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4 stars Out of Brazil comes a new band called AETHER. They are playing a progressive rock that is a mix between CAMEL, Classical & New Age Music, Mike OLDFIELD, PINK FLOYD, UK and Rick WAKEMAN. The musicians are good although the drum sound sometimes reminds of a drum machine. The songs are often very beautiful, dreamy and "floating". There are a lot of different sounds: children playing, ocean-waves against the shores, birds singing etc., and together with the music it creates atmospheric soundscapes. My favorite tracks are "A New Bright Day", "Kings & Knights", "November" and "The Lake". Overall it's a very beautiful and relaxing CD that I think many would enjoy if they got the chance to hear it.
Report this review (#512)
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Excellent Brazillian classic symphonic progressive rock with rich melodies and great instrumentation throughout. "Visions" is apparently an album made up of songs dating back over 20 years from AETHER's past all newly recorded and for the first time available on CD! Although the vast majority of the album is instrumental in nature, a couple of tracks do contain the excellent vocals of Alberto Curi. Songs are well written and played with a high degree of professionalism with some real nice guitar and keyboard performances. Although "Visions" is made up of shorter numbers in the 5 minute range, it includes a mini epic 6 part suite called the "Altenburg Suite" which is the center piece of the album. This number would make a great movie soundtrack in my opinion being so full or orchestration. In fact the album is really divided in 2 with the first half being slightly more electric and the second half much more orchestral. "Visions" is very well recorded sounding simply delicious with a wide dynamic sound and is clearly destined to be a classic
Report this review (#513)
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars AETHER (Greek) - Is the real quintessence of all possible energy; the Uneversal Agent which is possible for all energy manifestations of the material, psychic and spiritual worlds. One of it properties is the Sound.

This is basically a "best of AETHER" album of songs they have recorded over the last 20 years. Therefore it has become a superb album. Most songs are merely instrumental pieces, but there are magnificent vocals of ALBERTO CURI on "A Bright New Day" and "Kings & Knights". AETHER is also known as the "Brazilan Camel". Not hard to make this comparison once you've heard their music. If you like CAMEL and PINK FLOYD there's a big chance you will like AETHER as well. I see this album as a great introduction into Brazilian Prog- and symphonic rock!

Some other great Brazilian bands in the prog-rock scene worth checking out are: INDEX, TARKUS, SOLIS and TEMPUS FUGIT.

Report this review (#90255)
Posted Tuesday, September 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This is a collection of songs this band has done over the previous twenty years. Yet there is a surprising unity in this record. The band says "Each song represents a musical vision of an image, a moment or a situation".

There is the "Altenburg Suite" consisting of songs 8-13, which is a Symphonic vision of one of Germany's old castles. There are also two trilogies. "Whales", "Trinidad Island" and "Ocean" make up one, the other is "Autumn", "November" and "Woods". This is primarily an instrumental album save for two tracks. And one of them "A Bright New Day" really sounds like the MOODY BLUES to me. One of the guys plays a synth guitar which sounds pretty cool on "Trinidad Island" and "November". There are some orchesteral movements and some sampling (like birds and children playing) on this record, as well as some amazing piano and organ on "The Lake".

What I find interesting and rewarding, is listening to this album with the title of the song in mind, and trying to imagine what you hear.

