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Amarok - QuentadharkŽn CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.82 | 55 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This ęAmarokĽ album is their most achieved so far. It combines lots of Eastern influences, jazz passages and more rocking ones as well. There are a wide variety of instruments used on this album which provides a deep folk texture (the traditional ones + oboe, violin, harp, sax, flute etc.). The opening track "Hsieh" is quite demonstrative in this aspect. It is a highlight already.

On their web-site, the band clearly indicates that they have opted for references from Arab and Turkish music. It is a fine add-on and this album sounds pretty diversified. The well named "Encantamiento" (enchantment) is a delicious acoustic and instrumental folkish ballad with a good interplay between flute, piano and guitar.

The long and jazzy "Tierra Boreal" is more complex and holds even some similarities with ELP. The keyboards work deserves a mention during the long intro. The band then reverts to a more conventional prog folk music with a sweet combination of flute, piano and even some mellotron lines. Some harder part with loud electric guitar completes the picture. This is all well crafted and performed; another highlight.

"La Espiral" opens on a quite skilled Spanish guitar (long) intro which is a bit ruined afterwards with some accordion and vocalizing effects which are not quite in place here. At least I feel so. The Arab influence mentioned above is fully expressed in this song as well.

The piŤce de rťsistance is the long suite made of five tracks and which clocks at over twenty minutes all together. This is quite an impressive piece of music that featuresmost of the sounds that have been heard previously on this album (ELP, jazz, folk, flute and piano). The band paves the way for a wonderful "promenade": from gentle and acoustic parts, the listener is at times embarked into a more solid and rock theme and then back again confronted to the delicate voice of Marta Segura. What a ride!

I would say that this long suite is often in line with the symph style, which is quite alright as far as I am concerned. Fans from this genre wouldn't be disappointed while listening to this very good album.

There are also over fifteen minutes of bonus tracks available. The first one "Labirintos De Piedra" is a remake of the song published in '98 on the average album "Gibra'ara".

In all, this album deserves four stars. It is by far my favourite from "Amarok" so far. Should you only discover one album from this band: "Quentadharken" is the one by no doubt!

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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