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Espiritu - Crisalida CD (album) cover

CRISALIDA

Espiritu

Symphonic Prog


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Steve Hegede
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars ESPIRITU's "Crisalida" is an above-average album influenced by YES, early GENESIS, and some of the early Italian prog bands. The band focuses on creating mellow interaction between the analog keyboards, electric and acoustic guitar, and vocals. Although nothing gets as complex as other symphonic prog bands like CRUCIS, CATHEDRAL, or SHYLOCK, the music here is far from simple. Themes are introduced, developed, and then appear from time to time as the album unfolds. A concept album, I'm almost sure? Unfortunately, I can't tell from listening to the lyrics. Recently, someone told me that "Crisalida" was released around 1973 (the CD label has no info). This fact blew me away, because I would have placed the album as a 1979/1980 release. The music here was several years ahead of its time.

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Send comments to Steve Hegede (BETA) | Report this review (#29043)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Without a question "Crisalida" is one of my personal favourite progressive rock albums from the 70's South American scene. "Espiritu" blends the melodic romanticism of 70's Italian prog scene with a strong Southern cultural influence. This album is filled with plenty of warm melodic synth runs and electric and acoustic guitar pharasing. Mood and tempo change very frequently with sudden shifts to heavy electric guitar and back into softer symphoinia. Vocals are also plentiful with some great expressionism and vocal harmonization throughout. Lovers of 70's prog will love this album to death. Recommended album!

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#29044)
Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I'm not sure, but I think it's the first really progressive album made in Argentina. And a very good debut! ESPIRITU created a complex but non-intrincated music, meanly influenced by 70's great bands -like GENESIS and YES- and Italian prog music. Precisely, for those who are into Italian prog, ESPIRITU sounds like a cross between the melodic side of PFM and the heavy prog of SEMIRAMIS. In "Crisálida", listeners will find lots of fine synths and excellent electric guitar work (Oscar Favrot, the band leader, is one of the best Argentinian guitar players). I specially like tracks 1, 2 and 8, but all cuts are very pleasant and well done. Few months ago, the band (with a new line-up) introduced their last album, sadly more pop-rock orientated. But speaking about the 70's works, I recommend "Crisálida" like the best ESPIRITU's stuff. Maybe a half step behind MIA or CRUCIS (the best Argentinian bands of that era, IMHO), but well worth a listen.

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Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#29046)
Posted Tuesday, April 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Prognut
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I owe this discovery to Marcelo!!!!! Thanks...fantastic stuff!!, with a great interplay between guitar and synth. I will probably call Espiritu...the PFM of Latin America, without violin (shame on you..); I agree, sound for moments a mixed between PFM and Seminaris....and what a mix that is...

Definitive can pass as any Italian gem if it were sung in Italian; but, of course is Spanish, and great lyrics, very inspired and uplifting for the soul. I can not comment about further releases, just this one Crisalida, stands firm as one of the classics of progressive rock, a hidden gem....no more!!! If you like vintage Italian progressive music of the 70's, you will love this one. Now, it is up to you....you have been shown the light!!! Recommended.

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Send comments to Prognut (BETA) | Report this review (#29047)
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Great prog rock album from Argentina. "Crisalida" was the debut LP from ESPIRITU, originally released in 1975 (they had a couple singles released as far back as 1973). Cover artwork is by Juan O. Gatti, same guy responsible for the "Crucis" album covers. This album is a wonderful, South American take on the Italian prog sound, especially of groups like PFM, CELESTE, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, SEMIRAMIS, etc. with some nice vocal harmonies that sometimes draw comparisons to Yes. You won't find much in the way of Latin/Spanish/South American or tango influences here, but rather of the Italian scene. It's only the vocals (which are in Spanish) that reveal that they aren't Italian.

The band consisted of Carlos Goler on drums, Claudio Martinez on bass, Osvaldo Favrot on guitar and backing vocals, Fernando Berge on vocals, and Gustavo Fedel on keyboards. The music tends to the more melodic spectrum of prog, with lots of great guitar from Favrot and wonderful analog keyboards from Fedel (like Hammond organ, Mini Moog, Solina string synth, piano).

