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Amagrama - Ciclotimia CD (album) cover

CICLOTIMIA

Amagrama

Symphonic Prog


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s_olive@yahoo
5 stars EXCELLENT!! This is an amazing work that all progressive lovers have to hear... The first time I've heard it, I'd feel that the music is a real fantasy, which can move us to mystery places. All the tracks have something special, as a perfect tales book. And there's something I don't believe yet... all the AMAGRAMA musicians are twenty years old!!! I think that those boys really know the MUSIC mean. Thanks for so good music AMAGRAMA!!

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#32299)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The first album released by this very young band is a nice surprise. Influenced by the monsters of genre and -specially- by the legendary Argentinian band CRUCIS, AMAGRAMA shows creativity, some beautiful and complex compositions and amazing musicians' skills.

Both instrumental tracks, "Ciclotimia" and "Fábulas de un Títere", are the highest points: energetic and elaborated symphonic rock. Sometimes, the album turns a little bit uneven, because quality in vocal parts is far from the excellent instrumental sections (this is a common point in Argentinian progressive rock, it never had an important male singer). Anyway, "Ciclotimia" is a very good album.

As bonus track, this stuff includes a wonderful version from CRUCIS' "Recluso Artista", perhaps the finest song of that band. Precisely, if you like CRUCIS, you'll love AMAGRAMA.

Summarizing, an impressive debut. Thinking about the band's youthness, we have fresh air for South American prog rock and, improving some details -the above mentioned vocal weakness-, a real promise.

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Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#32300)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars AMAGRAMA is a young Argentine band, the four muscians know each other from their childhood. Their debut-album "Ciclotimia" sounds great: lots of dynamic compositions featuring spectacular and sumptuous interplay between keyboards and guitar, supported by an adventurous rhythm-section and many flashing synthesizer solos and lots of sensitive guitarwork. The music has strong echoes from the breathtaking approach by GERARD and DREAM THEATER but not that 'over-the top-scale-acrobatics'. AMAGRAMA includes just enough mellow songs and moments to relax, containing warm Spanish vocals and piano, acoustic guitar or soaring keyboards. A nice bonus is the cover "Recluso artista" from the legendary Argentine progrock band CRUSIS, AMAGRAMA delivers a pleasant and inspired version. An impressive debut-CD from a very promising band.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#32305)
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Edited 09/26/2005

This album by very young Argentine band AMAGRAMA is one of the best debuts by a modern prog band I've listened to recently. Incredible how these guys are transposing elements of 70's kind of Prog in the vein of YES, GENESIS, KING CRIMSON or GENTLE GIANT into modern times without sounding ever like a rip-off of any of those bands. This is just symphonic prog how every lover of this sub-genre is looking for, fully in the spirit of the old originals, but melted well with elements of modern ProgMetal in the vein of DREAM THEATER. AMAGRAMA offers everything for lovers of both Symphonic Prog, ProgMetal and Fusion, just the right stuff for me!

The instrumental title track opens with a mixture of DT-typical keyboards and intricate symphonic prog enriched with interludes of jazz fusion. The main theme is actually rather simple but by playing it in many different variations the track is becoming a really excellent and versatile one. Fantastic opener. Thereafter they continue with another two short instrumental songs, first of them Vigilia being a very relaxed and mellow one with nice piano sound whereas second one El Vacio I is very much in a progmetal vein presenting again quite DT-alike fast and intricate keyboard and guitar play. With Tu Eternidad the mood is shifting once again to a more mellow symphonic one with Spanish vocals, reminding me a bit to THE AMBER LIGHT, when Luis Gabbiani sings in this language. In its second part it's getting more into a hardish vein. An awesome intricate and versatile song with nice piano and excellent guitar. Then there is the second part of the instrumental track "El Vacio" which is quite similar to the first one, although being DT-reminiscent even better than those. It segues immediately into Todo lo que pueda ser having vocals again as well as some really intricate guitar/keyboard interplay. Although it's clocking less than three minutes, a very interesting prog song. It's revealing once again that excellent prog doesn't need necessarily extended timing. The instrumental track Fabulas de un titere is an incredibly intricate one but they manage to keep it all the times still within a very accessible frame. This one is for sure a highlight of the album, although I've to say that the whole one is almost ONE highlight. Desierto Humedo is mostly a very quiet song, more in a acoustical vein with a short breakout towards its end. La luz y el cristal is as well an excellent highly complex more heavy rocking song, a hybrid of great symphonic prog and metal. I really miss such addictive moments in DT's music. The final instrumental track Dislalia is once again, I really hate to repeat myself, an incredibly complex one in a symphonic and progmetal-ish vein. The bonus track Recluso Artista is a cover from a song by CRUCIS, one of the bands they've been influenced by according to the liner notes. I listened to the original and I can only say, they're playing it really excellently here, maybe even better than the original.

