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Triana - Sombra Y Luz CD (album) cover



Symphonic Prog

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Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Triana's third album was the one that took the band to real commercial fame in their country. Persistent promotion, catchy melodies, and a ever-growing cult led this recording to big sales in a short time. This kind of success feels natural since the fine sound production really helps the material to shine in an attractive manner. But it is also true that Triana was starting to lose some of its distinct prog drive. Not that it had come down to nadir, since there's lots of impressive material here, full of complexity, genuine passion, and that special magic that only Flamenco can give to a prog sounding ensemble: yet, it is becoming clear that the writing tends to incorporate somewhat simpler ideas, and that the will to experiment is more restrained than in their excellent previous efforts. The main reason for this lies in the fact that de la Rosa seems less interested in using his synth parts as a counterpart to the guest lead guitarist, allowing this guy to steal the limelight and carry the aggressive side of Triana's music on his shoulders exclusively, most of the time. 'Una Historia' is a blues-tinged rock piece, filled with serene melancholy. On the other hand, 'Quiero Contarte' takes a happier mood sustained upon an easy listening motif: the long overdubbed guitar solo during its closing part really helps the track to build an effective climax. Two good songs, but nothing special actually. Things start to get better (much better) with the title track: starting with a brief jazz-rock sung section, there follows a psychedelic tour de force of multi-layered synth and eerie guitar effects, supported by Flamenco guitar arpeggios, hand clapping and a hypnotic 9/8 drum pattern, and seasoned by weird vocalizing courtesy of Palacios. This section is the only moment when de la Rosa lets his synths assume the leading role: by doing so, Triana recaptures some of the essence of their earlier albums. After this bizarre number comes the 10-minute epic 'Hasta Volver': the musical concept of this beautiful song is literally epic, but the emotional drive is more introspective, with occasional moments of exaltation. 'Tiempo sin Saber' is another beautiful song (penned by guitarist Rodriguez), introduced by a fiery Flamenco guitar solo, then developed within a symph prog frame. The closure is nothing but a reprise of 'Sombra y Luz', keeping the same structure (a sung part and a 9/8 psychedelic part) but 5 minutes shorter. Well, as I said before, this is a great record but only partially essential: all things considered, it is fair to add that it would make a nice addition in your prog collection if you're really into Flamenco-tinged prog. 3 1/2 stars.
Report this review (#27220)
Posted Sunday, September 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Although there is obviously not much of their flamenco-dominated style from the beginning left on this album, I've got to say I like it and almost prefer it to their debut. I really like the guitar work of Pepe Poca and I think this guest musician is a good addition to bring some more rocking elements as a counterbalance to the flamenco in their music. Highlights are "Quiero contarte" with its great guitar solo at the end, the rather psychedelic "Sombra y luz" and the long epic ballade "Hasta volver". In contradiction to my fellow reviewer, I would rather rate this one as an interesting one for any progfan, not exclusely lovers of flamenco prog. Probably not really an essential one, but I'd like to give this one a higher rating than EL PATIO. 4 stars for this very good album!
Report this review (#27221)
Posted Saturday, February 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars Triana is the most legendary progressive rockband in Spain. Their stunning debut-album was a seminal blend of flamenco and progrock and paved the way to flamenco-inspired progrock in Spain, culminating in bands like Azahar, Cai, Alameda, Quadalquivir, Mezquita and Medina Azahara. The story of Triana started in Seville, the beating heart of the flamenco. Jesus de la Rosa (keyboards/vocals) was a known musician in the local music scene and he even had international success with "Los Bravos" and their single Black Is Black. But he wanted to form his own band to make progressive rock, so he recruited Eduardo Rodriquez Rodway (vocals/guitar) and Juan Jose Palacios 'Tele' (drums/percussion). The trio called themselves Triana, named after the most traditional part of the town and they moved to Madrid. With some help they were allowed to record their music in a studio with highly advanced equipment. In '74 Triana first released a single titled Bulerias 5x8 (it became a failure) and then the debut album El Patio ('75). Unfortunately their flamenco-progrock did little, eventually the album sold 1000 copies. But after a big presentation in Madrid in '76, things started to improve and in '77 the second album Hijos Del Agobio came out, followed by the single Rumor. The emotional lyrics (about hope after the end of general Franco's dictatorship) were embraced by the Spanish youth when the radio started to play Rumor. Triana's music boosted the youth's identity and it gave them a way to show their emotions. And how ironically, Triana's music became less progressive while the band became more and more famous. This third album entitled Sombra Y Luz, released in 1979, turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for me because I was so delighted about Hijos Del Agobio and especially El Patio, in my opinion the absolute highlight of the Prog Andaluz movement. Listening to Sombra Y Luz I am less carried away, some songs even tend to sound a bit boring, despite the invitation of a lot of guest musicians like Pepe Roca, Enrique Camona and Antonio Perez on electric guitar and Manolo Rosa on bass (also to be seen on the 2-CD/1-DVD Se De Un Lugar, highly recommended). There is still some magic, then you can enjoy the very distinctive and compelling experience of the Prog Andaluz like in the titletrack. But in fact you can compare this album to And Then There Were Three by Genesis: their last progrock minded effort and then "goodbey to prog and hello to commercial success" and for sure Triana got commercial succes in the following years with their polished blend of rock, pop, and some prog and flamenco!
Report this review (#127792)
Posted Saturday, July 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Although very much praised by now, the first two albums of the band were a total mess in terms of sales (even in their home country). But things changed dramatically with Sombra Y Luz. This album got the necessary promotion it deserved and sold pretty well in Spain (over 250,000 albums).

There are some excellent tracks featured on this album, even if their early flamenco/symph and unique style is abandoned little by little. Of course, the emotional and so Spanish vocals are very much present during Una Historia. It is a song full of emotion and strong themes.

Shadow and Light (which means Sombra Y Luz) is yet another good album from the band, but they were investigating new sounds already: the jazzy Quiero Contarte brings a new and interesting angle in their work. for the recording of this album, the band reverted to the basic trio of their debut and Eduardo Rodriguez plays an excellent electric guitar throughout the whole of this good song.

Triana hasn't forgotten its roots of course: the excellent title track is there to remind us that the band is originating from a suburb of Seville (Triana is the name of the place). The song is also more difficult to apprehend: it is quite chaotic and experimental for most of its duration. It is one of the least accessible track of their whole discography. Fully psychedelic aznd extremely weird.

The epic of this album is also the most accomplished song form this Sombra Y Luz album. Several theme changes, wonderful and symphonic keys parts and as usual in their best tracks, this incredible mix of Andalusia music (even Middle-Eastern one) combined to some brilliant symphonic one. Hasta Volver is the first highlight from this work.

I know I'm repeating myself but the combination of flamenco with prog is pretty unique. Even if some other Spanish bands brought some of the ideas of Triana in their work, no one came close to this brilliant mix; which sounds totally different in some sort. But when it is played so fervently, one can only stand up and applaud. It is really the only reaction I can suggest while listening to the very special Tiempo Sin Saber. Another highlight.

This album is probably not as good as their first two ones. The innovative feeling is probably not the same as for their debut album. Still, this is a good album that deserves more exposures on this site.

Three stars.

Report this review (#186625)
Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008 | Review Permalink

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