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TARANTULA

Tarantula

Symphonic Prog


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Tarantula Tarantula album cover
3.66 | 38 ratings | 7 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Recuerdos (6:00)
2. La Araña Y La Mosca (4:20)
3. Singladura Final (6:16)
4. Un Mundo Anterior (5:49)
5. Imperio Muerto (9:38)
6. La Danza Del Diablo (3:02)
7. Lydia (2:06)
8. Paisajes Pintorescos (7:00)

Total Time: 44:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Rafael Cabrera / vocals
- M.G. Peydró / guitar
- Vicente Guillot / Hammond, Melotron, Moog, String synth
- José Pereira / bass
- Emilio Santonja / drums

With:
- José Manuel del Moral / arranger & producer

Releases information

Artwork: El Luis Santos

LP Novola ‎- NLX-1.073 (1976, Spain)
LP Si-Wan Records ‎- SRML 4002 (1996, South Korea)

CD Si-Wan Records ‎- SRMC 4002 (1996, South Korea)

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

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TARANTULA Tarantula ratings distribution


3.66
(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
55%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (3%)
3%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

TARANTULA Tarantula reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Tarantula is one of the many Spanish progrock bands that emerged in the second half of the Seventies, speerheaded by Triana, Blogue and Granada. They have released two albums, these are totally different: the first (1976) contains wonderful, vintage keyboard drenched symphonic prog but the second (1978, another line-up) delivers a harder-edged and more direct approach with hints from early Uriah Heep.

1. Recuerdos (6:00) : The atmosphere in the first and final part alternates between mellow with flute-Mellotron and soft Minimoog flights and bombastic with dramatic vocals and majestic violin-Mellotron eruptions, very moving! The mid-section features an accellaration with Hammond floods and fiery electric guitar, this sound brings German prog bands like Jane and Ramses on my mind.

2. La Araña Y La Mosca (4:20) : First a pleasant harmony of cheerful flute-Mellotron drops, fat Minimoog sounds, Emersonian Hammond waves and fiery electric guitar runs. Then the moods shift from dreamy with tender piano and melancholical vocals to slow with sensitive electric guitar work and a catchy rhythm with a lush vintage keyboard sound (Mellotron, Hammond and Moog).

3. Singladura Final (6:16) : This song starts and ends with a beautiful mellow atmosphere featuring twanging guitar, soft organ waves, a warm string sound and wonderful vocals. The break halfway contains pure rock and roll with heavy guitar and raw vocals, how surprising!

4. Un Mundo Anterior (5:49) : A slow rhythm contains flute - and violin-Mellotron, followed by a very sensitive electric guitar solo and tender piano runs, goose bumps! The tension between the Grand piano, flute- Mellotron and electric guitar is great and carries me away to Progheaven.

5. Imperio Muerto (9:38) : This long track opens with a psychedelic atmosphere due to a haunting organ and ominous fat Moog flights. Then lots of changing climates with sensational Minimoog runs, another rock an roll break and dramatic vocals, excellent!

6. La Danza Del Diablo (3:02) : A mid-tempo song with strong interplay between organ and electric guitar and a swirling Hammond organ solo.

7. Lydia (2:06) : A short piece that sounds Bach-inspired with warm classical guitar and powerful organ.

8. Paisajes Pintorescos (7:00) : This final composition is very alternating with the sound of a harpsichord, fiery electric guitar work and great, very expressive vocals. The final part delivers an up-tempo rhythm with wonderful vocals, lush organ and a harder-edged guitar solo, very dynamic and exciting!

This unknown and often overlooked gem deserves more attention, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars It’s a little odd that a band as talented and creative as Tarantula would come up with the bland titles of “I” and “II” for their two studio releases. The cover artwork on both albums is a bit sub-par as well. But once you get past these deceptive indicators there is a pretty darn good album here, and one that should be getting more attention among progheads than it does.

Tarantula were one of several Spanish progressive bands of the late seventies whose sounds were influenced by both the European masters of the early seventies (ELP, Yes, King Crimson), as well as by some of the more elaborated and emotive Italian symphonic bands (PFM, Le Orme). The resulting best of both worlds is an album that is both very creative and highly addictive to listen to.

Lead singer Rafael Cabrera reminds me a lot of the Italian prog rocker Fabio Casanova (Sad Minstrel) with his ability to jump from a folksy and intimate soft crooning passage to full-blown operatic peaks and even to gutsy heavy rock with little apparent effort. As an aside, if you like this album then Sad Minstrel will also likely appeal to your tastes.

