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erik neuteboom
3 stars This is the second CD from the Chilean five piece band Entrance. The name of the keyboard player sounds familiar to me, it's Jaime Rosas who is now playing with his own band The Jaime Rosas Cuartetto (I have reviewed his albums with the Cuartetto and Trio). His sounds reminds me of Japanese keyboard wizard Toshio Egawa (Novela, Gerard, Sheherazade): obvious classically trained, fluent and often bombastic.

On this CD Jaime got room to showcases his impressive abilities, already in the opener "Lobo Estepario" (four parts) delivering a sumptuous church organ sound, flashy synthesizer flights and spectacular interplay with the fiery electric guitar in "Odisea" (part 1), lush keyboards, sensational synthesizer work and Rick Wakeman- like play in "Despertar" (part 2), wonderful classical orchestrations, piano and strings in the dreamy "Dos almas" (part 3) and spectacular keyboard work featuring organ and synthesizers in the bombastic "Mil almas" (part 4). The vocals are strong, often warm and a typical South-American overtone. The guitarplay (from twanging to fiery and heavy) and the rhythm-section are also worth mentioning. The other four compositions (between 4 and 12 minutes) are "Alas fugaces" (alternating with passionate vocals), "Bi-axis" (a Dream Theater inspired climate with propulsive guitar riffs, biting electric guitar and amazing duels between guitar and keyboards), "Tabatha" (sensitive electric guitar solo, beautiful piano work and emotional vocals) and "Vertigo 2002" (dynamic progrock like Rush and Gerard with a propulsive rhythm-section, great interplay, fiery electric guitar and swirling organ and slashy synthesizer runs).

It's not music that will gain an award for elaborate compositional skills but it's very entertaining, often bombastic progrock from very good musicians. And it contains more emotion than bands like Dream Theater, Rush and Gerard because of the inspired Spanish vocals.

Report this review (#62642)
Posted Sunday, January 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With their second studio album, Entrance benefited from the entry of new members on three departments: both rhythm roles and lead vocals. The renewed line-up was at the time more willing to stick to Jaime Rosas' progressive nature, and simultaneously, guitarist Pilnik became friendlier with the idea of adding a higher level of sophistication to his punchy style. And that's how Entrance came from being a prog metal band more concerned with the metal aspect to becoming a more solidly progressive oriented prog metal band. The ballsy overall sound remains the same, yet the material reveals a decided attitude to deliver a more mature and complex set of arrangements and expansions from teh main melodic ideas. The opening four part suite, based on Hesse's literary masterpiece "Steppenwolf", sets things clearly from the offset. The fiery, cleverly complex part 1 'Odisea' displays a well-ordained combination of Wakemanesque restless keyboard flourishes, ballsy guitar riffing and soloing, a tight rhythm section and an efficient singer who can use his natural romantic timber as a medium of emotional deliveries. For part 2 'Despertar' the fire is slightly decreased, but the progressive complexity remains unchanged. Part 3 'Dos Almas' is a vocal-keyboard duo in which Rosas and Scalpello deliver a neffective marriage of melancholy and serenity: the vocals and the piano phrases work for and with each other. Finally, part 4 'Mil Almas' recaptures the bombastic vibe of 'Odisea' and ultimately takes the whole suite to an attractive climax. Rosas, who had already recorded his solo album "Virgo", is obviously a composer who is confident with his vision as a vehicle for Entrance's maturation. A bit less ambitious but equally impressive rearding melodies, orchestrations and interplaying is his other composition 'Bi-Axis', a 3-part suite. Actually this one sounds more cohesive in the linkage between all sections, while 'Lobo Estepario' was more like a soundtrack to a story through its different chapters. Between the two is a very good new version of a track from the debut album: with this line-up, the energy comprised in the original version (IMHO, the best song from "Entrance") is carried out with an enhanced exquisiteness. 'Tabatha' is a power ballad adorned with cosmic keyboard nuances: nowhere else in this album does Scalpello sing in such a moving way, portraying sadness with strength of character. The closure 'Vértigo 2002' is the most patent rocker, keeping its vibe loyal to the usual patterns of prog metal: catchy melodies, riffs arranged on complex rhythm patterns and tempo shifts, amazing pyrotechnics on guitar and synth, powerful drumming, complex bass lines. Whilke Scalpello sing his lines, the instrumentation fluids very solidly all the way. A very attractive end for a very good album: "En la Tierra" won't dissapoint those symph prog lovers who don't mind a bit of extra rock nor those prog metal fans who are curious about what is done in the genre outside the Anglophile and European contexts. 3.5-4 stars for this one.
Report this review (#96701)
Posted Wednesday, November 1, 2006 | Review Permalink

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