many of the pieces except that it sounds like the vocals are mixed to loudly, and that produces some rather unpleasant clipping. Another issue is how very little of this album is memorable at all. Omphalos generally remains pleasant without becoming anything more, and for that, borders on tedium.

"Ra" Delicate piano and flute begin the lengthy opener. It quickly picks up pace with a charging riff and slightly discordant organ and flute. The operatic vocals of Caroline Prieto are bittersweet and silky initially, but I find the sporadic notes unsuitable for the piece. The electric guitar excursions do not disappoint, and for me serve as highlights of an otherwise meandering work.

"Excellent Meat" The second tune sounds nothing like the previous one- it boasts heavy electric guitar riffs that carry it through. One riff in particular is really cool, and maintains a exceptional groove. Unfortunately, as soon as the guitar solo takes over, the rhythm shifts in an unexpected and disjointed way. For a third shift in direction, a thin acoustic guitar takes command. Mostly everything thereafter is cacophonic and disjointed eclectic prog.

"Pentacle's Suite (I. Prologue)" Ghostly operatic vocals and exotic percussion create a mystical tune.

"Pentacle's Suite (II. Sun Pentacle)" Jumpy bass and flute bounce around over eerie keyboard before discordant synthesizer and piano joins in.

"Pentacle's Suite (III. Mercury Pentacle)" Classical guitar and those long, feminine notes make up the lengthiest part of the suite.

"Pentacle's Suite (IV. Venus Pentacle)" Continuing with calm music, this piece consists of piano and flute.

"Pentacle's Suite (V. Mars Pentacle)" After almost twelve minutes of tranquil music, the band offers some delightful symphonic jazz rock, led by the flute and the synthesizer.

"Pentacle's Suite (VI. Epilogue)" The epilogue is a smoother piece of music, with light singing and guitar soloing.

"MetroMnemo" Kotebel returns to the jazzier side of their sound with a jaunty guitar riff and mellow chords under a creative lead.

"Joropo" This brisk piece relies on piano and flute dancing around in 3/8 time. I enjoy the swirling passage in the middle with the lead guitar, flute, and synthesizer acting almost independently of one another and still creating a harmonic flow.

"Omphalos" The final piece contains several varying passages, but ultimately is a grand mashing of the reserved operatic music throughout the album.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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