SUMMARY

Although there are some influences by DREAM THEATER present AMAGRAMA is really creating their very own style by merging perfectly only some of their elements with some 70's influences. Thus I'd like to say that this is a highly notable debut by a promising young band and actually worth 4,5 stars!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#32306)
Posted Friday, March 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Amagrama is a new Argentinean group whose music is very energetic and flashy. I see that this album has already been rated very highly and deservedly so. This band surely reminds Argentinean legends Crucis and in this debut album they also do a cover of "Recluso Artista". They succeed very well in their interpretation. This album is mostly instrumental but there are some vocals by the keyboardist and the lyrics are in their native language. The vocals are good enough for my ears to not disturb the listening enjoyment. Technically this band has all that is needed and probably even more. These guys have the skills and luckily also compositional talent. Musically this band can be defined symphonic progressive but there are bits of fusion throughout the album too. It could be that they have some influences from prog metal as well. However, the overall sound is not prog metallic because the songs are structured in a different manner, not really reminding of metal at all.

The first half of this album is especially good but it holds up the high level quite nicely till the end. There are also some mellower moments that balance the overall busy playing.

This is an interesting band to watch for in the future. An extra half star would not probably be totally unfair but I have a feeling that this band can do even much better with the future releases (hopefully there will be!).

Conclusion: Maybe not a masterpiece but a fantastic album nevertheless. Impressive!

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Send comments to geezer (BETA) | Report this review (#37906)
Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
animal11@hotm
4 stars La verdad que da ganas escuchar bandas que suenan de esta manera en argentina. Todavia no tuve el placer de verlos en vivo, pero espero hacerlo pronto. En cuanto al disco, me parece maravilloso. Hacia tiempo que no escuchaba una banda que suene tan progresiva y a la vez tan moderna. Tiene muchos pasajes que me hacen recordar a temas del Genesis que todos amamos, pero con con cositas de Dream Theater (llamese distorcion metalera) y con las clasicas composiciones intrincadas a las que nos tienen acostumbrados los progre. Particularmente, me encanta el tema EL VACIO PT 1, la primera vez que la escuche no entendi a que venia. Pero luego de repasar una y otra vez la estructura y las armonias me di cuenta que es uno de los mejores temas progres del disco, por no decir el mejor. Tal como la musica clasica, quizas es dificil de escuchar al principio, pero luego de repasarlo comienzas a adorarla de manera tal que pierdes la objetividad al respecto. El tema Ciclotimia tiene unos teclados muy genesenianos, con toques del mejor Yes. No voy a ponerme a describir tema por tema, pero recomiendo fervorosamente este disco. Es de lo mejor de Argentina en cuanto al rock progresivo. Cuidense

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#39586)
Posted Saturday, July 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a wonderful album with a a lot of beautiful songs. If you like progressive music, this album must be in your collection. There was a band similar (crusis) in the past, and I think that this band has a lot of future, so listen to this album and you will know what I am talking about. Saludos

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Send comments to javierr86 (BETA) | Report this review (#39932)
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This a very good debut album from a young band from Argentina.They have their owstyle but you could say that there is a little bit of Dream Theater and classic prog of the 70's A lot of instrumentals and only 4 songs with vocals (that's the downside of the album) but not so bad after a few spins.And my favorite piece is the bonus one #11 Recluso Artista from Crusis that Amagrama re-did.So I give a well deserve 4 stars to this cd. Listen tonight on www.yantz.com/lavilla I will play about 30 minutes of CICLOTIMA. POTS