Report this review (#92170)
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nice surprise when this first reached our ears , being hotly recommended by the local prog store, who unbiasedly lives in Brazil 4 months of the year. The prog tradition there is very reminiscent of their attitude , a blend of creativity, passion and relaxation . Most Brazilians are so laid back , no wonder they have only soccer and sex on their minds. Aether features the uniquely melodious guitar stylings of Vinicius Brazil, whose Hackett/Latimer/Falsini style is even more aquatic , very upfront and cascades boldly through some very Camelesque material. The bassist is also a great player (very common to most bands from this country) and both keyboards and drums complement the arrangements well. But the "Guitarra" really steals the show, worth checking out , as this is a pretty original take on the genre. There is also an abundance of atmospherics of all types , very soundtrackish (generally a very good omen of quality)and a deliberate interest in creating astounding sounds and gorgeous melodies. The material has a hard to describe warm Halloweenish/gothic feel , as if a group of Celts and the girl from Ipanema decided to unite their talents !!! In ending, its the originality of their style and their sound that truly deserves praise. Definitely a band to watch. 4 cariocas
Report this review (#94744)
Posted Monday, October 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I owe tho this one to keep the rating growing! A mellow and romantic amalgalm of brasilian school, Mike Oldfield influence mixed with a "new agey production" but still it never failed to keep my attention and pleasure in the listening. In some ways it reminds me of a "lighter" Tempano, this venezuelian outfit i truly love. Even if it's a collection of songs from various periods, one would hardly notice as there is a sense of unity to the whole record. Hands up!
Report this review (#114921)
Posted Monday, March 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Honestly I'm kinda shocked a bit with all these positive reviews. I appreciate efforts of the band, but lets face it - this is DIY self-made product with cheap programmed instruments, lame arrangements and new-agy attitude. A little PARSONS/popppish CAMEL/FLOYD thrown into it, but nothing more. Avoid, if you like something more interesting and care for quality of the record.
Report this review (#127778)
Posted Friday, July 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The brazilian Camel has finally arrived!

Usually, when you talk about the major progressive rock acts from the 70's, some bands just seem to be, somehow, forgotten by people, just because they didn't have a flying piano during their live performances or because they didn't sold millions and millions of album or because they didn't have hundreds of copycats back in the days. Camel is one of those bands.

Although that may be true around the world, at least in this part of the Equator Camel is a fairly popular band among progheads and had surely been influential in this sunny land, as Aether can attest with their releases so far. In their debut, the band Aether shows us that they are heavily influenced my Camel's music in many aspects, from being mostly instrumental, to the type of singing (almost monophonic) and to the ethereal guitars and synthesizers. Also, in some degree, they seem to have some Floydian influence as well. However, unlike other modern bands who look to the 70's prog acts for inspiration, their music do not sound derivative.

There is, however, one big problem with this album: some songs sound way too generic. Don't get me wrong, the album is, overall, great, but some songs just sound like the generic 90's prog, like the songs Whales and November. Maybe that happened because they intended to make a broad approach, experimenting and trying the different aspects of their music instead of focusing in just some chosen few. That may be it, because this debut lack some focus, it seems to be everywhere.

The highlights go to: Millenium, Autumn, Kings & Knights, The Altenburg Suite and The Woods.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Being one of many prog bands that came to life in the 90's in Brazil, Aether was able to deliver a solid debut with great overall quality, but still a bit raw and lacking focus. That would be fixed in their next release, but that is another story. For a very good release like this one, i think 4 stars is a fitting grade.

Report this review (#190779)
Posted Friday, November 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars I have to agree with Prog-jester, it's unbelievable that this album got such good reviews. For the life of me I can't imagine how people find this very pompous record similar to Camel, Oldfield and the likes. I would say it's more like Enya or Yanni with some guitar solos here and there. Actually, about half of the songs are average too good, like "Autumn", "Whales" and "Trindade Island" with some good guitar work, but the album is marred by some really embarrassingg tracks. The worst are the "introduction" type of compositions (I couldn't call them music): "Millennium" and specially "The Arrival At The Castle" and "Voices From the Past" which are just annoying random sounds mixed together.
Report this review (#273820)
Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
2 stars Brazilian Progressive Rock was in flames through mid-90's and mid-00's. We've seen many bands releasing albums out of nowhere and then? disappearing out of nowhere too.

Aether is one of these bands. Tough they started in the 70's they just recorded their first album, Visions (1999), in late 90's. After the second album in 2002 they disappeared. Thinking about that is quite incredible that their website is still online.

The band was formed by Alberto Curi (keyboards and vocals), Vinicius Brazil (guitars), Fernando Carvalho (bass) and Brandon Ramos (drums). To tell you the truth, Aether doesn't have an impressive debut in Visions (1999).

Visions (1999) is in fact an almost instrumental album, having only one song with vocals ('A New Bright Day') and one with speech as an intro ('Kings & Knights'). Then we have a CD divided into two. The first half has 7 tracks soaked with keyboards and guitars that sometimes are completely out of place, drums and basses that edge the unbearable and corny melodies. Despite the good vocal track with lots of Camel influence, the band's sound is absurdly overproduced and it seems a 80's album, even though it was 1999.

