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Hexatonica - El Visionario CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.98 | 28 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Now's the time to celebrate very good news for South American prog: Hexat'nica is back! This Argentine instrumental quintet has actually edited their long-awaited second record, 'El Visionario', six years after their unforgettable album 'Formas'. The lineup has changed considerably since then, with the rhythmic duo of Juan Gasco (the band leader) and Sergio Topham being the only remaining original members, while the guitar duo and the keyboard positions have been taken by newcomers these last years: Carlos Cattaneo, Abel Valente and Nahuel Acosta, respectively. Since its inception in 2002 and the successive editions of their first demo, a live record and the first studio album 'Formas' we mentioned before, the band has gone through many experiences and setbacks, including their first critical losses soon after the edition of the debut album. HEXAT'NICA has traveled a long road to settle on its new stable lineup, develop new material and materialize it in a studio album. With the editorial initiative of Musea, 'El Visionario' has already become a reality and we'll take this opportunity to review it in detail. The eponymous piece kicks off the album with unyielding vigor, beginning with an impetuous piano scale and then extending the assertion and development of an extroverted main body which lasts almost 4 and a half minutes; this leads to an ethereal interlude between Floydian and Yessian moods, which creates an immersive atmosphere until the coda reinstalls the main motif for a spectacular closing climax. With "Rompiendo Estructuras", the group reshapes its sound patterns in order to keep their essential strength while adding to the majesty of the ongoing thematic development. "Ευχαριστώ" (written with Greek letters) is characterized by its exotic feel and melodies, which naturally acquire a special stylization due to the progressive color added by the band. Composed by the band's former keyboard player Diego Yanivello (who actually performs in this track as well as in "Rompiendo Estructuras"), it has a noticeable peculiar feel within the album's track list. When "Sobrevuelo" takes the scene, we could say the framework of the whole album is consolidated in its artistic peak. This piece bears a solemn aura that is enforced by the unrelenting power of the instrumental ensemble, which moves solidly through varying moods within a general sumptuous atmosphere. Special mention must be made of the exquisite keyboard phrasings that lead the electrifying final climax and, more generally, of the insertion of slight threatening nuances at several points of the thematic development. "Intro B", featuring flutist Gerardo Hurchins and violinist Sergio Topham, together with Juan Gasco in the guitarist position, is a brief courtly piece strongly inspired by Renaissance music which mainly operates as a prelude to "La Gracia De Ser'"; in fact, the first passages of this long track echo the courtly aura of "Intro B" and set the scene for the start of a rigorously articulated melodic vibration under which the first guitar solos are delineated. The main body of the composition bears an evocative aura, a lyrically touching spirituality, though its 10+ minute span leave room for atmosphere variations. In fact, the band introduces some reasonably dense passages and other sections marked by lighter grooves along the development of the piece, following the teachings of classic symphonic prog while clinging to its own modern sound. What comes next is another creative peak of the album. "El Infierno Interior" ("The Inner Hell"), in spite of the tormented connotations of its title, acts as a solid reiteration of the extroverted vitality of the band. LTE and Planet X standards leave their mark without detracting from the group's personality in their creative task. "Amanecer Atardeciendo" is the most introverted moment of the album, so much so that the piano takes the leading role, both in the immersive serenity of the beginning and in the controlled magnificence that emerges after it with a captivating spiritual splendor. We should mention Juan Gasco reassumes his guitarist role in the introduction section of this piece. "Aluvi'n" closes the album with an agile combination of fluent thematic articulation and complex atmosphere variations, striking a balance between "Sobrevuelo" and "La Gracia De Ser'", with a greater emphasis on the symphonic element by means of the powerful rock zeal that is so distinct. Hexat'nica have given their all again with "El Visionario", in which, once more, they have proven what they are: a force of nature shining like fire within the current Argentine progressive rock scene. Their blend of symphonism, prog metal and jazz rock is simply magnificent. This record is not only a repository of musical ideas, but also a celebration of music itself and of the progressive tradition in particular. The prominent characters of the tracks 'El Visionario', "Sobrevuelo", "La Gracia De Ser'" and "Aluvi'n" allow them to define the highest points within the tracklist, but this tracklist can be better appreciated as an integral work. And that's what makes this a truly excellent album!
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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