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Send comments to pots (BETA) | Report this review (#46714)
Posted Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There is something magnificent happening in Argentina. What a great album! This album has quickly become a favourite. What beautiful melodies, excellent musicianship, clever compositions, good production. They have two guitar sounds, one crunchy and one slightly "yelling", they have excellent keyboards and they all intertwine together to create stunning music. The first song kicks in with a joyful tune and you can immediately tell who these guys love - Crucis and ELP and the likes. But this is no clone, not at all. They take their influences and mold their own sound. Moving from joyful parts to more melancholic soundscapes, they create a voyage in this track, while maintaining the basic melody all the time and playing around it and developing it all the time. There is not a single boring moment in here. I consider tracks 2 to 6 as one continuous track, since they blend in with each other. It starts off with a nice short instrumental in track 2 that flows so nicely into track 3 that begins with a sudden alarm like keyboards and then guitars and drums, abruptly stopped by a telephone ring. And then the guitar and keyboards start their dance, setting the scene for what is to come. I can't really describe this. It is simply a great piece of slightly dissonant and mostly harmonic piece of music. It ends softly going in to track 4 Tu Eternidad that starts with a piano and the soft vocals of Agustin Amaya. This track then gets more dynamic both vocally and instrumental-wise. Sanabria on guitars and Amaya on the keys do an excellent job here, elevating this song to higher levels thanks to their performance. Then it ends quite suddenly. Begins track 5 that goes back to continue track 3. And again we receive a masterful performance of keyboards and guitars, backed up very good by the bass and drums. It ends in a falling scale back to track 6- Todo lo que pueda ser that continues track 4. This interplay between the songs and the breaking and resuming of songs is what gives these 2 to 6 tracks the feel of one lengthy opus. Even when it resumes the original song, there are variations of the original tune, so you can still be interested to hear what is being played. Track 7 Fabulas de un Titere is my favourite song/track here. There is the basic repetitive keyboard part played at first with the bass giving a strong tone to it. This basic part is then played over a few times over the track with variations and developed more and more. The end of this track is simply amazing - there is a change of scale to a more melancholic sounding key, which contradicts the whole overall cheerful and full of life sound of this album. I can't get enough of this part. This track exemplifies the great trait of this band - their ability to create a rather simple tune, improvise and then dance around it, developing it more and more making it so much more good and beautiful, complex. This track alone predicts a great future for them. Desierto humedo is a welcome break from the dynamic predecessors. Calm with an acoustic guitar, and the mellow voice of Agustin Amaya and the backing voice of Juan Amaya. Then in 4:20 comes the rest of the band with guitars, drums and keys and give this song a dynamic assistance, but not fast, only to give it a powerful ending. La luz y el crystal starts off with a bell chiming and then the short bass line intro and the songs starts. This is a more heavy song, with the bass being brought more forward to amplify the effect. There are also some symph prog buts in it to keep things interesting making it a song with mixed styles in it. Dislalia is too a heavy sounding song, not metallic, but more inclined towards hard rock. And then it suddenly changes mood to something light, which you do not anticipate. This is one of the things that make this band so great. They keep changing things, they develop everything they create, they do not stagnate, they do not just fill an album with senseless music. They obviously have an enormous passion for what they do, and I can hear it very well in all of their songs. Recluso artista is a Crucis cover. Listening to it, you can get a clue as to how they influences them. This track is in the same high standard of the other tracks on this album.

I strongly recommend this album to everyone. Not only symphonic prog fans, or Crucis fans.

I have struggled hard about how many stars to give this - 4 or 5. This was really hard, since as much as I love this album, I can't say this is a pure masterpiece. Apart from that, I strongly feel this is an album that should be in every prog fan's collection. It is why I decided eventually to give it 4 stars. A very hard choice for me. Go get it!

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#76645)
Posted Saturday, April 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars As I have said many times, prog in Argentina is hard to find, and as its not that popular there are not many prog acts, so whenever you come across a band like Amagrama, you must be thankfull. Amagrama is a quartet of very capable and imaginative musicians that deliver a fresh prog with influences from bands like Yes, Dream Theater and even that other argentinian group; Nexus. The end result is very enjoyable...instrumentaly, and I make this clear because this band has a flaw, and that is their singer, which is also the keyboards! This guys need another singer, cause Agustin Amaya is an excellent keyboarder...but no more than that! Luckily the mayority of songs are instrumentals, with Ciclotimia as a big stand out. As a first album, its quite impressive, if they continue this road they will be releasing some fantastic albums in the future...and if they change the singer maybe one or two masterpieces.

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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#92001)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Symphonic prog was never my favourite genre. What I always considered the weakest point of symphonic prog was the compositions. It always seemed a bit pointless to me (that as a very general opinion. There is no doubt there are amazing compositions as well as masterpieces in symphonic prog). Strangely enough a band from Argentina with very young members manages to change my idea. Considering the year this cd was released and the age of the members what would somebody expect would be a pretentious and really bad attempt to copy what was happening in the great days of symphonic prog. Amagrama with their release "ciclotimia" will prove you're wrong. A cd that sounds extremely fresh and honest. Great compositions, musicianship and performance by the four friends from Argentina.

