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Tantra Mistérios E Maravilhas album cover
3.97 | 92 ratings | 10 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. À Beira Do Fim (11:01)
2. Aventuras De Um Dragão Num Aquário (2:09)
3. Mistérios E Maravilhas (6:19)
4. Máquina Da Felicidade (13:39)
5. Variacões Sobre Uma Galáxia (1:24)
6. Partir Sempre (9:29)

Total Time: 54:01

Bonus Tracks 2007 release:
7. Novos Tempos (4:31)
8. Alquimia Da Luz (5:54)

Line-up / Musicians

- Manuel "Frodo" Cardoso / lead & acoustic guitars, Top Gear Tg55 guitar synth, vocals (1), Fx
- Armando Gama / piano, harpsichord, Farfisa Synthorchestra synth, vocals (6)
- Américo Luis / bass
- Tozé Almeida / drums, percussion, Syndrum electronic pads

Releases information

Artwork: Miguel C. Monteiro

LP EMI ‎- 8E 068 40454 (1977, Portugal)

CD EMI ‎- 7243 495281 2 3 (1998, Portugal)
CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4224.AR (1998, France)
CD Valentim De Carvalho ‎- VSL 1198-2 (2007, Portugal) W/ 2 bonus tracks
CD Belle Antique ‎- BELLE-162615 (2016, Japan)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TANTRA Mistérios E Maravilhas ratings distribution

(92 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

TANTRA Mistérios E Maravilhas reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars Well, here is the CD release of TANTRA's first album for the Musea label. TANTRA were considered to be Portugal's best progressive rock back in the 70's. And this CD sort of proves that statement. The music, although very well composed and executed, will probably not blow you away, but is well worth the money. And, I have to hand it to them, they really don't sound like any other band. The booklet mentions that they loved bands like YES, GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT, and KING CRIMSON. However, the music is free of those influences. Tantra had an excellent and unique drummer who played acoustic drums, and some of the first electronic drum pads released on the market. He isn't as mind-blowing as Furio Chirico from ARTI E MISTIERI, but rather his complex drumming is subtle. "Misterios E Maravilhas" seems to be hyped in the prog community, but don't expect a monster masterpiece. I would rate this more as a classic that has plenty to offer.

Review by loserboy
5 stars Without a question TANTRA's "Misterios e Maravilhas" is a classic and rightfully considered by this progressive rock fan as one of those albums which you must own if you are a lover of 70's Prog rock. Songs are truly wonderfully written and performed with the greatest of precision and emotion. Instrumentation is full with heavy analog keyboard/piano flavours and dreamy - chocolate layered symphonic landscapes, guitars both acoustic and electric and just dripping with expression and cloud soaring aspects. Bass and drum interplay is just too clever with some lovely supportive runs and even a spotlight on a fantastic percussion/drum interlude. Stunning and highly emotional music.
Review by Proghead
3 stars Portugal was never a country flooding with prog rock. Likely because the country was under two right wing dictatorships, that is Antonio Oliveira Salazar and Marcello Caetano. But one of that country's big pop stars, JOSÉ CID made good with prog rock in the mid to late '70s with the last efforts of his old band QUARTETO 1111, and his two solo efforts (the EP Vida and the LP "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus e Marte", from 1977 and 1978 respectively). TANTRA was also wanting to explore the world of prog rock, and they gave us "Mistérios e Maravilhas" in 1977 on the EMI label.

The album gets more hype than it really deserves. A lot of the album is that tiresome fusion-influenced noodling that bothers me, often just to show off the talents of drummer Tózé Almeida. But there are two killer cuts with mentioning, "Á Beira do Fim" and "Sempre Partir". The former features some great keyboard work and goes through several changers. The later features some great drumming, phased keyboards, and a totally mindblowing middle passage. The vocals only appear on those two cuts, and the rest in instrumental. If you like fusion-influenced prog, get this album, if you don't at least you'll like the two songs mentioned. Not essential, but still worth having.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Tantra effortlessly and effectively combine a symphonic prog foundation rooted in their love for Yes and Genesis with aggressive, energetic, and loud as hell playing of a sort more usually found in the more volcanic regions of fusion - Mahavishnu Orchestra and that sort of deal. The whole package is shot through with some individual twists unique to the group and some mild influences from other traditions of Portuguese music. The production quality is, unfortunately, a little rough - not to the extent that it obscures Manuel Cardoso's furious guitar work, which is the major draw of the album for me, but enough so that the release feels more like a competent demo than a fully accomplished debut. Three well-earned stars for the Portuguese contestants.
Review by VianaProghead
5 stars Review Nº 301

Tantra was a Portuguese progressive rock band that recorded their debut studio album in 1977. Tantra was always a band led by their guitarist Manuel Cardoso. In the mid of the 70's, Cardoso lived in England and played in several local pubs with various local musicians. When he decided to return to Portugal, he was very influenced by the progressive rock music. He said that his main musical influences, in the beginning, were Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes and The Moody Blues, and as a guitarist, Jimi Hendrix. Then, Manuel Cardoso decided to join with the keyboardist Armando Gama, more focused on the pop and classical, and both decided to do a new musical experience in Portugal, the band Tantra. Later, two other musicians were joined to them, the drummer To Zé Almeida and the bassist Américo Luis. But, in 1978 Armando Gama decided to leave the band to pursue a solo career. To substitute him, the band decided to chose Pedro Luis. Pedro Luis participated on their second and third albums, 'Holocausto' of 1978 and 'Humanoid Flesh' of 1981.