You would think a band with a front-man like Cabrera would have enough of a shtick to get noticed. But these guys have more arrows in their quiver. Keyboardist Vicente Guillot shows great skill on a variety of keyboards including mini-Moog, piano, Hammond and even a mellotron. On top of the keys he provides the band with strings and flute courtesy of the mellotron which further reinforces the debt to Italian prog the band owes.

Guitarist MG Peydró and bassist José Pereira are no slouches either. Peydró seems to be the one who wants to rock out in the band, and at those times when he is able to he takes advantage with soaring arpeggios and complex chord changes that are impressive though usually short-lived. But he also has the ability to complement Pereira on bass during the more common instrumental and sometimes slower passages of the band’s music as well. And drummer Emilio Santonja manages to make both simple rhythms and the occasional odd meter work well (check out “Imperio Muerto”).

The opening “Recuerdos” sets the tone for the whole album where the band starts off sounding like another Spanish neo-folk band with a lively tempo, mellotron flute and a jaunty min-Moog riff, and Cabrera plays along with a mellow and quiet folksy vocal stanza. But right at the one minute mark (spoiler alert!) Cabrera blasts out this totally unexpected operatic chorus while bassist Pereira builds on top of the moog’s peak behind him. A real surprise, but more importantly the band serves notice that listeners should expect the unexpected for the next forty minutes or so.

And that’s pretty much how things go. “La Araña y la Mosca” bounces from an artsy Hammond and percussion intro to a soft piano middle piece with what sounds like Cabrera overdubbed on himself singing what sounds like rather pedestrian Spanish contemporary vocals. But just when you think this one will quietly work its way to a close, the band starts to build momentum toward a climax of keyboards, organ and guitar the belie the modest opening of the song.

And a different approach comes on “Singladura Final”, which both opens and closes on a mild note with quiet organ and mellow singing, but in the middle the band breaks into a short but intense rocking passage that highlights Peydró’s talent on electric guitar.

And so it goes. “Un Mundo Anterior” is the most mellow piece on the album, but even here the band demonstrates great talent in layering keyboards and mellotron flute sounds with an unusual sort of vibrato guitar riff that would appeal to fans of music like Camel or Harmonium. “Imperio Muerto” is all over the place musically and while it’s hard to follow, the trip is worth it. Lots of sounds here, ranging from symph to psych and several places in between. And while the short “La Danza del Diablo” doesn’t offer anything innovative per se, the Hammond arrangements are well-placed behind Cabrera’s playful vocals. And the band even proves their classical chops with the brief but inspired instrumental “Lydia”.

The album closes with the vibrant “Paisajes Pintorescos”, which combines virtually all of the band’s instruments and innovations into one track. This one includes adds harpsichord to the list of keyboards Guillot brings to the band, and Cabrera’s vocals bring the listener full circle to the beginning of the album. A very well-constructed and definitive closing to an impressive album.

Tarantula would fracture after this release, and their second and final album would show very little of the kind of innovation and talent of this one. I don’t know why these guys have been forgotten and largely ignored in progressive music circles, but they shouldn’t be. This is a very solid album that shows the great talents of every musician involved in making it. There are no weak or boring spots on the record, and I think just about every symphonic, Italian, folk, neo and eclectic progressive music fan will find this record very appealing. A solid four stars and highly recommended.

peace

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Andalusian band fromed in mid-70's (as most of the famous Spanish prog acts),but not really into the flamenco-based sound of the days.Hailing from Valencia,Tarantula were guided by the forces of keyboardist Vicente Guillot and singer Rafael Cabrera.Their eponymous debut is a bit of a rarity,it was originally released on Novola and the first CD release was issued by Korean label Si-Wan.Another re-issue was pressed by the German psych/prog label Walhalla more recently, in 2006.

Opening with ''Recuerdos'' the album heads for a masterpiece,a grandiose number of Classical/Symphonic Rock in the vein of MANDALABAND with fantastic tenor vocals by Cabrera,strong guitar work by Manolo Peydró and nice harsichord/organ passages by Guillot.Romantic vocal lines and heavy classical-influenced organ/piano passages in the vein of E.L.P./LE ORME is what you'll get with ''La araña y la mosca'',while on ''Singladura final'' the rock'n'roll-ing middle part with the hillarious vocals will spoil the dreamy mellotron work of Guillot.On the instrumental ''Un mundo anterior'' mellotron,piano and flute combine nicely with the great guitar work in a piece of symphonic beauty.The long ''Imperio muerto'' contains both melodic and virtuosic moog and mellotron passages,but the vocal parts under the rocking tunes are rather out of place.The complex guitar/organ driven ''La danza del diablo'' holds similarities with the Italian Prog scene,especially ALPHATAURUS and MUSEO ROSENBACH and ''Lydia'' will soften things up in acoustic crescendo mixed with energetic organ.''Paisajes pintorescos'' is a good closing symphonic number.Almost every gun in Guillot's armory is on fire and the track is filled with some of Guillot's best work in the album.Notice also the nice guitar work of Peydro on those complex breaks.

