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Ultranova - Orion CD (album) cover



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kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars Ultranova is a Brazilian Progressive Rock Band, formed by Thiago Albuquerque (piano/synth), Daniel Leite (electric guitar), Pr'amo Brand'o (bass) and Henrique Penna (drums). The idea was to create a band with a unique sonority, as their own identity, without departing from the style to which they were identified in artists like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Yes and Pink Floyd. They began to stand out in 2012, and from then on, the band started to perform at festivals and events sharing stages with renowned Brazilian artists such as Hermeto Pascoal, Egberto Gismonti and Violeta de Outono. Rock Symphony (Rio de Janeiro/Brazil) released their debut album, 'Orion', Brazil and it was then picked up by Musea for European release while Progshine Records have made it available digitally.

This is instrumental progressive rock, with a great deal of interplay between Thiago and Daniel. Starting with a number that is almost ten minutes in length is brave for anyone, especially if they are an instrumental act, but I found that I was soon intrigued in what was going on, as the interaction between guitar and keyboards is interesting. There are times when they do let everything slow down somewhat, and if ever there was a risk of the listener's attention wandering then it is during these periods, but when they keep things at a slightly higher tempo they are exciting and vibrant. There is just one number where it all falls apart, and that is 'Salinas' where for some reason the guys move in to slow Seventies-style fusion of the type that can only ever be background noise. But, thankfully it is just the one song and the title track, which is more than thirteen minutes in length., more than makes up for it.

I will be interested to see what happens with the band from here on in, as being picked up for distribution by Musea should see them gaining a lot of publicity. I would certainly like to hear more

Report this review (#1815068)
Posted Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Brazilian band ULTRANOVA cites 2012 as the year the band officially was formed, and following some years of development the band signed to Brazilian label Rock Symphony, who released their debut album in 2017. As is frequently the case for this label, they released it as a joint release with French label Musea Records, as each label distribute and sell their releases to different marketplaces.

In my book Ultranova is so far an emerging band, one that probably will have more of a niche appeal as far as this debut album is concerned, but still with a couple of nice gems to discover. My presumption is that those with a general fascination for instrumental progressive rock and a particular fascination for the likes of both Camel and King Crimson will be the ones most easily fascinated by this production, so if you feel you belong in this category this is one more album to add to your list of music that merits a check at some point.

Report this review (#1889461)
Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | Review Permalink

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