The music alternates between the most acoustic-end of prog, like PFM and CELESTE, and the more heavy, aggressive end like SEMIRAMIS, when Favrot uses electric. "La Casa de la Mente" starts off rather electronic, with heavy doses of string synths and Moog, before the music kicks in with that PFM-like vibe. "Polijas Virtudes del Olvido" is a short piece with more of that Italian feel. I love how Gustavo Fedel closed the song with the Mini Moog before seguing in to "Sueños Blancos, Ideas Negras". Here is some really amazing, laid-back atmospheric guitar work I never could have imagined coming from a Latin country! Then the music gets heavy in the BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, SEMIRAMIS, or IL BALLETTO manner, even the vocals tend more to the hard rock spectrum here, not unlike IL BALLETTO. "Sabios de Vida" is a piece alternating between more mellow passages dominated by string synths and rocking passages. "Eterna Evidencia" is an instrumental piece with Moog soloing. "Tiempo de Ideas" continues in that Italian-style of prog complete with more great use of vocals. "Hay un Mundo Cerrado Dentro Tuyo" at times brings to mind YES' "And You and I", especially the bass work. The final cut, "Hay un Mundo Luminoso" is basically two different songs. The first dominated by Hammond organ, with almost a jazzy feel, while the second half is basically a theme repeated, first with piano, then synthesizer.

ESPIRITU proves that prog acts out of Argentina can be up there with many of their European counterparts in terms of quality of music and production. If you didn't know that they were from Argentina, you might think they were from Europe, like Spain (or not paying attention to the vocals, Italy). This album is truly one of the best things I've ever heard from Latin America, proving to everyone there's much more to Argentina than tango. Highly recommended stuff!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#29048)
Posted Friday, July 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Talking about this album- dated 1975- I'd like to hear a new remastered version concerning this "small jewel" coming from the Argentinian Prog scene of the early seventies,cause the present recording should deserve an inferior score!!Anyway how can I forget such a strange blend of simple melodic progressive rock with a diverse style of music?!! That is a strong approach, close to a few bands of the Italian scene in the seventies (listen for example to Osanna or Il Balletto di Bronzo).Nevetheless I like to review the whole album under the critical view of a musician, and this fact is bringing about a certain disappointment in my mind,till the end!! Don't get me wrong, the arrangement (sometimes closer to that one by Pablo El Enterrador, another interesting Argentinian band) is remarkable, but lacking of a true maturity...for example in Europe, in the last 30 years, we have listened to a lot of refined experimental albums with the same spirit as in the light albums by Espiritu,being not too much complex, which however enable us to regard the underground progressive scene less derivative, in comparison to"Crisalida". I refer to some albums in the vein of Gong for instance,being more jazz or fusion oriented, and this should have represented a true diversity also in the music of Espiritu in my opinion, instead...well after all the interplay bewteen the guitar and the keyboards is very interesting, even though in the mellow parts of the album the melodic lines of the vocalist get on my nerves a little bit.Never mind, cause a few harmonic solutions, closer to the "fusion genre",even though in a more dark vein, make me believe that unfortunately they have not been convinced about their potentiality only: for sure they could have done a better progression in their composition, but the quality level of the work is good, sometimes excellent!!

Recommended, so add another half star at least (by forgetting the bad production!!)

