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Petrus Castrus

Symphonic Prog

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Petrus Castrus Mestre album cover
3.23 | 30 ratings | 5 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mestre (5:47)
2. Pátria Amada (4:02)
3. Porque (2:21)
4. País Relativo (4:49)
5. Macaco (1:52)
6. S.A.R.L. (3:24)
7. Pasargada/Saudades do Rio Antigo (3:38)
8. Velho Avarento (1:29)
9. Tiahuanaco (5:58)
10. História do Azul do Mar (2:54)
11. Só Mais Nada (0:47)

Total Time 36:57

Bonus tracks on 2007 remaster:
12. Agente Altamente Secreto (4:43)
13. Pouca Terra (3:30)

Bonus CD from 2007 remaster - "Morte Anunciada Dum Taxista Obeso" :
1. Sonhar com Leões (3:00)
2. Não cobiçarás (a mulher do próximo) (2:47)
3. Toni, o Estripador (3:22)
4. Quando o Challenger explodiu (3:20)
5. A verdade desportiva (2:17)
6. Dedo no gatilho (3:14)
7. Urgência Hospitalar (3:00)
8. Amor e Ódio (1:23)
9. Seita Violenta (3:52)
10. Perder um Filho (1:55)
11. Esperança de Vida (Idade Mérdea) (2:41)
12. Chamei por Ti (3:25)
13. Cervantes Não Existe (3:03)
14. Morte Anunciada Dum Taxista Obeso (5:21)
15. Saudades dum Chato (4:54)
16. Confesso que Errei (2:59)

Total Time 50:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Pedro Castro / vocals, 6- & 12-string guitars, bass, kazoo
- Júlio Pereira / acoustic & electric guitars, bass
- José Castro / piano, xylophone, acoustic guitar (CD2), synth (12,13,CD2), electric piano (12,13), vocals
- Rui Reis / piano, organ, harpsichord
- João Seixas / drums, percussion

- José Mário Branco / xylophone (6)
- Pedro Wallenstein / bass (12)
- Urbano Oliveira / drums & percussion (12,13)
- Luís Filipe Castro / lead guitar (9-CD2)

Releases information

Artwork: C Ao Quadrado

LP Guilda Da Música ‎- DP 025 (1973, Portugal)

2xCD Companhia Nacional De Música ‎- CNM 202CD (2007, Portugal) Remastered by José Fortes with 2 bonus tracks plus extra CD including unreleased Album recorded between 2000 and 2005

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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More places to buy PETRUS CASTRUS music online

PETRUS CASTRUS Mestre ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PETRUS CASTRUS Mestre reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog-Brazil
3 stars Band with Castro brothers and Júlio Pereira (who released the albums later: Bota fora - 1975 and Fernandinho vai ao vinho - 1976). Generally, they are considered symphonic prog. However, this album is Art Rock to me. I will say why. Mestre (Lord) is a three stars album in prog terms (Good, but non-essential), because it don't have long solos nor long symphonic pieces. It's a good album with short songs speaking about the political context in Portugal. So you have to know the historic context in that time in Portugal before listen this album, specially if you don't understand portuguese language. Because the lyrics, this album was forbidden by three months by portuguese censorship comission. In fact, the lyrics are very critical and good. And about the style of songs? They are various. The first song, Mestre, begins like: "Lord, nothing new under the sun, nothing just under the skies..." This song clearly is from people from exile. They have also some rock and jazz directed songs: S.A.R.L. (3:19), Velho Avarento (1:26), Pátria amada (4:02), Macaco (1:50). These last two songs remember that old jazz with clarinete from Louis Armstrong and Scott Joplin. País Relativo (4:40), História do azul do mar (2:49), Tiahuanaco (5:53) and Mestre (5:41) are more progressive tracks, with change of styles and some guitar solos. Porque (2:13), Pasárgada (3:28), Só mais nada (0:43) are more soft with keyboards. This last one closes the album singing: "It's maybe the last day of my life..." So if you like protest songs, but with very intelligent poetry and good music, remember Mestre by Petrus Castrus.
Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars A year ago I had to write the biography of PETRUS CASTRUS, having only listened their albums a pair of times, but a few days ago I had the chance to buy "Mestre" for a couple of bucks, being that nobody knows them in my country and the store owner was desperate to get rid of the album.

Before the guy noticed the treasure he had, I grabbed the album and for the last two days I have been almost hypnotized by the wonderful music and specially because the excellent lyrics based in the poems by Bocage, Alexandre O'Neill, Ary Dos Santos, Fernando Pessoa and Sophia de Mello Breyner Anderson, adapted to this album as a reaction of the dictatorship that Portugal was suffering for decades.

It's true that "Mestre" is not as Symphonic as PETRUS CASTRUS second album "Ascenção e Queda", but the eclectic approach and naïve sound is simply delightful, being that they almost cross all the spectrum of sub-genres existing in the early 70's, but without the touch of arrogance that we are used in most talented and versatile Prog musicians of those days, as if the band members were not conscious of their real value.

