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4 stars This is a excellent album for those who enjoy the old Marillion ,and now with this one you could add Eloy because of the keys that are more spacy than the previous cd.The voice is close to Peter Gabriel with some parts hard to understand mostly in the first song.Alex Chaneton guitar is very close to Steve rothery`s.Good stuff!
Report this review (#31797)
Posted Friday, January 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the second studio album of this good Argentinian band (they also released a cover live album of Genesis songs called ..."Cinema Show" which is also worth a listening if you are missing them so much as I am, I mean Genesis).

The opening number "The First Lights Of The Century" is a bit hard, but well in line with most of these neo-prog bands emulating the great Genesis. Chaneton will also mix calm sections with more powerful ones. But I guess that you are already familiar with this treatment. The genuine Genesis was also combining these moods quite often.

One of the best songs of this album is "Faces Melting In Your Hands". Fantastic rhythm, great guitar riffs and PG releated vocals. Not a bad combination, right ? We'll be fully in-line with Chaneton's best with ... "Infinite Line" : great guitar from Alex Chaneton and sensational keys. These parts are really magic. Of course, some will argue that it does not sound too original and they would probably be right. Still, I like those two tracks a bunch.

For the Banks fans, I can only recommend "Across The Sea" and "Apocalypse Seller". An orgy of synthesizers. Same flavour as the one you might knwo already (Banks of course). Lots of off-beat rhtyms, mostly intrumental. It is amazing that their leader is a guitar player and that most of the compositions are more keyboards-oriented. Doesn' t matter, actually. This song is another higlight of this album.

What is nice with "Chaneton" is that their songs are good compositions, they perform them with their heart and sould and therefore dissociates from other similar bands. Accidentally, I finalized my review for this album just after a "Cititzen Cain" one. And although the music of both bands is remininscent of Genesis, I prefer Chaneton's release. Just listen to the wonderful (but extremely short) guitar solo at the end of "Black Mountain" to be conquered.

Or maybe to the beautiful melody of "Six Flowers In The Room". It could be that the Latin touch adds such a marvelous tone. These Argentinian guys definitely have something different. They are more passionate, lyrical. Are these feelings shared or is it the fact that I am married to a Mexican girl (well lady by now since we did this some twenty-two years ago...).

I guess that you will agree with me when you'll listen to "The Man In Grey". A brilliant song again. Vocals are really good. You could hardly have expected such pleasant ones. Fully Gabrielesque but with such a power, passion (again). Bravo Patricio.

The epic track of this very good album "Lost Prophecy" is the highlight of this album (but there won't be any weak, nor boring songs). A wonderful kaleidoscope of Chaneton's music. The guitar which is too much in the background for most of the album will have its good times here. It is a very powerful song. Fully bombastic and grandiose.

This is an album I like very much. Of course, you need to accept that a band plays Genesis music. If you are a truely purist, just don't bother. If you would fancy some great return in the past, do bother. This is probably one of the best choice you could do. But when I see so few reviews for this album, I am a bit sceptic.

A solid four stars.

Report this review (#138625)
Posted Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Pheew !! That took me quite some time to get ready for this review. This release by Argentine outfit Chaneton was a pretty tough nut to crack you might say. Interesting band this that doesn't do any effort to hide from their influences Genesis and Marillion. In fact all kinds of familiar songtitles came up when I put these songs on my laptop for uploading on my mp3: Dance on a Vulcano, Firth of Fifth, Sugar Mice and Lavender to name a few. At first I thought I had the wrong disc in my box but when I played them they were totally new for me so it had to be ok. Apparently the shown titles are some sort of nicknames. Anyway, they are complex songs for sure because I only started to recognize them after some 10 times listening.

The music is quite noisy but like is also the case with neoband GERARD, noisy in a nice way with lots of great melody, fine keyboards and original songs with great build up. Biggest difference with Gerard is that Chaneton has a very active vocalist. In a review of this album on another website I read a comment about this voice, that it sounded like a sort of mockery of himself. Well, I wouldn't want to go that far, I think this is a fairly normal voice, ok maybe a bit peculiar but not too weird at all. I didn't have a hard time getting used to it and somehow it fits this music I feel.

