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Medina Azahara - Aixa CD (album) cover

AIXA

Medina Azahara

Symphonic Prog


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NotAProghead
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions Team
3 stars The album starts promisingly with two tracks played with the orchestra. ''Puerta al Mundo'' is an overture flowing into ''Córdoba'', gorgeous hymn to band's hometown. At first listen other songs seem weaker, but all of them have good guitar riffs and solos, interesting keyboard runs, the voice of Manuel Martinez is still strong and instantly recognizable. Listening to the album several times, I've found it is a good rock album. Other highlihts are energetic rockers ''Rompe Esa Cruz'' and ''Se Acabó'', nice ballads like ''Pequeños Clavos'' and ''No Me Pidas Más'' and the final track - THE SCORPIONS cover with Spanish lyrics.

Don't expect much prog here, but the blend of powerful classic rock and some Andalusian and Arabian tunes make MEDINA AZAHARA sound so unique. And don't forget Manuel Martinez - as far as I can tell, he is the best Spanish rock singer.

CD contains video bonus clip ''Córdoba'', the package is nice (digipack), booklet contains lyrics and photos of the band.

Hardly essential, but solid album. Not a discovery, but there are lots of pleasant moments. Though if you are new to MEDINA AZAHARA better starting points are: ''...En Al- Hakim'', band's first two albums, ''Baladas'' compilation or any live CD/DVD.

Report this review (#182443)
Posted Sunday, September 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Well, well, well.

I've already had some tough moments with this band: referenced in the eclectic section of this site, I was expecting complex / intricate music with a full prog angle. Although the prog angle can be noticed in three of their albums, their music turned quickly into basic Spanish rock.

This album doesn't provide any changes; on the contrary. At best, some fine hard-rocking mood can be felt during the popish ''El Vaivén Del Aire''. Very good guitar (as usual, but I have mentioned this already several times). Unfortunately, when there is nothing else to say, I am obliged to repeat myself.

The band has often mix Eastern influences with their music and it is again the case here with ''Azahara''. But gosh! This song is quite indigestible (except the great guitar break of course). This is rather an insipid song but when you compare it to the other ones available, it might sound as a highlight. This is of course mostly due to the weakness of the other compositions (''Vivir Por La Paz'').

This is definitely not a good album. Of prog music, there are no traces (but this is already the case for quite a long time).

There is a serious casting mistake with this band IMHHO. Eclectic prog???

This is not even good Spanish rock. I won't play the game to find the worse of all here. Lots are on the podium, unfortunately. A quick glance at the video available (''Córdoba'') is sufficient actually. Since it is filmed at night, there are not even fine views of this wonderful town (just some very quick glances of the extraordinary Mezquita). I am not even mentioning the very basic lyrics overall which I am unfortunately able to understand.

Almost one hour (yes, sixty minutes) of such a treat is quite an effort to endure, believe me! Again, the band is quite humoristic while signing '' No Me Pidas Más'' (don't ask me for more). I definitely won't do so.They add another layer with ''Se Acabó'' (it's over!). I didn't choose the titles...

One star.

Report this review (#190235)
Posted Sunday, November 23, 2008 | Review Permalink

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