The album is opened by "Mestre" with a simple but effective piano intro followed by very nice vocals in the beautiful Portuguese album, a Psyche Hammond backup makes us return to the wonderful 60's, something that can be explained in the fact that Portugal was many years behind Europe in musical terms because the illegal Government was unfriendly with Rock. Melancholic and gentle flows from start to end as if this guys were expert musicians and not newbies releasing their debut album.

"Patria Amada" is a radical change, still rooted in the late 60's but this time incredibly eclectic, because the Keith Emerson style of José Castro blends with the music reminiscent of the late BEATLES, two incompatible styles that blend perfectly in one track. "Porque" starts with a beautiful vocals - piano duet that soon is followed by a soft drumming, the gentle music collisions with the aggressive political oriented lyrics which are only interrupted by piano explosions, this time in the vein of Rick Wakeman, very nice track.

"País Relativo" is another Psyche song with an excellent acoustic guitar work, nothing complex or extremely elaborate, but the beauty of the song relies precisely in the simplicity. At this point I can't help finding many similarities between PETRUS CASTRUS and the Peruvian band TRAFFIC SOUND, something not so strange being that both countries had a similar realty on those days.

"Macaco" is a short interlude that sends us back to te 20's with an impeccable Foxtrot performance and works as a preparation for "S.A.R.L." a magnificent song in a perfect Santana style, the Latin percussion blends perfectly with the aggressive guitar and vocals with a completely Psychedelic Hammond, not precisely original but still very good track.

"Pasargada" starts soft and gentle with a very nice piano used to enhance the vocal work, but this time the lyrics are completely aggressive against the Government, something that makes me wonder why they were banned only for three months, being that not many Dictators use to forgive those who are so clearly against the "status quo". As the song advances the piano gets more and more strong, making of this song a real gem.

"Velho Avarento" is a classic Rock & Roll song that seems taken from another album, simple but effective.

"Tiuahuanaco" is the name of the next track, something strange because it's the name of a Peruvian Pre-Inca culture, but at the same time could explain the similarities I mentioned before with a Peruvian band, being that probably they had their eyes and their ears placed in this part of South America.

"Historia do Azul do Mar" is an incredible song with the keyboards sounding as a clavichord, creating a Renaissance atmosphere with very beautiful vocals tha flows gently until the organ retakes the Psychedelic atmosphere, the transition between the first classical oriented section and the aggressive finale is perfectly done, in such way that the listener takes the radical change as something natural.

The album is closed buy the 43 second track "So Mais Nada" that works as a short acoustic guitar and vocals epilog that completes the concept of the album with a touch of nostalgia and suffering.

"Mestre" is a hard to rate album, because it's not particularly complex or transcendental in the sense we are used to, but the naïve beauty of the music and the intelligent lyrics are enough for me, so four solid stars for a very good album with a distinctive and unique sound.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Portugese psych/prog obscurity,the first prog-related record I ever heard from this country.PETRUS CASTRUS were found in August,1971 by the Castro brothers,Pedro on bass and Jose on keys/vocals.Among the band's members we meet guitarist Júlio Pereira,a respected figure of the Potruguese musical scene,who participated in more than 70 records throughout his career.PETRUS CASTRUS released a single entitled ''Marasmo'' in 1971 and an EP under the tiltle ''Tudo Isto e Mais'' the next year,before recording their first LP ''Mestre''.

At a time of dicatorship in the Iverian country,PETRUS CASTRUS dared to blend rock with political lyrics,which actually cost them after the album's pressing.This is mostly a Psych album with Folk and progressive leanings,very much in a song-based style.Unfortunately I do not know even one Potruguese word,as the album would be much more interesting if I understood the lyrics.Musically we have to deal with somekind of a mix between Classic and prog rock with Acoustic/Folk parts and heavy lyrical doses.About half of the album is more in a singer/song-writer style with decent acoustic guitars,calm piano and changing vocal lines,which sometimes sound really angry and expressive.The band tries obviously to send anti-political messages to the listener,however non-Portugese/Brazilian listeners will have a limited interest for these songs.On the other half the compositions seem more intricate with nice Hammond organ,good electric parts,heavy bass lines and a few nice breaks as well,though the band never trully enters the real progressive realm.Some moments of these songs are really captivating,but notice that they also contain lots of lyrical moments and a mostly calm atmosphere.

I would recommend this album only to those who can understand PETRUS CASTRUS' lyrics or could actually translate them.The album's true value is based on its lyrical content,while musically it has a few to offer to a demanding proghead.Except you are a devoted fan of Proto- Prog with strong Psych/Folk overtones...