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#29049)
Posted Sunday, October 03, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Espiritu is one step behind in inspiration of groups such as Crucis. Although still worth the acquisition, I tend to think that my fellow reviewers are a bit too enthusiasted by this album (the next one Libre Y Natural is generally better rated although I have yet to hear it) to the point of giving it what I think is a too high a rating. Crisalida is certainly a good progressive record following the Italian pattern of prog with some of the Italian clichés - remember that although hispanophone , Argentina is primarily of Italian heritage ( more than 50% of the population) . Neither is it groundbreaking even though a very early album for the country's music industry (Los Jaivas from Chile was at their third or fourth album by then) , this record also holds no real south american flavour. Therefore to me , although good (what my fellow reviewers say about this album is true) , I must say that it is non- essential as there are much more important stuff to discover (even in this continent"s prog ) before reaching for this one.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#29050)
Posted Friday, October 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
axel_d_craver
4 stars ESPIRITU was one of the greatest prog rock bands in Argentina (my country) and Latin America ever. Just like Aquelarre, Invisible, Alas and Crucis (specially this last one), the group combines perfectly the symphonic rock of english bands like Yes or Genesis and the finest performance of some italian bands. Another important aspect (besides the spirit of the performance) is the quality of the production, just perfect, not like other latin american bands of that time.

"Crisalida" was the first album released by the band, but it sounds very mature and oragnized, very fresh. The opening track, "La Casa De La Mente" is one of the most shocking moments on the album. It opens with a very inspired Moog introduction, courtesy of the awsome keyboardist Gustavo Fedel, and then the band explotes with a wonderfull Osvaldo Favrot's electric guitar solo. In addition of this, the rhythmic section does a very good job with drummer Carlos Goler and bass player Claudio Martinez. The energy dissapears suddenly, and Favrot changes to very beuatyfull acoustic guitar chords. Then, Fernando Berge starts to sing the melodies. The lyrics are very introspective, full of reflexions about the life and God. I want to clarify these details because the album is full of them, and it's great!

"Prolijas Virtudes del Olvido" starts with a psychedelic introduction, but then the acoustic guitar appears and stay to the end of the track. The vocal harmonies sounds a little less inspired here, but the energy comes back in the next song: "Sueños Blancos, Ideas Negras", one of the most heavy passages on the album. It opens with a very intimist organ solo and a very strong vocal melody, but in the chorus the music changes abruptly with a fantastic rhythmic base. I love this song. The first half of the album ends with "Sabios de Vida", a nice song but not the best.

The second half of Crisalida starts with "Eterna Evidencia", the only instrumental track. The stars of this song are Gustavo Fedel's keyboard and the guitar solos of Osvaldo Favrot. "Tiempo De Ideas" is another very good song, specially on the fantastic chorus. Here, the keyboards has an important role. This last one remebers me some moments of "The Remembering" (Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans). "Hay Un Mundo Cerrado Dentro Tuyo" is maybe the most weak track of Crisalida, but it still is a very nice song. And the end becomes with "Hay Un Mundo Luminoso", the longer piece. It's fabulous, the rhythms has surprising breaks, full of pasion, a great vocalization, and it's ends with chorus repeats. This is the end of this awesome prog rock album.

There is many releases of this album. The original was the Lp in 1975 with the label Microfon. In 1989 Sony Music Argentina released it on CD, then it was a third reissue in 1997 and finally the remastered edition released in January 2004 with Lp style package.

Let me tell you, ESPIRITU was the best argentinian progressive rock band ever (with Crucis, obviously) and Crisalida shows everyone that the South American groups can be as creative and brillant as the europeans. If you are a prog rock lover, don't think twice, get Crisalida right now! It won't bring you down.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#29051)
Posted Friday, February 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Espiritu´s first album would be another of the "ground breaking" albums released in Argentina, for it was also one of the first Prog albums from a national band. As stated before Prog is not the most popular genre here, yet Espiritu managed to build a loyal cult following due to this and the next album: "Libre y Natural".

Espiritu´s music is typical symphonic prog with some hard passages here and there, but overall there are no great inovations to be found, keeping that in mind, this album shows 5 good musicans doing some quality music, which is always welcomed. Mainly inspired in the great Italian bands like Banco, PFM or even the one shot Museo Rosenbach, Espiritu follows a similar path, yet the music comes of a bit less complex, with a bigger use of the electric guitar and, sadly, not as good vocals as the before mentioned Italian bands. Fernando Berge might be a good singer, but he will never be compared with the greats, something which seems to be quite the case in Argentinian prog... what a pitty.