"Ciclotimia" is a cd that is both excellent in terms of compositions and very "natural". I can't really understand how so young people can create so mature music. Even though this band has technical abilities they don't show them all the time. They create high quality music without sounding pretentious. Complex but not tiring or boring this cd flows so well that the55 minutes of music pass like being 10. The sound is amazing and the hole atmosphere is so pleasing. It's a cd that must be heard loud!

Juan Cruz Sanabria has both a more "crunchy" and a very "sweet" sound when soloing and answers to Agustin Amaya's beautiful keyboards creating brilliant passages between keyboards and guitar. Agustin Amaya's vocals aren't anything special but surely not bad. Javier Martinez supports the melodies that are all over so well creating very nice and "smart" bass lines and finally, Juan Amaya has a great sound and manages to create the rhythmic base and make the tracks sound more interesting. He also plays percussion.

What we've got here is a very promising band. Who knows what will happen if this band evolves. They keep the symphonic prog flag flying high. Highly recommended to symphonic prog fans and to people hoping for a good future in progressive music. 4 stars - excellent addition to any prog music collection.

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Send comments to sularetal (BETA) | Report this review (#92294)
Posted Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars When I bought this recently I noticed this band is from Argentina. So I immediately associated them with their great fellow countrymen Nexus. I consider them as a great name in progland so I thought, well then Amagrama will be their little brother. I don't know how Amagrama will feel about that qualification and I certainly don't want to sound degrading so let's say it's just my twisted mind thinking like that.

When I played it and played it some more times for a right and true judgement my respect for Amagrama increased more and more. This is really excellent stuff. I'm particularly impressed by their instrumental tracks like the title track and a few at the end of the album. Really amazingly good. But it has also to do with their debatable vocals. To me it's the Achilles heel of this band. It's not even a matter of poor vocals because in the song Desierto Humedo the vocals are actually quite good but in Tu Eternidad it's hurting my ears slightly.

But overall I think we are talking about a (near) sensation here. This is one of those bands I hope to find in my ever continuing quest for new great progbands. So I'd say: keep up the good work Amagrama and play us some more. A well deserved 4 stars and even a bit better (4,25).

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Send comments to progrules (BETA) | Report this review (#156777)
Posted Thursday, December 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars A very pleasant surprise out of Argentina, Amagrama delivered a highly symphonic and keyboard-intensive debut album a few years back when most of the band was still in their teens. I don’t know enough about these guys to know if they are still together, but on this release they show a very promising cohesiveness and maturity in producing complex symphonic rock that belies their age.

Seven of the eleven tracks are instrumentals including the first three, so its more than thirteen minutes into the records before anyone gets to hear keyboardist Agustin Amaya offer up any lyrics. He is accompanied with mellow backing harmonies by drummer Juan Amaya (relative? Not sure), and both of them manage to show a restraint in their vocal emotions that is sometimes lacking on Latin singing. The few vocals that are on the album are in Spanish and are some cases are a bit difficult to follow even if you know Spanish (and mine is quite rusty, but I get the impression this is some sort of love song. Anyway, the piano is quite good here and complements the ranging guitar work that begins to manifest itself once the track gets going. Up to this point the album is very keyboard-intensive, with the guitar only becoming apparent toward the end of the third track “El Vacio I” and again on this one.

A few tracks like “Vigilia”, “El Vacio I” and “II” and “Todo lo que Pueda Ser” are mostly instrumental, quite brief, and seem to not be fully developed but rather included as the audio equivalent of shiny objects, meant perhaps to distract the listener from the fact that this album is rather sparse without these bits of filler. The tracks that are fully matured are all quite good, but this sprinkling of half-baked snippets is a bit distracting.

By the middle of the album two of the four vocal tracks are over and the emphasis returns. “Fabulas de un Titere”, like the opening title track and the two that follow it is quite heavy with keyboards and synthesizers, with the guitar playing a somewhat subservient role and the lively bass getting buried for the most part behind the wall of synthetic sound. Don’t get me wrong, this is great music, but one has to wonder if Agustin Amaya and (his brother?) the drummer could have almost done this by themselves and simply synthesized the stringed parts. And I’m not advocating that either, it’s just that the keys and drums are so very dominant that little else stands out.

