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Evolución - Umbrales CD (album) cover

UMBRALES

Evolución

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.98 | 7 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Following their comeback, marked by the CD edition of their "La Era de Piscis" 80s cassette, Chilean band Evolución has reemerged from the ashes stronger than ever. At least, that's what you can tell at comparing the repertoire of the aforesaid album to that of "Umbrales", their 2006 effort. The latter feels stronger and more dynamic, since it is not just a collection of tracks but the result of a time of cohesiveness for the last two years. Evolución's jazz-rock style is cleverly flourished with symphonic prog nuances here and there, and all musicians are crafty and energetic enough to make the multicolored musical ideas work splendidly. The guitarist emulates Holdsworth, McLaughlin and Beck perfectly and sensibly, while keyboardist/main writer Muńoz makes the influences from Corea, Hammer and Moraz (even Bardens, to a certain degree) converge in his musical self. Both are tightly supported by a consistent rhythm tandem (either with Juan Ricardo Weiler or Jorge Cruz). The opener 'Secretos' starts with sea waves rolling, and then comes an attractive main motif, properly adorned with additional mood shifts. This number pretty much comprises the various interests of the band - mostly, the remaining repertoire tends to focus in one specific aspect or another. 'Divertimento' and 'Portillo' are heavily oriented toward a clean, stylish fusion of Latin basis. The former starts with a sense of eerie melancholy until a vibrant bossanova motif appears and excitingly endures right up to the end. The latter has a more tropical Latin-jazz feel, showing a tender mixture of 80s Corea and Santana's most accomplished jazzy side. In both tracks, the presence of guests on percussion and woodwind helps to fulfill the swing and the potential properly. Between the two are 'Fiesta Rock' and the title track. 'Fiesta Rock' displays a catchy, easy-going dynamism set on a blues-rock tempo (kind of Tribal Tech meets contemporary Holdsworth), while 'Umbrales' turns into an explosive mood, properly introduced by a bombastic fanfare and prolonged through powerful jams. At this point the album has already made a major statement of colorfulness and melodic sensibility. 'Rock 1' kicks off the album's second half, pretty much following a similar pattern to that of 'Fiesta Rock'. 'Arabian Nights' starts with elegant Arabic motifs, and then, from minute 3 onwards, comes an effective symphonic prog section confidently built on a 5/4 tempo. The tropical ambiences return for 'The Bridge', a very enthusiastic and joyful track, indeed. 'Rock 2' - original of "La Era de Piscis" - reappears in a more stylish guise, comprising on of González's best soloing in the album. 'Epílogo' is a very serene closure, displaying a spirit of contemplation and intimacy. The music only lasts, but after a 1- minute silent lapse, the sea waves return of the final 40 seconds. In conclusion, "Umbrales" is a perfect item of enjoyment for the average prog-head with a jazzy heart. Evolución confirms itself as a big name in South American prog, an area that truly deserves more attention from prog appreciators worldwide.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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