Crisalida is a concpet album about what seems to be a very interesting theme, the relation of the mind, body and soul in every one of us. It´s interesting because in future years another band would take this ideas and develop them even more, I´m talking about Tool with their magnum opus Lateralus. Sure, Keenan must have never heard or Espiritu... but it´s still quite interesting. Yet, the concept might be very good, but the actual lyrics are a bit too simple for their own sake, making some vocal lines almoust cheesy and patchy...

Overall, this album is good, it has it´s flaws, but if you remember that this is a debut album, from a band that comes from a country where prog wasn´t yet "installed" then you might like it even a bit more.

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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#116272)
Posted Saturday, March 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A nice and somewhat 'safe' progressive rock album. However, given that it was released on 1975 (the progressive rock movement started later in Argentina) and that it is a debut album, it is pretty acceptable and has its share of nice moments, mainly in the final two tracks. One particular positive aspect of this album is how well it flows from one track to the other as if it were all one giant song or a concept album like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The guitars and keyboards combine well together and the rhythm section does its job. If I have to point out the weak link of the band, it is the singer: his voice is a bit bland and unexceptional.

Overall, this is a nice debut with noticeable Italian symphonic rock influences in terms of songwriting. Other influences I detect are Sui Generis (Famous Argentine folk turned prog band featuring Charly Garcia) as well as some English progressive rock bands from the seventies. This Argentine debut, despite sounding a bit amateurish, is consistent in quality and finishes with two strong tracks. One bringing back memories of Yes' And You And I, and another having a very memorable line in its finale.

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Send comments to Zitro (BETA) | Report this review (#168970)
Posted Monday, April 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The release of Crisálida, the debut album by Espíritu, signed the birth certificate of Argentinean symphonic prog, which means that this album reflected the emergence of a musical tree whose seed had been partially planted in many art-rock and rock-fusion albums that had been recorded since two years earlier in this country's ever efervescent rock scene. With obvious references to Yes and Genesis, plus coincidences with Italian hard prog bands (Ossana, Biglietto), Espíritu displayed a colorful musical proposal based on a clever management of contrasts between the softer and heavier passages. The tasteful use of synth solos/layers, organ harmonics and piano flourishes by Fedel makes him a relevant element in the organization of the band's sonic nucleus. The rhythm section is confident and precise, while Favrot's guitar deliveries state a dynamic mixture of Howe and Spinetta. No doubt about the way in which lead singer Berge and backing singer Favrot's high tenor timbers create very Yessian sets of vocal melodies and harmonies, a factor that the band noticeable counted upon in order to develop a genuine symphonic rock essence to their music from a clear focus. This album is a concept work revolving around the idea of conquering peace of mind in order to achieve happiness and motivate others to do so. The optimistic vibe that underlies this concept helps most of the tracks to preserve and work on relaxing moods and positive ambiences. The fact that the 8 tracks are ordained in two links of 4 tracks each makes sense with the conceptual intention. The opener 'La Casa de la Mente' kicks off with two minutes of cosmic synth textures, and then the lead guitar arrives in order to let the whole ensemble display the main motif; the sung parts are set on predominantly acoustic guitar- based portions. This balance between the rocking instrumental sections and the bucolic sung passages will be reiterated in tracks 2 and 4: 'Prolijas Virtudes del Olvido' carries on with the mood of track 2, while 'Sabios de Vida' states a more epic vibe around it. The latter is probably due to the fact that the preceding track, 'Sueños Blncos, Ideas Negras', happens to be a real tense song, with an evident prevalence of aggressive sonorities in the enhanced guitar riffs and phrases. Therefore, track 4 has to retake the colorful spirit of the first two tracks while receiving the greyish inertia of the preceding one. The album's second half is in charge of completing the concept of optimistic spirituality, and so it kicks off with the powerful instrumental 'Eterna Evidencia' - the muscular synth solos on this one make one of the album's finest moments, no doubt about it for me. This tracks' neurotic intensity, contrary to that displayed on track 3, is a symbol of energy, not angst. 'Tiempo de Ideas' and 'Hay un Mundo Cerrado Dentro Tuyo' focus on the band's lyrical aspect, with the former centered around festive moods, and the latter making an unhidden reelaboration of Yes's 'And You and I' (with an extra touch of melancoly). The album's last 8 minutes are occupied by 'Hay Un Mundo Luminoso', an exquisite two- part song: the first section goes for a moderately rockier amalgamation of the two previous tracks' ambiences; the last section is a nice litany that works as an anthem of the peaceful man's mind. The organ and synth ornaments that fill the air kindly reinforce this mystic drive. A very coherent ending for a nice album - Espíritu deserves its big name in the history of South America's symphonic prog.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#174734)
Posted Saturday, June 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
4 stars 01. La Casa Dela Mente Beginning shy, keyboard in front a crescendo, the melody rises, gives a fright guitar riff of animal, and broken in the band. A touch when the acoustic guitar enter, almost a new song. The main voice of Fernando Berge remember (and rather) the voice of prog mutants, especially when the voices of all come together. Beautiful passages of keys and vocals give it a high-level composition that soon changes again giving rise synthesizers pros take care of everything, all with the guitar closes key to gold in the melody that is repeated with the voice.

