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Anima Mundi - Jagannath Orbit CD (album) cover


Anima Mundi


Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 124 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars While in the middle of a good lengthy hiatus of, well, pretty much everything, coupled with high school graduation, preparation for college and constant practicing as a drummer, I figured it'd be time to clean out my computer of music I didn't like that i downloaded for some reason because I thought I would like it. That's where I stumbled upon this album.

After having brief plays of their debut album, I wasn't much of a fan of Anima Mundi. My immediate thoughts were ones of "Here's just another prog band optimistic of finding success in that small niche market of symphonic prog, to which there's already so much competition for. Give them a few years and they'll have disbanded and gotten jobs at supermarkets in a large industrial city."

The interesting thing is, though....they haven't.

While Septentrión wasn't perfect (obviously giving the fact that the production wasn't going to be much good anyway given this small group of guys live in Cuba, which is, last time I checked, still technically a Communist country), it was lively and cheerful. You could hear the optimism out of lead singer Andremil Oropeza. It was a happy and lively album, yet it still felt like a cookie-cutter prog record, something you've probably heard countless times over and over again. Not to be pessimistic, but I really thought that was going to be the end of the road for these guys.

Yet just a little over six years later, they come back strong with this record, Jagannath Orbit.

"We Are The Light" immediately kicks you into a different sense of perspective. All of a sudden, these guys have transformed from average happy-sounding prog rockers into full fledged craftsmen in the art of progressive music. Instantly the scene is livened by a stronger cultural influence, which I felt was missing in the last record. Not that it was lacking, but it was just covered up behind the guitars and synth. It seemed like these guys were trying to be too mainstream, just to get some attention, considering their place on the world map.

The opening track does well to immediately bring the bassoon, bongos and other cultural drums out into the spotlight, and the production is much clearer this time. The happy and lively atmosphere is still there, but now it feels like these guys have experimented more, resulting in little skits like the piano/clarinet ditty about twelve and a half minutes into the piece. The band also sounds much tighter, more together, even have a whiff of metalic grunt to their arsenal.

Yet when I play "The Awaken Dreamer", it sounds too new-agey to me. It literally sounds like it was copied and pasted from Septentrión onto this record. There's nothing on this track to keep me excited, more or less keep me awake. In fact it just sounds like four minutes added to the end of "We Are The Light".

Then "Toward The Adventure" thrusts me back to their new sound, albeit abbreviated to a six minute tune. The progressive nature comes back in stunning fashion, slowly etching out to some naturial sounds, ebbing and flowing into the glorious organ intro of "There's A Place Not So Faraway." This track seems to be another reminder of the happy-go-lucky, fairyland sounds of the aformentioned debut album, except with a bit more maturity in the composition and the build of the actual song structure. Instruments like the clarinet, bassoon and recorder keep the cultural influence always present, while adding an extra flare to the creativity of the music.

The title track begins, familiarly enough with a atmospheric intro, except with a march style, and, weirdly, bagpipes. Ok..... Either way, it's another intriguing introduction to another one of the records longer songs. Weirdly, however, it's a song that, when I listened to it, I sort of forgot that is was playing, which meant that it wasn't really that interesting, yet it wasn't obviously boring enough for me to turn it off. Only when the track started to climax a bit with roughly three minutes left did I come back to reality. It's a strange twilight zone track of creativity and boredom at the same time. Even listening to it again, now, I struggle to put it into words.

"Rhythm Of The Spheres" begins in a promising fashion, with a highly obvious progressive intro, coupled with, of all instruments, a didgeridoo, and another atmospheric, high-above- the-clouds synth line. In all honesty, one track of that was nice, but an entire album full of it? Not exactly my sort of thing. Yet, despite this, it's still a pleasant disc to listen to. Even the familiar, "second verse, same as the first" closer "Sanctuary" still has a nice feel to it.

Obviously, if you're into the happy, tree-hugging, save-the-world, rainbow-loving, peace-on- earth-and-good-will-to-all-men, yes, this is the perfect album for you. Yet, I'm pretty sure that even the most eco-friendly maniac of us all will get a bit tired of this type of music at some point in time. In short, it's good stuff, but in moderation. I couldn't listen to the entire album without having the urge to kick a small, defenseless puppy.

I'm not a cruel person, but if you had a choice to listen to this album all day or nails on a chalkboard all day, for the love of god, I'd pick the chalkboard. It's a great album. I just wouldn't be caught dead with this album on play, anywhere.

Wicket | 3/5 |


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