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Rodrigo San Martin - Eyes CD (album) cover

EYES

Rodrigo San Martin

 

Crossover Prog

3.93 | 18 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars This album is a significant improvement respect to the already very good "There's No Way Out" specially thanks to the effort of Ludmila Clemente at drums and Fernando Refay at synths. The first nice thin is that the album is logically split into two parts of about 20 minutes each, like it was a vinyl. So we have an "Eyes Wide Open" (this is what "Con Los Ojos Abiertos" means) side and an "Eyes closed" one.

Starting with the "Open" side, it's a side long track (it's nice speaking of it like a vinyl) made of seven distinct parts with no gaps and with a little of neo-prog influence. The song features the excellent vocals of Jelena and has some very rocking moments. Also the transitions are very well done. In particular the transition between part two and part three that's very heavy. A piece of music that can be considered progressive metal. Part 4 with the radio voices below a fretless bass starts very floydian, with the vocalists reminding of Mostly Autumn and Rodrigo's clean bluesy guitar like Clapton in Pros and Cons of Hitch-Hiking, just before a very good solo in a prog metal style. However all the seven parts have their good moments and in the complex this is one of the best long tracks that I've heard recently. For its structure and the passages between metal and melodic moments I think it can be compared to some parts of Ayreon's The Human Equation, also because Jelena's voice is not too dissimilar than that of Heather Findlay.

The "Wide Shut side" starts with a melodic piano intro. "The Mask" is another song in 3 parts. It has a structure similar to the epic but there's a lot of piano and classical influences. The second part is an instrumental that reminds to Renaissance until guitar and keyboards enter and change it drastically. Here on Part two the keyboards deserve a mention as the solo reminds to Vitalij Kuprij for the speed and the sound, but there's also an excellent guitar riff immediately after, followed by part 3 which features acoustic guitar and voice. Fans of Mostly Autumn will surely like it.

Now some prog metal. The link that Rodrigo has sent me contains this song in two versions: with English lyrics (Destroy The Signal) and Spanish (Destruye la Seņal). The song alternates very heavy instrumental riffs and very melodic singing. A short powerful rock song for all the prog metal fans.

"Amanecer (Dawn)" has a very good "retro" taste. It's a song that if it wasn't for the "modern" sounds and the excellent production could come directly from the 70s. Heavy and melodic on which I hear echoes of YES, Renaissance, and 70s in general.

The minute and half of "Interludio" is a short guitar instrumental on which Rodrigo shows his guitar skill. Listening to it and to its jazzy sequence of chords I think To Pat Metheny and to Phil Sheeran, until guitar and organ start the last song of the album with an intro that could stay on an Uriah Heep album. "Ahora (Now)" has English lyrics despite the Spanish title. It's another melodic rock song with very rocking breaks and pauses. Again, Uriah Heep is the reference that comes to my mind. It's a very good closer.

It's a very good album on which the level of all the songs is constant. There are no weak moments and in its genre together with the last Yesterday's album, is the best thing that I've listened to in the last months.

Strongly suggested to anybody who loves any of the artists that I've mentioned. Rodrigo San Martin is a young artist already at his third full length album. While his second effort was promising, this album confirms all the expectations. Check it out.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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