While not totally essential,''Tarantula'' is a good piece of classical influenced prog music with emphasis on the varied keyboard sounds which contains plenty of interesting material with a balnce between virtuosity and harmony and comes recommended for all fans of keyboard- driven Symphonic Rock.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars TARANTULA was amongst the first progressive rock bands to emerge in Spain along with bands like Tirana, Bloque and Granada after the iron grip of Franco's dictatorship finally ended in 1975 and allowed the Spanish music scene to play catch up its neighbors to the east and to the north. The band was created and led by keyboardist Vicente Guillot who released two rather unimaginatively named albums TARANTULA I (1976) and TARANTULA II (1978) each with completely different lineups except for Guillot himself. This first album was a quartet of musicians that also included lead vocalist Rafael Cabrera, guitarist M.G. Peydró, bassist José Pereira and drummer Emilio Santonja.

While bands like Tirana were developing a sound that mixed local flavors with the exotic prog rock visionary possibilities, TARANTULA seemed to be looking towards the Italian scene for its inspiration most likely due to the fact that the Spanish and Italian languages have the same sort of rhythmic flow and are closely related linguistically speaking. TARANTULA's debut album is a fully fueled symphonic prog workout dominated by the stellar keyboard gymnastics and accompanied by Rafael Cabrera's powerful operatic performances. While the keys give a wink and a nod to Italian classic acts such as Le Orme, the vocals evoke more of a PFM or Banco sort of bombast whereas the rest of the band pretty much follows suit.

The amazing thing about TARANTULA's debut is that they neither sound original nor totally derivative but always sound pleasant yet rarely evoke a sense of awe either. In fact despite this album being exquisitely performed and completely listenable, it exudes a sense of awkwardness as it doesn't really know where it's going and how to stay put. While the opening "Recurerdos" adopts all of the Italian symphonic prog playbook tricks which even at times sounds like it's heading into AOR territory, the band also takes sudden nosedives into jittery hard rock periods that sound a bit like early Osanna with decently performed prog rock workouts with caffeinated tempos including stellar guitar workouts. While the compositions aren't exactly simplistic, they don't exactly jump into mind numbing complexities either.

The tracks are all quite melodic and find pleasant doses of mellotron soaked cheeriness interchange with fiery guitar riffs, galloping bass lines and emotive and even heart wrenching drama in the vocal department. TARANTULA is perhaps the most Italian sounding band from Spain that i've encountered yet. The true star on board here in addition to Cabrera's domain as lead vocalist is clearly the majesty of Guillot's fine keyboard playing as he tackles a wide spectrum of sounds that imitate the Baroque flavors of Bach as well as the finger-breaking workouts of Keith Emerson. Overall the album feels a bit anachronistic like it emerged from the 1972-73 timeline rather than the disco and punk years of 1976 but then again Spain was still emerging from its bubble so all is forgiven in that department.


While some claim TARANTULA to be one of the greats of Spanish prog, i tend to disagree as they didn't quite know how to deliver a nice flowing album that didn't meander all over the place. While the music is by no means bad and contains many a great melody on board, the band just seemed a few steps too late to the party and never really caught up to the big boy's game. Had they succeeded in creating a unique musical paradigm that set them apart from their influences perhaps they would be more renowned for their musical endeavors. TARANTULA I is defiantly the more progressive of the two albums released as the band with a completely new lineup moved into the more accessible arenas of hard rock also known as Rock Urbano Español but didn't totally give up the progressive touches. Decent album just not one of the top picks of the era.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Tarantula is a Spanish band of seventies, with 2 albuns when de first album is better that second. A Psichedelic Space Rock vein, with some beautifull guitar parts and organ, similar to other bands of this time, with same sound. Very melodic, with some fast parts in Fusion vein, very balanced ... (read more)

Report this review (#640287) | Posted by João Paulo | Friday, February 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Spanish symphonic prog in the Italian/Spanish tradition. The album starts with a very pastorial theme and I can smell heaven. The vocals are brilliant. Then some pretty heavy guitars kicks me out of heaven again. Which is fair enough. Maybe I am not ready for heaven yet ? The album is a mix ... (read more)

Report this review (#230147) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, August 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Long ago that I was looking for this disc, just the 2005 I could obtain a copy of the seal if they wan, surprised much to me the musical proposal of these Spaniards. He is not the typical Spanish who mixes rock with music Andalusian, like Triana, Alameda, Mezquita, Azahar. This group has a par ... (read more)

Report this review (#117100) | Posted by ChileProg | Monday, April 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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