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Petrus Castrus - Ascenção e Queda  CD (album) cover

ASCENÇÃO E QUEDA

Petrus Castrus

Symphonic Prog


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4 stars Portugal is not a very Progressive Rock country (I know this, i'm portuguese), but every now and then you catch a glimpse of something grand, or at least good. I am far too young too understand what it was to listen to this album when we had Mr. Salazar in charge, but I can still enjoy what is a very nice album. It was one of th many LPs that my father left me whn he passed away, and so it has a certain meaning for me. Musicaly speaking, it has some quality, although it is very primitive and sometimes it gets too lyrical, like speaking with the music in the back. I think that side A is way much better than side B, although the ending is my favourite part. Nice use of Arp Odissey.

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Send comments to mobber89 (BETA) | Report this review (#84552)
Posted Saturday, July 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Really good album.

Quite original concept, with a good use of piano, arp odissey/omni and "cravo".

The two bonus tracks on Korean Limited Edition were taken from the single "A Bananeira" (1974), one of the very first examples of prog in Portugal, alongside with "Cantamos Pessoas Vivas" (from Quarteto 1111, 1974).

The line-up for "A Bananeira" included, besides the Castro brothers, João Seixas (Drums), Alain Mechoulan (Organ), Hugo Coutinho (Electric Viola) and Rui Reis (Piano).

By the way, Guerssen Records will edit "Cantamos Pessoas Vivas" very soon! Another obscure prog masterpiece sees the light of day!

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Send comments to Prog-M (BETA) | Report this review (#123387)
Posted Friday, May 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Having bought "Mestre" by PETRUS CASTRUS a few days ago, decided to go back my old vinyl collection in search for "Ascenção e Queda" (Rise and Fall), but the poor LP was scratched that made it unable to be listened, so made a visit to my rarities store and found a copy of the CD with some extra bonus tracks,.

The problem is that when the owner noticed I was searching for the specific CD, he asked me 30 bucks (the same guy sold me "Mestre" for US$ 2.99 a few days ago), after some negotiations I got it in 15 bucks, a good price for a very good album.

"Ascenção e Queda" is a Symphonic conceptual album, very close to the Rock Opera format, that tells a story about the hopes of the people in a fictional new politician of an obscure nation that after some times becomes a new dictator, from his arrival to his decline.

The album starts with "A Chegada" (The arrival), which begins with the noise of wind, as announcing the storm that is going to come, a soft piano works as background for the vocals in form of narration, which describes the arrival of the dictator, full of promises and hopes,. The piano is the constant from start to end, around the middle the music starts to grow in intensity as announcing a explosion, but it softens again, leading to a second narration. It's only about the fifth minute when the rest of the band joins in an extremely beautiful passage where the keyboards and drums take the lead and simply delightful vocal contra punt completes the scene.

"A Revolta" (A Revolution) stats a lighter and mainstream oriented track which describes the moment in which the new politician receives the support of some sectors of te people and hw the face the old regime, fast and confusing at the beginning, but suddenly a piano section puts order to the chaos, the vocals are outstanding, full of emotion and sensibility, then the track enters to a very Prog section where José Castro starts to play with the possibilities of his keyboard, very interesting track, full of contrasts and variations.

"Ascenção" (Rise) is darker and melancholic, a beautiful female chorus adds a haunting sound. The new politician takes the power and people believe in h9is promises. The track is again full of changes and keyboard effects, but always keeping the pompous and martial atmosphere. Again excellent keyboard work by José Castro.

"Declinio e Ruptura" (Decline and rupture) is an acoustic track that describes the moment when the new President starts to behave as a dictator and begins to loose the support of the people. Again in form of narration, with interesting dramatic sections that suddenly explode in frantic passages and melodic sections, great work.

"Indecisão e Demência" (Indecision and Madness) is one of the strongest tracks, starts very influenced by PINK FLOYD, but suddenly changes into a beautiful and melodic 100% Symphonic song, where as usual the vocal work is outstanding, two male voices that collision with the softer and haunting range of Helena Águas.

But what impressed me more is the number of radical changes that this band can offer on each track, it would be amazing for any band to keep the coherence, but they seem to have no problem, everything has a place and a reason.

"Queda" (Fall) starts with a repetition of words "He's mad, his mad, he was always mad", mixed with rants and complains against the tyrant, while a frantic drum keeps the tense atmosphere alive. Suddenly a Greek influenced Harp marks a radical change, but again the frantic section re-starts over and over, as if the Governor regains control and looses it again, but each time the calmed sections are shorter, a perfect musical description of the situation.

