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Enfant - Ellipsism CD (album) cover

ELLIPSISM

Enfant

Heavy Prog


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5 stars This year, an amazing Bolivian band, Enfant for the first time in their career has released on CDs via a record-label from Russia their sophomore, and the best to my taste, album from 2015, which until now existed only in a digital version. The band's debut album, "Filium.Ex.Machina" was out digitally in 2012, while their newest third album, "00" was digitally released in 2017. "Ellipsism" (this term came out from John Koenig's writings to describe the sadness that you'll never be able to know how the history turns out) was recorded by the ensemble of Jose Auza (vocal, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, electronics), Bernardo Paz (guitar), and Christian Aillon (guitar, vocal), as well as Luis Aranda (vocal, percussion), Diego Ponce (bass), Enrique Poppe (drums), Ignacio Ponzone, Raul Garcia, Mariano Potichkin, and Adrian Moroni, who were accompanied by Alfonso Ugarte and Veronica Perez as guest performers.

The music can be described as a crossover of modern prog-rock (though the musicians do not associate themselves with this style) varying from song oriented art-rock, chamber avant-prog, or even specific avant-sympho-prog, experimental rock with electroacoustic elements, avant-garde electronic, partially post-rock, and neoclassic. However, it all about conventionality. It seems to me that the musicians managed to create really unique piece of work, from the point of its stylistic and sound specifications. One that is hard to describe in traditional terms and definitions of musicology.

The compositions are characterized by highly unusual and intricate architectonic, which reflects the characteristic features of all above mentioned subgenres though in original authors' interpretation. The fragments, relatively peaceful, close to electroacoustic, and full of beautifully touching melodies, are replaced by highly expressive and dense passages that are on the verge of neoclassic and avant-garde, with almost orchestral arrangements for strings and winds melted in various electronic effects, yet retaining melodic edge of music. Unfortunately, the musicians didn't reveal the whole arsenal of musical instruments they used. Both electric and acoustic guitars are present in each song. The rhythmical patterns and tempos keep changing unpredictably. The beautiful and soulful, yet sometimes in rather exalted manner, singing in Spanish of the two leading male-vocalists builds up a unique emotional background of the album adding more imagery to the music.

In sum of its features, "Ellipsism" is excitingly fascinating and intriguingly multifaceted piece of work! It's one of the best albums I discovered over recent years and included into my all-favorite list. This is a true masterpiece of contemporary prog-rock (in a broad sense). Highly recommended!

Report this review (#1787549)
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars ENFANT is an experimental-prog band from La Paz, Bolivia. It was formed in 2008, initially as a collaborative project of three talented composers, song-writers, and multi-instrumentalists: Jose Carlos Auza (aka Horuset, Dante Dominguez, or Nicolas Uxusiri), Christian Aillon Valverde, and Bernardo Paz. Their debut album, "Filium.Ex.Machina" was recorded with the help from invited musicians in 2009-2010, but was not published until 2012. By the time of recording their sophomore album, "Ellipsism", which was self-released digitally in 2015, Enfant have grown up into a full-scale and actively concerting ensemble with two leading vocalists, Jose Auza and Luis Aranda.

"Ellipsism" was conceived and composed by the core trio of Jose Auza, Christian Aillon, and Bernardo Paz, but in total 12 musicians from Bolivia and Argentina contributed to creating the music. In addition to the basic rock-instrumental line-up of drums-bass-guitars-keyboards, the album features expanded percussion, string and wind sections, as well as multi-layered electronic treatment.

The music perfectly fits the categories of Modern Prog/ Experimental Prog or Eclectic Prog. In general, Enfant blend multiple influences - from acoustic folk, electrified art-rock and fusion, up to contemporary classic, cinematic, and avant-garde music - into their own, very original way. The musical context is shifting constantly, from chamber, mellow, romantic, and intimate fragments towards tight, massive, bombastic, and symphonically proto-orchestrated pieces. This is rather complex, variable, emotionally charged, colorful, intricate, and challenging music, yet listenable and charming.

I completely agree with those who consider "Ellipsism" kinda "undiscovered and undescribed masterpiece" (using John Koenig's terminology of "The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows") of Modern Prog stage. The important thing is that in 2017 the album was released on professional CDs by R.A.I.G. Records. The CD-album production differs from an old digital version and presents more expanded and prominent sound. Highly recommended item!

P.S. Classifying and describing this album as "Heavy Prog" is somewhat misleading and weird. It need to be corrected for sure, as well as the band's bio section and the album credits need to be updated. All release credits can be copied from here - raig.bandcamp.com/album/enfant-ellipsism

Report this review (#1787577)
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2017 | Review Permalink

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