“La Luz y el Cristal” is a little different as the guitarist is quite prominent here, and the bass player seems to have gotten a favorable mix that doesn’t wash him out in the glare of the keyboards. Another instrumental track, and along with the title track probably among the strongest on the album.

The ‘bonus’ track is a Crucis cover – “Recluso Artista”, a song from that band’s 1975 debut album. This version seems to be more reserved than the original, but it’s a pretty decent tribute interpretation and makes a nice collector piece for Latin prog fans.

This isn’t a great album, although I think this is a band that has real potential to be great in the progressive music arena should they choose to keep at it and make the commitment. This album lacks balance between instruments on the whole, and I think if the band decides to continue on with vocal tracks they may also want to invest in a real singer (perhaps a female one). Other than that this is a decent debut, and three stars are not out of line so that’s what I’ll give it. Recommended to people who would buy a Flower Kings or the Tangent or Crucible record because if you appreciate those then you are someone who can get into modern symphonic rock that may be seen by some purists as derivative and therefore not worthy. Good for you because yours is the attitude that will keep bombastic and symphonic prog music alive.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#157906)
Posted Sunday, January 06, 2008 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Argentinean bands featured on PA aren't many, and this one is a very good surprise (thanks Erik for the bio which raised my interest). For personal reasons I am rather inclined to discover Latin-American bands (to be even more specific, the ones located in a Spanish speaking country).

The instrumental (as many tracks from this work) opening and title number is a bombastic glory, an ode to ELP most of the times. It is a gorgeous orgy of keyboards well sustained by a furious guitar work and an excellent backing band. To tell you the truth, I was really charmed while listening to Ciclotimia. Maybe somewhat regressive, but the verve of this band is so huge that I really enjoyed it.

At times, the high technicity of the band can bring it to almost an eclectic territory (El Vacío I). They are maybe searching too many difficulties and sounds as if they were trying to be a keyboard-oriented KC.

The first song with lyrics is Tu Eternidad. Fully neo-prog oriented, it is not my fave of the whole. The voice from Agustín Amaya is soft and pleasant but the whole sound a bit too much borrowed; although the closing guitar from Juan Cruz Sanabria is just excellent.

I also have to say that these rather basic lyrics encountered during Todo Lo Que Pueda Ser are not really on par with their music. Hopefully, there are many instrumental tracks and Fabulas De Un Títere completely erases the average feeling. The guitar is more present during this number. So far, it was really almost a keyboards affair. The wild beat from the closing section is almost inviting us to get up and substantially move. An excellent number and a definite highlight of this album.

Another one is the beautiful and heavier Dislalia. Furious beat again and those mighty keys sounds. Nothing new at this point of the album (it is almost the closing number). It also offers some hectic moments, but this seems to be almost a trade mark for Amagrama.

This debut album is promising. It is a fine combination of neo-symph with a glimpse of eclectic prog. It is not a usual combination, but it works very well. The vocal department is probably a bit weak.

The cover from one of the best Nexus track (on their debut album) is another great moment from this work which offers plenty of those. Seven out of ten, but upgraded to four stars. Arriba Argentina!

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#189999)
Posted Thursday, November 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars AMAGRAMA are a relatively young band from Argentina and this is their debut called "Ciclotimia". Their sound reminds me of fellow Argentinians NEXUS and the instrumental excursions of SPOCK'S BEARD. Yes the keyboards can dominate and there is a nice variety of them.The NEXUS comparison maybe isn't so surprising since they have opened for them before. A lot of these tracks blend into one another. Love the cover art as well.

"Ciclotimia" opens with keyboards as it builds.Synths galore in this one at times. Organ after 1 1/2 minutes. A nice bass / drum section a minute later but it's brief. I like when the guitar leads the way. Strummed guitar and synths after 5 1/2 minutes as it settles back. A killer instrumental. "Vigilia" is a short instrumental that is quite mellow with piano and synths leading the way. "El Vacio I" opens with synths then these heavy drums come in as the phone rings (no idea). It kicks back in with power.This is great ! "Tu Eternidad" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in.Guitar 1 1/2 minutes in.The tempo shifts quite often here and it's quite intense at times. "El Vacio II" is uptempo with the guitar out front.This is amazing ! "Todo Io Que Pueda Ser" is led by synths early as the vocals join in. It settles right down after 2 minutes then kicks back in with vocals.