Again without warning a strong explosion is heard and the song turns into melodic and nostalgic, as if announcing the end of the tyranny and a new start, just to begin the cycle again.

As usual I won't talk about the bonus tracks "Bananeira" and "Seis e Meia da Tarde" which are good, but have no place in a conceptual album that was released to tell a story, not to find a place for forgoten songs, which are pretty good but not wrote by the author to be part of this album.

Excellent album that deserves far more popularity, good for any listener who doesn't care for lyrics in foreign language.

Four stars.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#178433)
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
5 stars 01. A Chegada Are the winds of change? Or would the new wind? The disc starts with a good piano leading a beautiful melody and a voice very interesting. Totally exciting, with the sensational piano melodies, amid some seagulls sing at the bottom of the track. It is very good to hear Progressive Rock in the native language Portuguese, has a special sound. It is a great balcony that divide the two brothers each verse. When the whole band enter the parade is already won. The bottom line of Pedro Castro is very good. In the second part of the song it becomes more lively and full of beautiful melodies and lyrics are remarkable.

02. A Revolta A voice ad infinitum as I usually call the song starts (those without truce between the phrases). Footprint and a nice pop on the band, also embedded with beautiful keyboards and vocals overlapping without equal. A confusion of words and crazy. Around the piano giving space to the vein of the symphonic band and to Jose Castro (if I am not mistaken) to sing with his voice hoarse.

03. Ascenção This track is an example of Progressive well done, very beautiful and melodic, the vocals are excellent on all points. Filled with keyboards orchestrated, good parts of the battery and the participation of Urban Oliveira Helena Waters on vocals. All tracks of the first side are composed of two parts, the second track that is full of passages jazz / rock sensational.

04. Declínio E Ruptura The clove leaves one with the music to sound more sensational, more should be used by other bands. Who is participating in the band on vocals and Nuno Rodrigues Rui Serrão the bottom. Enter into a dialogue scene in the band, a true mini-rock opera with very good bass lines.

05. Indecisão E Demência Battery almost a schedule to the On The Run (Pink Floyd), a line of low excellent line and a beautiful voice. Following a beautiful guitar solo is a song is more melodic and calm. From now on nearly half a carnival / circus, with an instrumental passage well arranged and with a special synthesizer surrounding all spaces. Following the guitar gives the tone for coming into contact with the beauty again. Almost a tango at the end with strangers' attack 'of a guitar and drums and also abnormal.

06. Queda The voice that already excellent start to the song. Interpretation as the entire disk. After an instrumental introduction and all broken Yezda Urfa, to finish this part a bit of 'samba'. The second part is good for guitar and piano riffs played together. Sensacional, after things get very emotional lyrics and melody with an animal.

A great disc for Progressive Rock Sinfônico Portuguese, and I said!

www.progshine.com

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#196937)
Posted Friday, January 02, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the best rock album ever recorded in Portugal, better even than the brilliant works produced by José Cid during the same decade. "Ascenção e Queda" is a real Opera, that dives deeper into that sort of musical framework that any other rock recording I know of. For each character there is a different melody in each different act, each one special in some way, really recreating the changing scenes you would get in a live thetrical representation. The quality of the recording itself is the best possible at the time with great performances from musicians and especially singers.

Unfortunatelly this outstanding record has been largely forgotten and so far hasn't got the recognition it devserves. In first place because the listener must really understand the lyrics to fully grasp the density of the record; those don't speak Portuguese are thus left at loss. And secondly because the record has been largely neglected by whomever owns printing rights. A physical copy has become prohibitivly expensive in CD format; I am yet to see a vynil copy for sale but I would expect it to go for several thousand euros.

Indespensible in any symphonic rock collection.

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Send comments to Luís de Sousa (BETA) | Report this review (#1085228)
Posted Tuesday, December 03, 2013 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Petrus Castrus' second album finds the Portuguese band presenting a style of progressive rock which relies less on speed and complexity and more on sophistication and atmosphere, with the stately piano work of José Castro being particularly responsible for this sound. Indeed, if I were to compare this with the work of any other progressive artist, I'd have to raise the spectre of the Enid, whose work from this era has a similarly romantic feel to it. Not your typical twiddly-diddly "let's see how crazy we can get these time signatures" prog rock album, but a truly original sound which doesn't deserve to linger in obscurity

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#1128716)
Posted Saturday, February 08, 2014 | Review Permalink

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