02. Prolijas Virtudes Del Olvido In the glue is the 2nd track that follows the melody in music started earlier with overlapping vocals, and beautiful passages of synthesizer. A keyboard that you enter insistent then more synthesizers, and .... Surprise!

03. Suenos Blancos, Ideas Negras The third track enter an atmosphere of calm and renewal. Nice guitar break wha, what I call 'Sueños Blancos'. In the second part of the song 'Ideas Black' comes to the surface and breaking up. Fine conventions and riffs with weight in the right measure, a hit!

04. Sabios De Vida It begins with noises and sounds, which I thought were submarines, but soon enter the voices as if they were in a 'box'. The riff that follows is impressive, and the bottom line is totally inspired by Chris Squire (of Yes, that is for sure the most influential bassist of all time). Then the guitar takes care of everything with an incredible power, and to fund the keyboards and vocal melody is one of the most beautiful things I have heard. The vocalizations are really great.

05. Eterna Evidencia That starts now breaking out all of the keyboard Gustavo Fedel catch fire in all directions, the best prog crazy, and in the suit that was Yezda Urfa. An instrument of hell for good!

06. Tiempo De Ideas Beautiful body, professor and vocal melody remarkable. A song full of pomposity and melodies.

07. Hay Un Mundo Cerrado Dentro Tuyo Again the guitar is the ball instead of doing the things that are forgotten at least for a moment. It is amazing the similarity with Yes in the band. Keyboards are played very well on all tracks (if you read them on the site are aware of history that in 1973 the guys were continuing to buy U.S. equipment and brought a Moog synthesizer, a first for Latin America, and it looks they had not yet keyboardist laughter).

08. Hay Un Mundo Luminoso Then the range of closure following the melody of the former than just to stay in the hand. The emphasis is also on the low end with wha of Claudio Martinez, who was once a drummer (?!?) music excellent for closing the disk.

This disc was actually composed for it to be a work of two songs, 21 minutes each, but when the boys were recording the terms of the Argentine season studios did not allow this done, it was difficult because the sound engineers were accustomed only the songs of 3 minutes, wanted the two tracks were recorded for 21 minutes at a time to live, and everyone knows that to do this in compositions of this size with all the trade of tool is not very feasible. I will not tell all the stories of the site of the guys come out and give, very nice guys of the story, an example of how someone can work the most when something of true love.

www.progshine.com

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Send comments to ProgShine (BETA) | Report this review (#196880)
Posted Friday, January 02, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I have enjoyed a lot of great music from Argentina over the years and I can add ESPIRITU now to that growing list. Some incredible keyboard and guitar work and interplay on this album and the vocals bring some seventies Italian bands to mind. So it's all good.