"Fabulas De Un Titere" is another impressive instrumental.The bass and drums sound great 4 1/2 minutes in then the guitar comes in soloing while the organ fires off some good runs. So good. "Desierto Humedo" is almost ballad-like with reserved vocals. Not really a fan but then it kicks in heavily after 4 minutes.Yes ! "La Luz Y El Cristal" opens with atmosphere as it sort of hums and pulsates slowly. It then kicks in before a minute followed by vocals. Check out the various keyboards on this one. I like the guitar, bass and drums around 2 1/2 minutes. Nice. "Dislalia" is the closing instrumental. Drums and bass lead early with some heaviness until around a minute when the guitar and keyboards take over. Another killer instrumental.The bonus track is a CRUSIS cover which is a nice touch.

Easily 4 stars and a must for Symphonic fans.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#393280)
Posted Thursday, February 03, 2011 | Review Permalink
crimson87
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I found this record to be a really nice hidden gem from my very own country! Amagrama's sound can be compared to their Argentinean pairs NEXUS but if you are looking for more known references you can see some resemblances in sound in ELP , TRANSATLANTIC , and ARS NOVA.

Amagrama's sound can be defined between instrumental tracks featuring mostly different layers of keyboards and tunes with a more commercial approach , though far from bad. The pros are the instrumentals by a country mile: The record starts with their strongest instrumental called "Ciclotimia" truly a keyboards fan heaven! and one of the strongest instrumentals I have ever heard in all symphonic prog!

Then the record includes three short instrumentals called El Vacio I and II and Vigilia , the first one has a much more heavy prog oriented sound remiscent of ARS NOVA. While the other two are short interludes based on keyboard sounds. "Fabulas de un titere" is a 7 minute long instrumental this time sharing participation between guitar and keyboards. "Dislaia" is a heavy prog sounding track , and the as a bonus track we have CRUCIS's "Recluso Artista" covered. Great stuff!

As regards the songs featuring vocals while is not a strong as the instrumentals are nowhere near bad. Ranging from uplifting tracks to slower ballads , they are pretty enjoyable tunes. I really liked this record but I cannot say is a masterpiece due to the fact that the tracks featuring vocals are not as strong as the instrumentals and the music the band performs is a bit monotonus , but for sure symphonic prog and neo prog fans will appreciate this record a lot

3.75 stars for me!

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Send comments to crimson87 (BETA) | Report this review (#555059)
Posted Saturday, October 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
4 stars Amagrama started in 1998 in Buenos Aires,as a cover band featuring young schoolboys Agustín Amaya (keyboards), his brother Juan (drums), Javier Martinez (electric bass), and Pablo Martín (guitar).However they would call themselves ''Komodin/Vinculo'' initially and change the name its time they were joined by a new guitarist,a spot in which the band really suffered.Eventually Alejandro Graziano would reside with the band,which by early 00's had switched into a more symphonic/progressive style of playing.Their debut ''Ciclotimia'' was published in 2004 on Record Runner.

Mostly instrumental, ''Ciclotimia'' is an impressive bombastic debut of Symphonic Rock with occasional Melodic Progressive Rock and Fusion touches.Amagrama follow the likes of modern bands like NEXUS, TOCCATA or SOLIS,this is a very grandiose-sounding and rich debut with keyboards on the forefront and heavy guitars, often stepping into the metal field.Most of the compositions include magnificent keyboard/guitar interplays and mindblowing breaks with plenty of Classical references but also a strong sense of melody.The work of Agustin Amaya is awesome, starting from the bombastic and symphonic synth flashes and often offering a variety of organ passages along with delicate piano.Graziano seems to be the other hero here: great solos, powerful riffs and a great collaboration with Amaya's sounds.Some of the tracks have also a strong-rooted Fusion vibe in a 70's feel, not unlike compatriots CRUCIS or Dutch virtuosos FINCH, where guitar and keyboard battles are constant but always in a very inspired way like the nice opening cut, the superb ''Fabulas de un titere'' or the even better closing highlight ''Recluso artista''.The shorter ones have a more melodic aspect with an artistic feeling and are led by the vocals of Agustin Amaya, which are pretty sensitive, though not outstanding.

It is very hard to imagine that such a mindblowing and professional album was created by a bunch of 18-years old teenagers.This fact makes the listening even more challenging and attractive and ''Ciclotimia'' is a must-have for anyone into both modern and Classic Progressive Rock along with fans of complex and progressive Fusion musicianship.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#602419)
Posted Tuesday, January 03, 2012 | Review Permalink

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