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R-U Kaiser - Ocelos CD (album) cover

OCELOS

R-U Kaiser

Symphonic Prog


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This five-piece band comes from the Northern part of Chile and is rooted in 2002, it took a while before they got the opportunity to release this debut CD on the new Chilean progrock label Watcher Records. This CD is a concept album about the experiences of the phases into the band, it contains four movements.

1. Dioscuros (The Genesis) : a very alternating piece with spectacular work on keyboards (from a soaring choir-Mellotron sound to a flashy synthesizer solo and powrful organ runs), 'angelic' Spanish female vocals and fiery guitar runs, it sounds very dynamic and exciting!

2. Letargia (The Flight) : after the sound of the sea and birds, the atmosphere is first mellow with thin vocals and tender piano and then more hypnotizing with a slow rhtyhm delivering twanging guitar and a choir-Mellotron sound, a majestic piece of music that contrasts perfectly with the previous song.

3. Semjases (The Encounter) : this is also a very alternating track, from dreamy with wonderful female vocals to mid-tempo featuring propulsive guitar/drums and flashy synthesizer flights and a compelling final part with the focus on sensitive and fiery guitar work, very moving!

4. Ocelos (The Future) : this is their 'magnum opus' (at about 11 minutes) with lots of flowing shifting moods, sensational work on keyboards and guitar and a splendid bombastic final part with awesome interplay between sparkling piano, propulsive and fiery guitarplay, beautiful, often thin female vocals, an adventurous rhtyhm-section and spectacular synthesizer runs, symphonic prog at its best!

To me this sounds as a very strong debut CD. You can hear that this band plays together for many years. If you are up to the often thin and high-pitched, 'angelic' Spanish female vocals, this will be an excellent symphonic prog experience!

Report this review (#155526)
Posted Saturday, December 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After 5 years of continuing struggle to let their music be known by domestic audiences, Chilean symphonic prog ensemble R-U Kaiser finally got to release their debut album Ocelos. Powerful and pompous, tow words that describe many prog bands arouund the globe and that also fit a general portrait of what R-U Kaiser is all about. The dynamics of obvious sophistication is properly enhanced by the fact that two classically trained female singers come to the fore wnehenver lyrics are involved, making good use of their contralto and soprano timbers. This album is also the debut of the label Watcher records, and if we must judge a label for its first release ever, it would be fair to hope that they manage to release many more good albums through the following years. R-U Kaiser's sound is lead by keyboardist Morus (recurrently supported by one of the two female singers): the keyboard department is full of orchestrations, ornaments and lush layers, with a controlled sense of pyrotechnics during the solos. Glass Hammer, mid-70s Yes, vintage Wakeman, as well as contemproary compatriots Entrance and Matraz, are revealed as R-u Kaiser's main influences through the album's repertoire. It is just a pity that this album is only 35 minutes long, but considering the fact that 3 of the 4 tracks are between 8 and 11 minutes long, it is clear tha tthe band feels confident about developing and arranging long songs in a very progressive fashion. Well, let's go and take a look at the tracks themselves. The first 9 minutes are occupied by 'Dioscuros', which promptly reveales the dominant explosive facet of the band: the keyboard sounds travel fluidly from Emerson to Wakeman to Ozric Tentacles, while the scheme elaborated by the rhythm section and the guitarist (well, he plays bass, too) seems to relate the track's spirit to the standard of melodic prog-metal. 'Letargia' passes to a totally different mood, in a more contemplative tone built on cosmic keyboard layers and adornments, washed by elegant piano phrases that stand somewhere between chamber music and new-age. When the general instrumentation is settling down, the listener finds himself captivated by a well-orchestrated scenario where the melancholic and the dreamy marry in a sonic unity. A special mention has to go to the beautiful. brief passage in which the harmonium sound and the acoustic guitar alternate in a moment of serenity; another special mention goes to the closing passage, very much in the Phedra-era TD with those floating mellotron and VCS3 sounds (I suppose they're emulated on digital synths). 'Semjases' gets started with a connection to the previous track's spacey structure, but it won't take long before it takes the road of pure, pompous symphonic rock with hints to prog-metal: this track very much sounds like a communion of classic Yes and Images and Words-era Dream Theater, indeed. This track is complex enough to satisfy the average prog melomaniac, and catchy enough to please the melodic prog lover, although I must admit that I feel that the band should have developed some of the motifs a bit further, in order to exploit this track's musicality more throughly. Anyway, it's an amazing prog number, but not as amazing as the namesake closer. 'Ocelos' fills the album's final 11 minutes, as if it were recapitulating the mos trecurrent ambiences of the three previous tracks, only with a more solid cohesion in the arrangements: once again, the Entrance and Matraz family likeness comes to mind when listening to this song, but R-U Kaiser patently rely on their taste for cosmic-instilled symphonic prog to make a statement about their own sound. There is an organ solo tha tsounds very Emersonian, albeit with the filters of Jaime Rosas and Gerard. Well, Ocelos is a very good album that should grace the collection of any serious South American prog researcher. R-U Kaiser was to me one of the most pleasant prog surprises during the last moths of 2007.

Report this review (#159488)
Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars 'The voice of a Gothic angel'.

In the last two decades we could enjoy a a cascade of new and intersting bands that emerged from The New Latin- American Progressive Rock Movement: Angulart, Astralis, Supay, Seti, Amagrama, William Gray, Bauer, Flor De Loto, Entrance, Jaime Rosas Cuarteto, Vlad V and Toccata, to name a few.

Another interesting band from that prolific movement is five piece Chilean formation R-U Kaiser, they are on the brink of releasing a second album so I would like to go back to their first effort entitled Ocelos. The band is rooted in 2002 but it took five years before R-U Kaiser released their debut album entitled Ocelos, on the Chilean progrock label Watcher Records. R-U Kaiser their first effort is a concept album about the experiences of the different and emotional phases in the band, it contains four movements.

The first movement is Dioscuros (The Genesis - 09.12) : This is a very alternating piece with spectacular work on keyboards (from a soaring choir-Mellotron sound to a flashy synthesizer solo and powrful organ runs), wonderful and distinctive native female vocals and fiery guitar runs, it sounds very dynamic and exciting!

The second movement is Letargia (The Flight - 06.41) : A very atmospheric climate with the sound of the sea and birds, very mellow with those distinctive, high pitched female vocals and tender piano. Then gradually more hypnotizing with a slow rhtyhm delivering twanging guitar and a choir-Mellotron sound, a majestic piece of music that contrasts perfectly with the previous song.

The third movement is Semjases (The Encounter - 08.47) : This is also a very alternating track, from dreamy with wonderful female vocals to mid-tempo featuring propulsive guitar and drums, and flashy synthesizer flights. Finally a compelling final part with the focus on sensitive and fiery guitar work.

The fourth movement is Ocelos (The Future - 10.58) : R-U Kaiser their 'magnum opus' featuring lots of flowing shifting moods, sensational work on keyboards and guitar . In the end a splendid bombastic final part with awesome interplay between sparkling piano, propulsive and fiery guitarplay, beautiful female vocals, an adventurous rhtyhm-section and spectacular synthesizer runs, what an awesome symphonic rock sound!

To me this sounds as a strong debut CD, with variety, adventure, emotion and skills. You can hear that this band plays together for many years. If you are up to the very special native female vocals (to me she sounds like 'a Gothic angel'), this will be an exciting album to discover.

In August 2018 R-U Kaiser will release their new album entitled Desde La Oscuridad, 11 years after this very promising debut CD, I am looking forward to a first listening session!

Report this review (#1952100)
Posted Wednesday, July 25, 2018 | Review Permalink

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