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Toccata - Circe CD (album) cover



Symphonic Prog

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4 stars I was very lucky on my last visit to my brother in Mexiko, i could'nt belive it when i saw that Arena was going to perform on a local teathre, i rushed to buy my ticket as soon as i could... Arena was outstanding but something about the local prog band (Toccata) which performed before Arena caught my attention, the sound was poor but went better as they were playing, on the third song i started to think about buying their the end of their performance I was 100% sure i wanted it... so i bought it... I was shocked by the skills of the performers specially the guitar player and the keyboard player. The guitar player reminds me of steve vai and petrucci (I am not saying he is at the same level as them... ok?) but he has a lot of good stuff of his own, on scene you can see he's a bit shy but once a few chords he did a few tricks wich impressed me ... the keyboard player also impressed me, he had to make a lot of things with his limited equipment... The singer.... sings very good but in some parts i can see the voice is overworked, i noticed that the singer on the album is other than the girl i saw live but both sing really good...

I can't understand the lyrics, but i really think that their music is awesome, on all their songs you can see a vague influence of yes, genesis, E, L & P, Pink floyd, U.K. and other bands of the 70's, you can also hear the influence of recent bands like Dream theater and IQ... Although the influences i mentioned, their sound is very original...

I wish i could understand the lyrics, im working on it...

Report this review (#51516)
Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars This is the debut CD from the Argentine five piece band Toccata. Their music often sound fluent, dynamic and bombastic featuring splendid interplay between the guitar and keyboards, a propulsive rhythm-section, powerful, a bit raw female vocals and lots of exciting soli on guitar (fiery, biting, howling) and keyboards (flashy runs on the synthesizer). The contrast between the heavy guitar riffs and the classical orchestrations ("Soy") and harpsichord runs ("Anonima existencia") evokes a lot of tension. I'm impressed by this new band, many progmetal fans will be pleased by their sound!

Report this review (#52705)
Posted Friday, October 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars They are a Mexican five piece band, not argentinian as said by Erik Neuteboom on his review.

Excellent album! its full of progressive influences like, pink floyd, yes, emerson, lake & palmer, iq, dream theatre and other bands, but they don't only try to imitate them, you can clearly notice their creativity, songs like "Consecuencias", "Soy"," Anonima Existencia", "Perdido" and "Danza Cosmica" full of dynamism, changes everywhere, mellodic and hard passages.

I love the dialogue between keyboards and guitar in "consecuecias", the clasical orchestrations in "soy", the guitar and keyboard solos on "anonima existencia" are amazing. The voice of Andrea Medina gives to toccata a blues touch, sounds really good!

Report this review (#56982)
Posted Friday, November 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Prog music of the highest calibre

Toccata is a band from Mexico and release a single album so far in 2005 entitled Circe. I'm saying with my hand on heart - this is among the best albums i ever heared in last 5 years, stunning music. The music is very complex, bombastic and dynamic on one hand and on the other hand is very smooth very melancolic. Anyway the voice of Andrea Medina is absolute mindblowing, superb tone of voice great range and tonality, not very often i listen to such powerfull voice. All the musicians are very skilfull so the musianschip is top notch. Lots of great riffs, astonishing rhythm-section. The album sounds very very well sung in spanish, that is not the case on other groups, but here is excellent. All in all every piece from here is a treasure of modern prog music. The band is symphonic prog but with metal influences on some pieces that's why even prog metal listners will be very pleased to hear this album. Forte tracks are:La carrera de las vacas flacas, Futuro amanecer (just listen to her voice here on this piece - astonishing) and the instrumental one Anonima existencia . So i'm very impressed by this band and album, in my top 20 of all time. 5 stars without hesitation, recommended among the best albums in last 10 years.

Report this review (#176829)
Posted Monday, July 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mexican band with a sound very close to argentinian fellows NEXUS...So that means bombastic,keyboard oriented sympho/neo prog with a touch of metal in the guitar sound...The band keeps a great balance between some really rocky,almost metal moments and some complex,keyboard/guitar soloing ones that bring to mind bands like later-era ARENA,CAIRO,DREAM THEATER and as for the very past E.L.P. and even U.K. come to mind...Just a slightly negative remark about Andrea Medina's vocals,really nice voice but seems sometimes to be more powerful that it should be...Balanced progressive work by TOCCATA and we are waiting for a second even more mature effort...For now 3.5 stars...
Report this review (#179635)
Posted Friday, August 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Here we have a good piece of real Progressive Rock. It was a nice surprise to me to find this material from this Mexican Band, since this is not a popular Genre in Mexico (I know it since I am Mexican). No doubt they have a great influence from classic masters of 70's but at the same time a good mix of Neo proggers. Andrea on lead vocals seems to me a little be stronger that it should be but creates a little dark atmosphere to the tracks she sings. Guitar and Keyboards create a good melodic symphonic mix while Bass and drums are not simple background but creates a good balanced rock beat. I appreciate they stick to rock roots not trying to make unnecessary latin or jazz fusions which is typical from bands around here, for obvious root reasons. Because the lack of information and presence over the Internet it seems to me that this band has been disappeared by now and it would be a sensible lost since the group looked promissory. I was tempted to assign five stars because I like this album very much but I would set aside my feelings and I will give a good and well deserved four for an excellent addition to a prog collection.
Report this review (#185349)
Posted Saturday, October 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first thing I think of when I see the word Toccata is the instrumental of the same name on ELP's "Brain Salad Surgery" album. One can't help oneself when certain band names match a certain album or song title from one of the fathers of progressive rock. Expectations are always that it will resemble that album or song in some way, no matter how much we try to be impartial. I try often, but I find myself failing more than I'd like to admit to. Nonetheless, Mexican symphonic prog band Toccata does bear some resemblance to ELP, partly for some Emersonian influences from keyboardist Zain Hernandez and some impressive organ work, and partly for some of the instrumental complexities in Toccata's music.

But this isn't an ELP clone. Far from it actually. There is a good dose of more modern symphonic/neo prog influences as well as the occasional foray into prog metal. In fact, if I were forced to name bands to compare this group with, my answer would be ELP and Nexus. The music has that melodic flavor and energy of Nexus, but mixed in with some rather complex sections that clearly remind me of ELP.

There are actually few downsides to Toccata's debut and the one that catches my attention are songs that either don't develop properly or wander off somewhere they shouldn't have. This is something to expect from a new band's debut album. However, for Toccata, this is a trivial criticism because the music is exceptionally well done and the musicians' performances are quite admirable.

An excellent album well worth four stars. The band is long overdue for another album since this was released back in 2005. Their website seems to have disappeared, but there is still a presence on Myspace. I hope someday they can deliver us another promising album.

Report this review (#933261)
Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | Review Permalink

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