"The House Of Mind" opens with synths galore for over 2 minutes then it kicks in with some killer guitar. It settles somewhat after 3 minutes as vocal melodies then vocals come in. Check out the acoustic guitar 4 1/2 minutes in. "Tedious Virtues Of Olivado" is uptempo early with heavy guitar before piano and vocals take over. "White Dream Black Idea" opens with synths and gentle guitar. It kicks in at 2 minutes but settles back down quickly with vocals. Contrasts continue. Full speed ahead 3 minutes in as tempo shifts continue. They're kicking but 5 1/2 minutes in.

"Sabois De Vida" opens with lots of atmosphere before the guitar crashes the party. This is pretty uplifting before 2 minutes. More excellent guitar after 4 minutes as themes are repeated. Check out the synths early on in "Eternal evidence" as drums and piano support. The guitar comes in ripping it up. "Idea Of Time" features some uplifting organ as vocals join in.The tempo picks up but it continues to change throughout.

"Yours Is A Closed World Inside" opens with drums, synths and strummed guitar. A fuller sound after a minute until it settles as vocals come in. It kicks back in when vocals stop. Nice. "There Is A Luminous World" is upbeat until it calms down with passionate vocals. It kicks back in as contrasts continue. The guitar lights it up 2 1/2 minutes in. It turns pastoral before 5 minutes before a full sound with vocals returns to end it.

I really like the way this band sounds, a very enjoyable listen.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#211560)
Posted Friday, April 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars The music of this Argentinean debut is a blend of folk, psychedelic, and symphonic music with a few hints of Yes and Genesis (I would not go so far as to compare this group to the English giants of progressive rock). At times, the vocals are very similar to certain 1960s rock acts, with smooth harmonies, while at other times, the singing is belted and sounds similar to that of Eloy. Crisalida is a very good album, but one that rarely excites me.

"La Casa de la Mente" Light synthesizers build a fine introduction. Following this, frenetic guitar bursts through with a Latin rhythm backing it up. This style of playing isn't what I like to listen to at all- so many notes in such a short period of time, and the guitar even sounds slightly out of tune in places. It gives way to a sudden acoustic guitar and piano with calm vocals. The synthesizer returns over a pleasing rhythm, and serves as the highlight of the song.

"Prolijas Virtudes del Olivido" Steady snare drum and a dual guitar lead ushers in more synthesizer over piano and acoustic guitar. I quite like the keyboard work and the delightful vocal harmonies.

"Suenos Blancos Ideas Negras" Swampy guitars, airy synthesizer, and deep bass create a slow psychedelic piece. Midway through it rocks out with heavy guitar and a solid bass groove. This piece especially reminds me of Eloy. The finale charges on with some excellent guitar work.

"Sabois de Vida" Spacey, almost underwater sounds open the track, and soon it launches into more semi-psychedelic rock. The bassist is the one to watch on this song. The piece becomes halcyon abruptly, with acoustic guitar, piano, and fair vocals.

"Eterna Evidencia" This is a wild synthesizer ride that I want to get off of as quickly as possible. The tone and choice of notes just do not fit with the background music. It is painful to hear.

"Tiempo de Ideas" After some experimental sounds, this song has vocals over organ, and then launches into a so-so acoustic rock song. The electric guitar and synthesizer tend to work well together during the conclusion.

"Hay Un Mundo Cerrado Dentro Tuyo" This is a light acoustic guitar and synthesizer piece. The slightly whiny vocals make this sound similar to a David Bowie song.

"Hay Un Mundo Luminoso" Despite it's length, the final track feels close to mainstream classic rock. An extended guitar solo, the tone of which I do not like due to its graininess, contributes to that time. It does feature a soft acoustic passage in the second half. The ending is delightful, with some nice organ, synthesizer, and vocals.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#290415)
Posted Thursday, July 15, 2010 | Review Permalink

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