So, Tantra was formed in 1977 by Manuel Cardoso also known as 'Frodo' (vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and synthesizer), Armando Gama (vocals, piano, harpsichord and keyboards), Américo Luis (bass guitar) and Tó Zé Almeida (drums, percussion and synthesizer).

'Mistérios E Maravilhas' is the debut studio album of Tantra and was released in 1977. It was prepared over a year and a half. The album has six tracks. The first track '' Beira Do Fim' written by Manuel Cardoso is a fantastic song to open the album and is, in my opinion, probably the song with more influences of Genesis. When the song was performed live Manuel Cardoso used a mask, bought in England, which reminded us Peter Gabriel. They also used fire effect works on their live show. I think that's why their live show was considered, in my opinion undeservedly, a copy of Genesis. This is also one of the two songs with lyrics. The second track 'Aventuras De Um Dragão Num Aquário' written by Manuel Cardoso is one of the two smallest songs on the album. It's an instrumental track only performed by the acoustic guitar of Manuel Cardoso. This song reminds me sometimes Steve Hackett and others Steve Howe. Sincerely, I think this is a very good song perfectly in the vein of those two great guitarists. The third track 'Mistérios E Maravilhas' is the track which gives its name to the album and was written by Américo Luís, Armando Gama, Manuel Cardoso and Tó Zé Almeida. It's an instrumental song with great individual performances by all band's members. In my opinion, this song is clearly influenced by the Yes sound, with great jazz influences and also with an Eastern touch. It's also a fantastic song. The fourth track 'Máquina Da Felicidade' written by Tó Zé Almeida is another fantastic instrumental song. This is, in my opinion, the most original, the best, and also the most progressive song on the album. It has also a very good drum solo by Tó Zé Almeida, so typical in the 70's, especially in the live shows of many groups. This drum solo reminds me the drum solo of Karl Palmer on the debut album of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and for me, it's nothing inferior to it. The fifth track 'Variações Sobre Uma Galáxia' written by Armando Gama is the other smallest song on the album. It's an instrumental song only performed by Armando Gama on his piano. It's a piece of music clearly influenced by the classical music and is, in a certain way, in Rick Wakeman's style. The sixth and last track 'Partir Sempre' written by Armando Gama is a fantastic song to close the album and represents also his farewell to the band. It's the second song with lyrics and this time is sung by him. It's also a song strongly influenced by the sound of the guitar of Steve Howe. To complete my feelings about this album, I must say one more thing. I was lucky to be one of the many thousands of fans who were present at the first live performance of the group at the Coliseu dos Recreios in Lisbon, in December of 1977. I was only 19 years old but I still have images from that concert in my memory. The Coliseu was completely filled and about 300 people were unable to enter. It was a fantastic live concert at the same level of many other foreigner great bands at the time despite those bands have in general more technical and professional experience that they had.

Conclusion: Tantra, especially with 'Mistérios E Maravilhas', is a band musically strongly influenced by the music of Genesis and Yes, sonically with great effects and by the visual of the early Genesis' era, the Gabriel's era, and also with some Eastern musical influences. At that time Manuel Cardoso and Tó Zé Almeida practiced yoga. Sometimes, very jazzy rock instrumental passages determine the music, characterized by the keyboards, the powerful guitar work, the very dominant bass and the versatility of the drum work. 'Mistérios E Maravilhas' offers excellent symphonic prog rock from Portugal, which I highly recommend to anyone who can't get enough of the music of the classical phase of the genre. At the time, not much of the same high quality was produced. So, for me, 'Mistérios E Maravilhas' is a fantastic album that deserves to be considered as one of the greatest progressive rock albums of 1977 and be rated with 5 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

3 stars Tantra was one of the few bands/artists (and I really mean few, maybe less than five) that where able to produce progressive music in Portugal in the 1970s. If up to 1974 music in general was highly constrained by the Fascist regime, after that progressive/avant-garde efforts were taken as reviva ... (read more)

Report this review (#561249) | Posted by Luis de Sousa | Wednesday, November 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The highlight here is the first track. What a great moment of beautiful symphonic prog! A five star song for sure! Unfortunately the rest of the album simply doesn't mantain that high level, the remaining the tracks being listenable but not really captivating (they are too unfocused IMO). The oth ... (read more)

Report this review (#256935) | Posted by Floyd1990 | Saturday, December 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars A very promising point score in PA meant a purchase from me. Unfortunate, I do not come to the same conclusion. A rather tiresome first sympho pop track leads into a more fusion landscape. The latter is pretty good music with a lot of references to Return To Forever, Gilgamesh and Soft Machin ... (read more)

Report this review (#238665) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, September 11, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm not sure about the first Portuguese progressive rock band... I think that would be Tantra! Only a few know that in Portugal exist progressive rock... only a few heard about Tantra... In 77, the recording conditions in Portugal were near to bad! Tranta has one of the best sound recordings at ... (read more)

Report this review (#103948) | Posted by João Francisco | Thursday, December 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars When in my youth and heard for the first time this album I was fan. Tantra its a band that plays a symphonic rock that we can say to the style of Yes, Genesis or others, but not equal, because its a unique sound because of Portuguese roots. ... (read more)

Report this review (#7174) | Posted by | Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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