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Arco Iris - Sudamérica - O El Regreso A La Aurora CD (album) cover


Arco Iris

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars Even with this band be intituled of a jazz rock fusion band, this album is, in my opinion, a sample of some fine symphonic prog, with some elements of folk music. this album is full of classic guitar with some orchestration too, wich make this piece a fine adition to all of those who like the soft a mood progressive.
Report this review (#89500)
Posted Tuesday, September 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is first of two double albums that Argentinian band Arco Iris recorded, the second being Agitor Lucens V. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is an essential South American prog album in every way, quite stunning, in fact. Arco Iris combined elements of psychedelia, jazz (the excellent sax playing resembles early Crimson), symphonic prog, some Floydian spacy elements, and Andean folk in a stew that is not too far off from Jaivas' early sound but is still distinctive. This is too long an album to break down track by track, but it comprises a number of short pieces (occasionally a recurring melody pops up from the overture) and two long tracks. The long tracks tend to devolve into guitar based jamming, which is not entirely my cup of tea, but the level of musicianship is very high. The short songs are all wonderful, usually characterized by great harmony vocals and often some lovely acoustic playing. S. American folk instruments pop up from time to time, as well as some very tasty flute playing.

For the time and place (meaning the technology available there at the time), the production is very good, clean and clear. I'd like to give this five stars, but it's not currently available on CD and may not become so, so I don't want to make all you proggers jealous. But if you come across it, you will not regret picking this album up. It's ambitious, artistic and a great musical journey into the realms of South American prog.

Report this review (#125041)
Posted Thursday, June 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars You can call this: "the second concept album of Argentina" the first is the bible of Vox Dei of 1971. The best concept album of Argentina, it's mixes jazz, latin folk (chamamé, malambo, chacarera), symphonic rock, and a little of balladry. I think this album it's much better then "Tiempo de resurrección", The overture is a finest example of folk prog of southamerica. Gustavo Santaolalla plays very good the guitar and charango, Ara Tokatlian plays the flutes, kena, saxo and reyboards but the keys are minimal. The percussion is very good and the bass too. The sound is tipical of the records of the 70's of Argentina, the only band who can have the very best of sound technology in that time are Aquelarre and Sui Generis, but the sound is good of course is not the ˇguau! of the cuality, and the funny thing if you can have this album you can hear the sound of the vinyl ˇplop! and things like that. Well the only way i can have this album is from internet i konw is bad and the other stuffs but is the only way i have to get this record. Is double and long but worth the try of listen.
Report this review (#134717)
Posted Friday, August 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars OK, double album was born deep ago in time of 40min LP's. So then double is now one full CD. But then it was something unique.

But I'm afraid that I don't see much more than bunch of noises in "Obertura". It really disappointed me so much that I though that this album will get well deserved 3 star rating. But tracks 2 and 3 have changed my mind. Then it's easy, no conflict. If things will go this way, 4 star rating.

(after minutes of listening) and it goes. Fine introduction to jazz rock with terrible intro track. Quite a irony. Even it's not my cup of tea, I was enjoying this and can't do else than give it 4 stars. It would be unfair for such talented band.

Report this review (#232388)
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This record is a milestone in South American progressive rock. Being probable among the finest and most complete concept albums ever made. Sudamerica tells the story of six men going on a mystical trip around the subcontinent. They will eventually reach the hills and find the way to salvation. But the music here it's the most important aspect of the record. Mixing psychedelia , jazz , rock and argentinean folk music this is a record that becomes a must if you are into progressive rock!

There are 26 songs in total and doing a song by song review will be pointless with this album but the highlights of the record are the longest tracks Obertura (13 min) and Hombre (17 min) those tracks are surrounded by loads of little tunes ranging from one minute to five minutes in length that are wonderfully produced and arranged

The musicianship and versatility shown by the members of the band here is amazing and the vocal harmonies are lovely. This is a record that must be heard at least once to have a taste of the finest South American prog- I consider this record to be a MASTERPIECE from the beggining to the end.

Report this review (#558579)
Posted Friday, October 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Magnum Vaeltaja
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars How an album this incredible can be so largely under the radar on this site is a bit perplexing. What Arco Iris produced with this album is nothing short of astounding; 100 minutes of intricately woven, diverse, moving music that shapes a cohesive and adventurous narrative, and in 1972 in Argentina, no less!

"Sudamerica" is a rock opera telling the mythological tale of a young man named Nahuel, who is commissioned by divinity to travel around the continent with various companions, and all of the adventures that ensue. But what makes the album so effective is that, unlike many of the rock operas and concept albums being made back in the UK at the time, the album doesn't lose any of its power when you don't follow the lyrics. As a non-Spanish speaker, all that I know about the narrative comes from reading synopses online. What I do know, though, is that this album is every bit of an instrumental marvel as it is a lyrical one. An eclectic brew of jazz, psychedelic rock, Andean folk and other ethnic South American musical styles, "Sudamerica" offers a unique, transporting listening experience that stays fresh, dynamic, engaging and vibrant the whole way through to the final notes.

Certainly an album to be on the lookout for, a timeless, progressive gem. The fact that this kind of album, so very unique and full of identity, exists is what makes me love prog. 5 stars.

Report this review (#1552283)
Posted Friday, April 15, 2016 | Review Permalink
5 stars Sudamerica is one of the finest releases from this Argentinian jazz outfit and one of the greatest to come out of the jazz fusion genre. It heavily features the saxophone, but throughout the album, the instrument never loses its flavor. Though the album is almost 100 minutes in length, there is hardly a boring or unappealing second ? it amazes me how Arco Iris can have so many different ideas to express and directions to take in just one album.

Packed with short 2-to-3-minute long, folksy instrumentals, this masterpiece could be described as a concept album in a similar vein as The Snow Goose by Camel. These short bridges build up to two epic jazz suites, Obertura and Hombre, my two favorite songs from the album.

Since I do not understand any Spanish, especially the lyrics, I cannot say much on what this album represents, except for the titles. From what the titles translate to, I assume the album describes some sort of spiritual journey that the main character (probably the person singing) experiences. In the first segment of the album, the protagonist learns what he needs to know in order start his journey (is his name Nahuel? is that a different character? who knows) from his "maestro" (teacher). The second segment entails the character's journey along with the pilgrims, whom he follows to "las colinas" (the hills) with his master. Correct me if I am wrong.

Overall, there is not much more to say about Arco Iris' magnum opus, though I wish there were a sequel (unlikely).

Report this review (#2241357)
Posted Thursday, August 1, 2019 | Review Permalink

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