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Gerson Werlang - Memorias Do Tempo CD (album) cover


Gerson Werlang

Crossover Prog

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars I have to admit it. I'm a sucker for good Spanish guitar in a prog setting. And this album fills that bill.

The album begins with some fine acoustic guitar work by Gerson Werlang in the opening track. This serves as an appetizwer before the main course, Memorias Do Tempo. This track is a full symphonic prog piece, where Werlang introduces his electric guitar. And if I thought his acoustic playing was good, well his electric is even better. On this, and the other two longer tracks, Rosa Mistica and Saudades Da Serra, he has created some excellent symphonic pieces with a South American flair (Is that an accordion I hear?)

The shorter song, however, tend to pale somewhat against these. While his guitaring is good, I find the compositions to be a bit too ordinary.

But since more than half of the album is made up of the three spectacular pieces, it weighs my rating a bit more toward four stars than three.

Report this review (#754545)
Posted Thursday, May 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Guitarist and leader of Poços & Nuvens.His interests go beyond music, as he was also a doctoral candidate in literature at the Federal University of Santa Maria, while he has also published series of essays and chronicles along with a book of poems in 1997.Musicwise Werlang is a professor of Classical Guitar and Music History at the University of Passo Fundo.He released his sole personal album ''Memorias do tempo'' in 2008, at a time when everyone thought that Poços & Nuvens were propably inactive.But big part of the team is present on the album, Savio Werlang on keyboards, Iva Giraca on violin, Rodrigo Bernardon on drums.The rest of his guesting list is Samuca Quadros on keyboards, Thiago Resende on bass, Deborah Rosa and Eliane Sommer on vocals and Gerson Rios Leme on programming.Album came out on the Brazilian label Rock Symphony.

The compositions in here can be divided in two categories.The short tracks showcase Werlang's diversity as a guitarist and arranger, creating lyrical or instrumental themes with an array of influences, including Brazilian Folk, Classical Music and Jazz, mainly based on acoustic strings, keyboards and violin, a bit reminiscent of SERGIO BENCHIMOL's solo efforts.Pastoral musicianship with expressive, peaceful female and male vocals, but a deep knowledge on music composition, recorded as folky mini-suites.Longer tracks are definitely more symphonic and progressive.Werlang combines a sinister electric guitar playing with mellow, tribal inspirations and atmospheric keyboards, offering multi-themed pieces with some certain grandiosity and very good interplays, like on the 10-min. nice title-track.The 12-min. ''Rosa Mistica'' shows an unexpected side of Werlang, this is closer to early- to mid-70's KING CRIMSON with the pronounced use of violin and dark, electric textures, still the second part is clearly more symphonic with melodic guitars and sharp keyboards and a surprising harsichord interlude after the middle.''Saudades da serra'' offer another 6 minutes of South-American Symphonic/Heavy Rock with organ and guitars in evidence and ethereal singing lines.

South American, traditional echoes delivered in symphonic orchestrations and some Progressive Rock tension.Interesting and recommended album, pretty similar to the work of Werlang with POCOS E NUVENS.

Report this review (#1262038)
Posted Thursday, August 28, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Gerson Werelang is the guitarplayer of the Brasilian progrock band Pocos E Nuvens, this is his first solo album, from 2008 (in 2015 he released a second solo album entitled Sistema Solar). The sound is varied but most remarkable is the important role for the warm, frequently intense native vocals, male, female and duo. Like in the shorte songs Colheita De Inverno (wonderful violin), Vozes Outonais (in combination with piano), Ao Pouco Que Resta (beautifully blended with sitar and classical guitar), Do Ex'lio Volunt'rio (also twanging guitar and violin) and the final composition Epit'fio (soaring keyboards).

The longer tracks sound pretty progressive featuring a lush instrumentation.

Classical guitar, vibraphone and violin in the very alternating Invoca''o: from dreamy with flute-Mellotron and twanging guitar to compelling and bombastic or a fluent mid-tempo with fiery guitar and propulsive drums.

Violin and harpsichord in the also alternating Rosa M'stica: frequent sensitive electric guitar runs and a strong grand finale with guitar, organ and vocals.

And soaring keyboards, propulsive guitar riffs, bombastic organ and howling guitar in the strongly build-up Saudades Da Serra.

I had to get used to the contrast between the folky and classically oriented parts with warm and emotional native vocals and the fluent and bombastic parts with exciting work on guitar and keyboards. But in the end I was very pleased with this first solo album by Gerson Werlang.

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#2036253)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2018 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars Brazilian composer and musician Gerson Werlang is probably best known as guitarist with a Pocos & Nuvens, but he has also released a couple of solo albums, of which this was the first back in 2008 (it has just been reissued digitally through Progshine). It is an interesting album, as it brings together many different elements, with symphonic getting a look in, as well as some interesting use of classical guitar as well as accordion, and some almost funk elements. There is no doubt that Werlang is a fine guitarist, with some interesting ideas, such as bringing in a violin to combine with Seventies-cinema style keyboards and then putting some harsh electric guitar against it, but there are also times when the album just isn't as strong as it could be.

I am not a fan of his vocal style, it must be said, and I do believe that this would be quite a different album if he had brought in a real singer. Also, the female vocals are a good idea, but again the singers aren't always as strong as they might be, so there are sections where I found myself cringing. Add to that a snare drum which is just too high in the mix, and there is the feeling of an opportunity lost, as there are some really good songs in here with interesting arrangements. Given that it has been reissued at a really low price it is certainly worth hearing, but I would suggest doing that before purchasing outright.

Report this review (#2048286)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2018 | Review Permalink

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