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Medina Azahara - Se Abre La Puerta CD (album) cover

SE ABRE LA PUERTA

Medina Azahara

Symphonic Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars THIS IS A VERY WARM AND TASTEFULLY ARRANGED TRIBUTE TO TRIANA, THE MASTERS OF THE PROG ANDALUZ When Triana their keyboarplayer/singer Jesus De La Rosa died because of a car accident in 1983, Medina Azahara were generally considered as the succesors of Triana, the masters of the Prog Andaluz movement. During concerts Medina Azahara already played some Triana covers and on this CD compilation you can enjoy Medina Azahara performing seven Triana covers along one Cai cover and 3 own compositions, all firmly rooted in the Prog Andaluz tradition.

In fact Medina Azahara is a Heavy Prog version of the more symphonic prog of Triana featuring a powerful and tight rhythm- section, heavy guitar work (lots of fiery solos and propulsive guitar riffs) and an excellent singer who turns out to be a perfect blend of the traditional flamenco singer and the archetypical rock singer, what an emotion and what a power! The seven Triana covers are very pleasant coloured: warm flamenco guitar, heavy guitar riffs, bombastic organ and a flashy synthesizer solo in Abre La Puerta, tender piano and sensitive electric guitar in Una Noche De Amor, great melancholical vocals, wonderful keyboard layers and howling guitar in Hijos Del Agobio, a very compelling atmosphere in Dialogo, Paco De lucia inspired flamenco guitar, lush organ and biting electric guitar in Luminosa Manana, a jazzy piano intro and powerful Hammond organ waves in Tu Frialdad and lots of surprising musical ideas in El Lago, from roaring Hammond organ and 'slap bass' to even rap singing, very original! The version of Cai their composition Amanecer En El Puerto sounds dynamic with beautiful vocals and the three Medina Azahara tracks Hacia Ti (dynamic ballad), Paseando Por La Mezquita (the ultimate blend of flamenco and hardrock) and El Soldado (swirling Hammond organ solo) showcase their pleasant, melodic and harder-edged Prog Andaluz sound, they are very popular in Spain but they deserve wider attention, what a captivating music!

This tribute-CD is a very good introduction to the sound of Medina Azahara!

Report this review (#155292)
Posted Thursday, December 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Medina Azahara are the main heir to the flamenco rock movement created in the seventies by bands such as Triana. Listen to their first eponymous album. Then the combo slowly hardened their sound, incorporating some metal guitars. But they still play a reprise of 'El lago', Triana's anthem, during gigs. Hence this brilliant idea: playing in a 'modern sauce' the main tracks of flamenco rock. You'll find many Triana's hits of course ('Abre la puerta', 'Tu frialdad', 'Hijos del agobio', 'Una noche de amor', 'Dialogo', 'Luminosa mañana'), but also songs by Alameda ('Amanecer en el puerto'), and of course from Medina Azahara's flamenco prog period. In a more metallic blend but never forgetting the flamenco roots (many guests from that movement are here). The best is for me, 'El lago', with its rap arrangements. I know some will disapprove but isn't it the very definition of prog (at least in the seventies), breaking walls between styles and creating a new music? A great way of discovering or revisiting that fabulous prog school even if some prestigious names are missing (Cai for instance).
Report this review (#266388)
Posted Monday, February 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars ' ROCK ANDALUZ EXTRAVAGANZA'

As a huge fan of 'the art of the flamenco' and progressive rock I was blown away when I heard Triana for the first time, at the home of Dutch 'progrock guru' Peter van der Laan, in the late Seventies. He was known for his huge knowledge about lesser known and unknown foreign prog. When he heard about my passion for flamenco he invited me to listen to a new LP that he had just received from Spain, Sombra Y Luz from Triana. He also showed me a promo package from Triana, with stickers, posters, info, wow. And lots of more WOW while listening to Triana, I was complety blown away: a combination of 'the art of the flamenco' and vintage keyboards, electric guitars, topped with passionate native vocals. I couldn't believe my ears, this was the music I was waiting for since I started to love flamenco and prog, when I was around 15 years old! To make a long story short, I became a huge fan of Triana and the Rock Andaluz, the unique, distinctive and widespread movement that blend flamenco and prog. After Triana the most known and popular band is Medina Azahara, their exciting debut album is from 1979 and they still make Rock Andaluz. During concerts Medina Azahara already played some Triana covers and on this CD compilation you can enjoy Medina Azahara performing seven Triana covers, along one Cai cover and three own compositions.

To me Medina Azahara sounds as a Heavy Prog version of the more symphonic prog of Triana (from the first 3 albums, later they sounded more commercial) featuring a powerful and tight rhythm- section, heavy guitar work and an excellent singer (with the typical passion and wailing undertone from the flamenco singers) The seven Triana covers are played with huge respect and passion, and many strong musical ideas.

Warm flamenco guitar, heavy guitar riffs, bombastic organ and a flashy synthesizer solo in Abre La Puerta.

Tender piano and sensitive electric guitar in Una Noche De Amor.

Great melancholical vocals, wonderful keyboard layers and howling guitar in Hijos Del Agobio.

A very compelling atmosphere in Dialogo.

Paco De Lucia inspired flamenco guitar, lush organ and biting electric guitar in Luminosa Manana.

A jazzy piano intro and powerful Hammond organ waves in Tu Frialdad.

And lots of surprising musical ideas in El Lago: from roaring Hammond organ and 'slap bass' to even rap singing (a new category, Rap Andaluz?).

The version of Cai their composition Amanecer En El Puerto sounds dynamic with beautiful vocals and the three Medina Azahara tracks Hacia Ti (dynamic ballad), Paseando Por La Mezquita (the 'Rock Andaluz anthem', blending perfectly flamenco and hardrock) and El Soldado (swirling Hammond organ solo) showcase their pleasant, melodic and harder-edged Prog Andaluz sound.

If you want to discover the unique and fascinating world of the Rock Andaluz, this CD is an excellent starter!

Report this review (#1954282)
Posted Thursday, August 2, 2018 | Review Permalink

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