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 201

"Mestre" is the debut studio album of Petrus Castrus and was released in 1973. The line up on the album is Pedro Castro, José Castro, Júlio Pereira, Rui Reis and João Seixas.

Petrus Castrus was a Portuguese symphonic progressive rock band formed in 1971 by brothers Pedro Castro and José Castro. The name of the band comes from the Latin translation of the name of Pedro Castro. The band suspended their activity in 1974. In 1976, Petrus Castrus returned with a new release, their second studio album "Ascensão E Queda".

In 1971, Petrus Castrus released their debut EP "Marasmo" and on the following year they released another EP "Tudo Isto, Tudo Mais". Both works cemented the musical approach to the British prog rock. It was with these works we can start talking about prog rock in Portugal. Of course we can't forget the Portuguese pioneers, Quarteto 1111. However, Petrus Castrus emerged in a decade of great musical innovation and experimentalism, and where many bands in Portugal tried to copy what was broadcast by radio stations and heard occasionally many records brought from abroad.

It happened the same with "Mestre" with what happened with the debut album of Quarteto 1111. It was also banned, for three months, by the Censorship Commission. Only with the fall of the political regime, in April 25, 1974, it was possible to create something new and with liberty. So, "Mestre" became also a very important album, like "Quarteto 1111" is for prog rock in Portugal. This is the main reason why we can say that the two early musical works of Quarteto 1111 and Petrus Castrus are the pioneers and represent really the first truly progressive rock musical experiences in Portugal.

With their debut EP "Marasmus", it became very clear this wasn't a vulgar band. On this first EP and on the following second, "Tudo Isto, Tudo Mais", Petrus Castrus questioned the traditional Lusitanian soft customs, in the song lyrics and in the musical arrangements too. As happened with Quarteto 1111, Petrus Catrus also used many poems of some of the best and most known Portuguese contemporary authors such as José Mário Branco, José Carlos Ary dos Santos, Alexandre O'Neill, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen or of the Brazilian poet Manuel Bandeira. But they also have used poems of some of the greatest classic Portuguese poets like Fernando Pessoa and Bocage.

"Mestre" isn't a classic symphonic prog rock album like "Ascensão E Queda", the second album of Petrus Castrus is. Rather, "Mestre" is more an eclectic album which included a part of its elevated claim also by the used texts, all in Portuguese, of different authors, all critics of the political regime at the time. Virtuous solos or extravagant instrumental braids are looked for in vain. Nevertheless, this mix of more angular rock, folk-like, organ proto-prog and psychedelic, with a shot of jazz and some sound effects, was quite progressive. Basically, the music is very melodic, sad to passionate pianoforte. José Castro sings, accompanied by his brother at the piano, the most distant instrument on this album. In addition, subtle to powerful bass, drums, acoustic and electrically amplified guitars, other keyboards and sometimes a xylophone come together. Often, the music takes on the ride and turns into more dynamic, somewhat straighter rocker. Beautiful songs stand next to hard rocking, boogie piano numbers and also cheerful dancing, often provided with distortion and other psychedelic effects. In addition there is a raw and angular production on the album.

The highlight on the album is the introductory title. "Mestre" is an elegiac gripping mixture of wonderful singing, great piano, swinging organ movements, spinet miniatures and subtle rhythm accompaniment, which digs deep into the auditory canals. This is really a great symphonic prog track. The rest of the album no longer reaches the density and the sound, neither the progressivity of this piece. It's very eclectic, there is no common thread and often the music is in more mainstream waters. Due to that, the whole thing is quite colourful and varied but I think there are many other great tracks on it like, "Pasárgada/Saudades Do Rio Antigo", "Tiahuanaco", "História Do Azul Do Mar" and "Só Mais Nada".

Conclusion: "Mestre" brought a new and unusual sound to Portugal. In addition to the attempt to build a symphonic rock, well structured and executed ideas, Petrus Castrus stood out for the originality of the lyrics. "Mestre" comes to reveal and confirm a band that achieved a musical and poetic unit worthy of registration. If the musical influences are rooted in Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Procol Harum and Pink Floyd, the lyrics plunge deeply and directly into the reality that surrounds and feeds us, like from the allegory, "História Do Azul Do Mar", the analysis of national myths , "Pátria Amada", to the direct interrogation, "Tiahanaco", to the verification of a fact, "Mestre", many of the times with the use of poems of some of the most representative poets of the Portuguese language. "Mestre" becomes to demonstrate the qualities of a band that reveals a conscious, lucid and intentional work in a meaningful and often critical instrumentation. This is why Petrus Castrus with "Mestre" is one of the best representatives of prog in Portugal.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

2 stars An interesting band from Portugal. This album was released when Portugal was run by a fascist military junta. Their lyrics was about freedom and that was a bit of a clash with this political regime. Their lyrics is therefore supposed to be excellent. So far, so good. The music comes acros ... (read more)

Report this review (#259708) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, January 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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