The second half of the CD is more interesting and it's occupied pretty much by the 'Altenburg Suite'. This suite has 6 parts in more than 18 minutes. It's hard to understand why it was divided into 6 different tracks, even though there's no blank spaces between the tracks. A weird suite made pretty much of sounds (like horses, people, etc) and short themes. Good violin guest is presented in 'The Lake' (Glauco Fernandes) and good organ guest in 'Essence Of Freedom' (Eduardo Campos).

Two songs, 'The Woods' and 'The Ocean' that sound out of place after the suite finish the album. Both of them without any surprise or even light to make them shine.

Resuming, a really weak album. Tough I have to admit that the CD artwork (cover, booklet, etc) is amazing. One more case where the box is great and the contents inside not.

Key track: A New Bright Day

Report this review (#286087)
Posted Saturday, June 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars An album which sharply divides the reviewers......

This is the debut album and a self produced one from this Brazilian band. It is pretty obvious that Camel is the biggest inspiration for these Brazilians. Most of the stuff here is dreamy, almost new-age at places, with some Camel'esque guitar solos and melody lines. There are also a lot of Mike Oldfield in this album.

The sound is good and so is these Brazilians technical abilities on their instruments. Good, but neither great or exciting.

The music has it's many lows and some positive elements. Good melody lines in other words. The music and the pieces of music here, most of them are instrumentals, are spacy and airy. This album is not for those who likes time changes and nifty arrangements where things always happens in the music. Some of this album is like watching paint dry. But those who thinks Camel and Mike Oldfield is great would strongly disagree with these sentiments. I am somewhere inbetween here. Some of the music here is great. Some are pretty dire. But it is a good album nevertheless which really grows on the listener. But not enough in my view.

3 stars

Report this review (#441960)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Reading the most recent review of this album got me going. I was in the process of evaluating the discography of another band and I just had to drop that project - for now - as a result.

Now, I can be rather ruthless and anything that don't fancy my taste are likely to end up on E- Bay, sometimes in the bin, too. I take no prisoners as my shelves are full of quality stuff with little room to spare.

I listen to zillions of albums and I only keep the ones I find due value in. Admittedly, at times I find it hard to keep track of my collection. Having said that, I had the gut feeling that this album was saved - and it was too, neatly filed under A.

The first thing that impresses me about this album that these musicians dare to start off slow, confidently feeling that pointless fireworks and showing off are not needed. Full marks to them for their courage!

The works gradually evolve into something reminiscent of early CAMEL with Latimer influence ahead of Bardens' organ contributions. Indeed, this album could easily fit into the CAMEL discography of the early '70's! Any CAMEL fan would find this as if it was a long lost piece. There are also some Hackett touches here and there. The focus remains largely on the intelligent guitar work supported by the rest of the band quite well.

Emotive violins alongside orchestra and acoustic guitar followed by grand organ and a jazzy outro complements the album quite nicely. There is not a a hint to indicate any Latino rhythms and that this music was conceived in South-America. That's a relief as Yours Truly is not really keen on overrated folksy stuff.

I care little about the production being imperfect, instead I choose to enjoy the music of these talented artists. This is Brasil, not Hollywood.

Highly recommended to any CAMEL fan of the "Mirage" era. Easily a 4, perhaps slightly above. I could listen to music like this endlessly. Very pleasing, indeed.

Report this review (#941421)
Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars I had to give this a couple of listens to make up my mind. The first attempt was pretty unimpressive, I even fell asleep at some point - the music is calm, relaxing and more about the feeling and atmosphere then impressive dynamic instrumental parts. My impression improved in subsequent tries; the music started reminding me of Camel. The guitar and keyboards are pretty good and filled with emotions. The vocal is not that strong in my opinion, and thankfully left out in most tracks to focus on the contemplative thoughts. The drums are, on the other hand, very impersonal and sound programmed to me. This is sometimes the sound of the 90's. In the end, this is a pleasant music for evenings and can raise interest by its accessibility and somewhat warm feeling.
Report this review (#2047261)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 | Review Permalink

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