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Toccata - Circe CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.82 | 24 ratings

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4 stars The first thing I think of when I see the word Toccata is the instrumental of the same name on ELP's "Brain Salad Surgery" album. One can't help oneself when certain band names match a certain album or song title from one of the fathers of progressive rock. Expectations are always that it will resemble that album or song in some way, no matter how much we try to be impartial. I try often, but I find myself failing more than I'd like to admit to. Nonetheless, Mexican symphonic prog band Toccata does bear some resemblance to ELP, partly for some Emersonian influences from keyboardist Zain Hernandez and some impressive organ work, and partly for some of the instrumental complexities in Toccata's music.

But this isn't an ELP clone. Far from it actually. There is a good dose of more modern symphonic/neo prog influences as well as the occasional foray into prog metal. In fact, if I were forced to name bands to compare this group with, my answer would be ELP and Nexus. The music has that melodic flavor and energy of Nexus, but mixed in with some rather complex sections that clearly remind me of ELP.

There are actually few downsides to Toccata's debut and the one that catches my attention are songs that either don't develop properly or wander off somewhere they shouldn't have. This is something to expect from a new band's debut album. However, for Toccata, this is a trivial criticism because the music is exceptionally well done and the musicians' performances are quite admirable.

An excellent album well worth four stars. The band is long overdue for another album since this was released back in 2005. Their website seems to have disappeared, but there is still a presence on Myspace. I hope someday they can deliver us another promising album.

progaardvark | 4/5 |


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