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Octohpera - Bons Amigos  CD (album) cover



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4 stars This Brazilian band was formed in 1993 so it took quite long for them to release their first official album. A demo had already been released in the nineties. The music of this group is Gentle Giant influenced symph (the album title means "Three Friends"). The band has had several line-up changes in their career but the founders, guitarist Pablo Marques and keyboardist Paulo Elizardo, have both remained in the band since the beginning. The comparison to GG is only half-true because it is more like a modern version of this band. Their arrangements are not quite as complex though at times are very similar. Perhaps a more lightweight version of GG and closer to the pure symphonic sound but they still are excellent at what they do. Another thing what sets them apart are the vocals, which in the case of this Brazilian band are in Portuguese (one track has English vocals). But even in the case of the vocals there are similar vocal harmonies that were typical for the seventies band. Overall, the musicianship and vocals are of high quality. The production quality is top-notch as well!

Conclusion: Excellent!

Report this review (#47680)
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Finished my first listening of Bons Amigos (Good friends, not Three friends as some reviewers have said) and must say that this album was a wonderful surprise to me. Good symph prog full of Brazilian moods (more specifically, 70's Minas Gerais mood - the movement/album called Clube da esquina) but 100% prog. Vocals are reminiscent of Gentle Giant, but this group is not a mere clone. The only other prog groups of the 2000's that captured my atention at the first hearing was GYBE and IZZ. Recommended for all lovers of symph prog with a touch of ethnical music.
Report this review (#168457)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars 01. As Piores Coisas Does he know what we have here? Gentle Giant! That is brilliant! So much in vocalization how much in instrumental, the band is highly sharp. The vocal thing of Robson is very great, it has q of not singer, but these are the best (laughters). The letter is highly appropriate, really quite written. The belt has several variables, lost broken and vocal times of a side for other. It is Paul who takes care of the keys and one goes out very well. A legitimate one amalgamates resonantly.

02. Ômega Which splendorous line of bass of Julian Quilodran, did face mount a monstrous line, as a matter of fact, for the whole disc. Guitars are put on top mounting the melody while the keyboard there in the bottom waits the certain hour. The vocal thing again quite mounted and again singing a good letter. To 2 minutes and a half an astonishing stop and a line a lot of Gentle Giant, very good same. Without words, I still did not imagine that one day any band would be going to emulate the sound of the face, any more in Brazil.

03. Inspiração Inspiration in fact is a piece ground of guitar of Pablo Marques, who in his naive rebirth in shows the whole romantic side (do not think about the rude sense of this word) of the band. The most beautiful!

04. Monges Combatentes What I arrange! Marcio has a beautiful participation in it would stripe this way. While the band mounted an arrangement you had had to intricate and well built. Prog of first one very well built. Paul can as well as dose several insignia of keyboards. And the band built a quite great and infectious refrain. And the letter treats a quite different subject and in interesting way. To mine the only resalvo is the next one: if the band had a fixed violinist he would be a giant upgrade for the sound, it would be sensational.

05. Viagem Ao Jardim Da Aurora Sem Fim - Parte 1 - Intro In fact the only belt divided in less parts, this introduction has a good guitar and a quite resonant guitar.

06. Viagem Ao Jardim Da Aurora Sem Fim - Parte 2 - Viagem But it is here that the thing is brilliant. 1st The letter. 2nd The band 'running' in a broken, but quite organized subject. 3rd A brilliant refrain. 4th Vocal and intelligent pianos. I believe that the best of 3 parts. Little after 3 minutes a very legal ground of Julian's bass.

07. Viagem Ao Jardim Da Aurora Sem Fim - Parte 3 - Coda Then to unleash it (again) Pablo's beautiful guitar. And again the good melody of guitar.

08. The Continuous Rebirth Of Life In The Infinity Of The Horizon Melody in brutish state of boiling. The guitar does the base of unleashing the dreams and the guitar completes it like Yin and Yang. In the line spaces of two passes running the river of synthesizers and the melodic ending, of this time in English, (the only one). From far away the most 'melodic' of the disc, with variations in his calm and traveling subject.

09. Ibéria Ibéria is highly influênciada for the music folklore. Mandolin, guitar and percussion in an instrumental very great one.

10. Pan Pan, I do not know well the intention of the name, but Pan (I do not know if with m or n, I am them that it is m) is the name of one I command on the tables of sound that they do with that the sound 'walks' from a side for other. This way the belt is calm with good keyboards. Several lost guitars mounting a partially heavy sound. The end is still sadder and pretty.

11. Marco - Parte 1 - Bons Amigos This would be a great belt (more than 16 minutes), but it was divided, I still did not even understand it because, but that does not change anything. The first part has beautiful melodies, talking of day by day about the friends. And very good lines of the keys and also simple guitars. The bass? Always very good. Good ground in the final part, with all world dividing and finishing in a melody well Genesis of being.

12. Marco - Parte 2 - Febre The second part begins quite calm, but then pack in one almost it dances soon to unleash in a ground of guitar well more blues/rock. Much are the insertions of classic and 'pretty' subjects.

13. Marco - Parte 3 - Nunca Mais Irei Para Longe De Ti The third part has a beautiful vocal melody. And an instrumental one based on memories and beautiful verses. Without counting the grounds some 'jazzy'.

14. Marco - Parte 4 - Brincam Nos Sonhos, Bons Amigos On fourth and last part closes the belt with a pretty instrumental subject on basis of Pablo's guitars and in the rhythmical constant one.

15. Calarei-me Sem Ti Here the vocal ones belong to the keyboard operator Paul, vocal in falsetto the most beautiful. Very beautiful belt, with the lovely melody of keyboards and vocal in sad and soft melodies. A very pretty end.

Report this review (#195247)
Posted Saturday, December 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This debut by a Brazilian eclectic prog band seems to have very good ratings here. I'm personally not that impressed, but I admit they prove to be very potential internationally. They sing in Portuguese (except for one track with English lyrics) but their influences point directly to the most influential eclectic band ever: GENTLE GIANT. Probably even the album title ('Good Friends') nods there. The opening seconds are an unmistakable GG allusion: polyphonic a cappella vocals. Of course it pales in comparison to the opening of GG's 'In Reflection'. But the message gets through... What lacks here, IMHO, is the strong song-writing. The eclectism and complexity in playing can't hide the fact that this album sounds more or less the same most of the time. Guitars dominate the sound, and the masculine vocals, which I don't enjoy very much ( I wish them to be a bit softer). Also violin and flute are featured but they don't enrich the pallette as much as they could.

Hmmm, maybe I'm exaggerating the bad sides. The whole album is at least listenable all the way. There is also some delicacy, especially on the instrumental pieces, but they remain quite brief and low-profile. The final track is the only one composed and sung by the keyboard player and it's probably the most enjoyable. Is he taking the back seat due to his shyness or are there just more dominant persons in the group?

Report this review (#572878)
Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | Review Permalink

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