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MARE TENEBRIS

Parthenon

Symphonic Prog


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Parthenon Mare Tenebris album cover
4.03 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mare Tenebris (8:21)
2. Utopia (5:09)
3. Madre Natura (5:08)
4 - 6. Puentes Destruidos (18:11)
7. Luces y Colores (4:27)
8. Conversaciones Entre Diversas Criaturas Del Infierno (7:24)

(Bonus tracks)
9. Utopia (5:34)*
10. Madre Natura (5:37)*
11. Conversaciones Entre Diversas Criaturas Del Infierno (7:14)**


Total Time: 67:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Santamaria / keyboards, percussion
- Juan Carlos Ballesta / drums
- Marta Segura / vocals
- Alan Chehab / Fretless bass
- Pere Vilardell / guitar

Guest musicians:
- Victor Estrada / theremin
- Kerstin Kokocinsky / oboe

In bonus tracks:
- Victor Fiol / bass, vocals
- Nicolas Labropoulos / guitar
- Laureano Rangel / drums
- Robert Santamaria / keyboards

Releases information

Luna Negra, Cat. # CDLN-30, 3 bonustracks: * rehearsal recordings from 1980-1981 ** live track from 1980

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
and to cesar inca for the last updates
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PARTHENON Mare Tenebris ratings distribution


4.03
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
27%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
55%
Good, but non-essential (18%)
18%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

PARTHENON Mare Tenebris reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Parthenon is a band from Venezuela that was founded in 1979 by the two schoolfriends drummer Juan Carlos Ballesta and keyboard player Robert Santamaría. After some years the keyboardplayer Victor Fiol left the band in order to join known Venezuolan progrock band Tempano and soon Parthenon disbanded. Robert moved to Spain had success with progrock band Amarok. Early the Nineties the two schoolfriends Robert and Juan Carlos re-founded Parthenon. Along with a female singer, a bass player and guest musicians they made new versions of the early songs and re-recorded it as this new CD, added with two sessions songs from 1980-1981 and a live track from 1981.

The eight compositions sound impressive as the band does, especially the keyboard work is excellent evoking the great Hammond and Moog days of Keith Emerson (and at some moments UK) in the early Seventies along swinging piano and some majestic violin-Mellotron. We also can enjoy flowing and sensitive work on the electric guitar, often in great interplay with the keyboards. The music has obvious hints from ELP but the female Spanish vocals and parts with the Theremin (outstanding duel with synthesizers in Conversaciones) and hobo give Parthenon their progrock an extra dimension and special flavor. And the compositions deliver captivating musical breaks and musicial surprises. The two studio songs from 1980-1981 sound a bit dated and the live track is on the level of a bootleg but contains pleasant psychedelic inspired music (including a compelling organ solo).

To me this CD sounds as a great progrock album from the often overlooked Latin-American progrock scene!

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Mare Tenebris" is the manifesto of a brilliant rebirth in the world of prog - that of Venezuelan band Parthenon, which in the early 80s had the vision and talent to bring a progressive musical vision inspired by ELP, UK and classic Yes, instilled with their own sense of melody and energy. Yet, that vision never got to record... until 2005, when Luna Negra released this amazing CD that saw the two Parthenon founding members Santamaria and Ballestas bringing back the band's legacy to life with the support of some of their current colleagues from Amarok. Payback time, indeed, and what a payback! This album is so full of sonic power and musical richness that it just can't be unadverted by prog fans around the world. This edition includes some old live demos with poor sound quality, yet showing the inventiveness and strngth of the original formation. Most of the music created by the band is instrumental, so you can tell that their main ambitions are to create dramatic textures and captivating atmospheres throughout the development and expansions of the main motifs. The three sung tracks, on the other hand, are particularly focused on teh rockier vein of the band: Marta Segura lets go of her special nuances she displays for the Amarok repertoire and reveals her most energetic facet with a vengeance. She doesn't let her vocal input get overshadowed by the incendiary organ and guitar solos, and that says very much about her versatility: in comparison, the vocal efforts of the band's original vocalist (who was also the original bass player) feels less solid, even if we get by the fact that those old demos bear a very poor sound quality. Anyway, comparisons aside, 'Utopiá', 'Madre Natura' and 'Luces y Colores' show how well can Parthenon provide a genuine rocking energy to their compositions in order to enhance their potential bombast. All things considered, I think that the instrumental tracks are those in which Parthenon shines at its brightest. The title track kicks off the album with a majestic vibe that will leave the prog fan speechless. This very majestic vibe reappears in the three-part suite 'Puentes Destruidos' in an hyperbolic level, due to the fact that the instrumentation gets enriched by the presence of a guest oboe in some passages and the use of occasional jazz-oriented textures. Its 18 minute duration doesn't feel long at all: there are so many melodies and ambiences to be enjoyed that time passes by unnoticed. The refurbished repertoire ends with 'Conversacioens entre Diversas Criaturas del Infierno', a partially jamming piece that follows the ELP pattern of constant expansion with sinister pomposity. The addition of Arabic motifs in some passages provides enough variation as to avoid excessiev self-indulgence. A very good closure for an excellent repertoire. Well, the real closure comes with the three bonus tracks, but if you can mentally put them in perspective, you will consider that the album in itself is comprised by the new recordings, with the bonuses serving as testimonies.

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