Another striking thing to me is the high standard throughout the entire album. Only strong songs on this one, a downside could be that the album is very long (personally I don't have a problem with this at all, an album can't be long enough for me but sometimes I get the feeling I'm just about the only one who feels this way). Anyway, not much to complain otherwise or it would have to be that at first the songs sound a little bit sloppy but most of that has to do with the overwhelming lot that's coming over you for about 75 minutes. Initially it's a bit too much really, like I said, the music is complex and it will have to grow on you I'm convinced. But I would advice: don't give up too soon, let it grow and you own a jewel with this one. 4 stars. Recommended for fans of Marillion and Genesis who like the longer and more complex structures.

Report this review (#254239)
Posted Friday, December 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Actualy 3.5 stars

Argentinian band Chaneton taking their name from guitarist Alex Chaneton really made a good record with this second offer from 2004 named The first lights of the century. Wit clear influences coming from britisch school like Genesis or Marillion, special in vocal department, Patricio Villanueva is somthing between Gabriel in places and Fish. I think from all 3 albums released by the band this is their best so far, at least for me. Very symphonic kind of neo prog, specialy dominated by excellent orchestrated keybords, very good parts, the first 5 piece are excellent, the rest 5 are only ok, maybe the ending longest piece is little better and belong to the first half of the album in greatness. Long piece, well composed, rich in arrangements, I could swear that this band is not from Argentina, because of manner of composing and because of the vocalist, no trace of funy accent in vocal department, really good. The album is almost 75 min, but this is not a problem, thealbum is pretty well constructed with great moments, I like a lot the keyboards passages. I don't know if they are more popular outside Argentina, but for sure is one of the best I've heared from this country in neo prog field. 3.5 stars actualy, not quite 4, because the second half of the album is little to mid tempo and paced face the first half . Quite good towards great record that needs to be praised more.

Report this review (#622868)
Posted Monday, January 30, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 2001 another tribute album to Genesis was recorded by Chaneton, but the group's second studio album was actually a work in slow progress.Patricio Villanueva and Alex Chaneton spent days and days in Charly Kleppe's house and ideas constantly were showing up.During the summer of 2002 Chaneton entered their own In The Cage Studio, beginning the rehearsals related to their sophomore album, which would not finish until October 2003.The following year ''The first lights of the century'' sees the light, privately released by the group.

The closest comparisons for Chaneton's second album are maybe Italians YLECLIPSE or Mexicans CAST, who also played a very rich and grandiose Neo/Symphonic Rock, still Chaneton have this pronounced GENESIS taste in their arrangements, partly due to Villanueva's GABRIEL-esque voice and partly due to the song structures with the changing climates between softer and more dynamic passages.The recordings did last a bit too long, but ''The first lights of the century'' presents definitely an improved sound over Chaneton's debut.No fillers, no weak moments, no boring tunes.This is excellent, modern Symphonic Rock with limited character but strong, lush and polished arrangements with smooth piano preludes, bombastic keyboards and mindblowing guitar moves, while Villanueva certainly belongs among the decent PETER GABRIEL imitators, having a non-accented and expressive voice.The musicianship is very solid with atmospheric, orchestral synthesizers, floating keyboard textures and light electric tunes, while the long pieces contain very good variations between a laid-back lyricism and a pompous symphonicism with nice instrumental ideas.The lovely vocal lines, the great guitar solos and the mass of delicate melodies belong among the album's highlights, a very good work of contemporary Symphonic Rock.Still a stronger essence of personality would be more than welcome.

The album is very long, over 70 minutes, but its vast majority ranges from decent to superb quality.Are you a fan of GENESIS/MARILLION-like Progressive Rock?Then ''The first lights of the century'' is a no-brainer for your collection.Well-arranged and elaborate Progressive Rock with both a vintage and modern aura.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1060837)
Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013 | Review Permalink

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