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Sub Rosa

Crossover Prog

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Sub Rosa The Gigsaw album cover
3.77 | 28 ratings | 3 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Symptoms of Life (10:37)
2. Igneous Vortex Dancer (1:40)
3. Enslavement of Beauty (5:58)
4. Equinox (6:03)
5. Amok (5:23)
6. Your Eyes (1:44)
7. The Order (4:38)
8. Zeitgeist (4:32)
9. Widow's Daughter (4:23)
10. The Mirror (5:23)
11. The Last Ride, Part 1 (4:33)
12. The Last Ride, Part 2 (1:57)
13. Fatality Show (4:22)
14. Symptoms of Life (1:02)

Total Time 62:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Reinaldo Penido / bass, double bass, keyboards, electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
- Alvaro Duarte / keyboards & synthesizers
- Barbara Laranjeira / drums & percussion
- Glaydston Friederich / lead & backing vocals
- Márcia Cristina / lead & backing vocals

- Rodrigo Lourenço / electric & acoustic guitars
- Valner Casitta / keyboards
- Daniel Leão / violin
- Abraão Portes / cello
- Luis (Les Paul) paulo / drums
- Marcelo Miranda / voice (2,10,12)
- Werlei Santos / synth drum (5) & secret hidden voice

Releases information

All songs composed, arranged and produced by Reinaldo Penido
All lyrics, digital Artwork and album concept by Reinaldo Penido

Thanks to Tarcisio Moura for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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SUB ROSA The Gigsaw ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(61%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

SUB ROSA The Gigsaw reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Excellent debut CD by this new brazilian band. Someone tipped me about it and I contact them through their website to get their CD (it´s an independent release, so anyone interested should contact It was a shot in the dark since I had never heard of them, although they live not very far from my hometown. It was worth it, though. The Gigsaw is one of the best CDs I heard this year and 2010 has been an year full of great stuff, old or new. So it had to be quite strong material to impress me lately. Sub Rosa had it.

I don´t know why they are labeled as a crossover band when the eclectic prog tag would be much more fitting. Because eclectic they surely are! There is a lot of influences in their music: early Pink Floyd (the strongest and most recognizable), Van Der Graaf Generator, Marillion, Renaissance, Eloy plus jazzy passages, a funky guitar here and there, krautrock, minimalistic keys and so on. As odd as this mix may sound, it works. In fact they have their own personality already, which is why I was so drawn to their work.

As usual with good prog CDs, It took a few spins to fully enjoy this record. However, some parts are full of pure beauty from the very first time I heard them. There is a 70´s ´flavour´ all over the record. I specially liked the alternating male and female vocals (even if their heavy accent may annoy some people) both of whom are very well handled, something often forgotten in this style. The voices here are as good as the tremendous instrumental work. I loved the retro-like Hammond organ sounds, the vintage sounding synth solos and the very well done guitar lines (mostly influenced by Latimer/Gilmour, but ultimately quite varied). Interesting thing: they have a girl drummer, Barbara Laranjeira, something quite unusual in prog (and she does a good job, with a style reminiscent of Floyd´s Nick Mason). There is not a single filler in the whole CD. I always listen to it from start to finish, even though I still personally think the first track was not the best choice for the opener. Production is very good overall (the bass is a tad too loud sometimes, though). The booklet with the technical data and lyrics is also very nice.

Highlights? Too many to mention. Just listen and pick up yours. There is a lot of little gems hidden here. The Gigsaw sounds both familiar and new, which is the base of their charm.

Conclusion: a stunning debut. The ecletic mixture and the sometimes bare, minimalistic approach of some tunes may take a little time to be fully appreciated, but the album has something most new releases lack: as varied as it is, it has a unifying feeling that gives it a coherent whole. Sure, it is not perfect and there are obvious rough edges to work out on the future. Still, it is a remakable first for an unknown act. Very promising, no doubt.

Rating: 4,5 stars. Highly recommended!

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ever since the desire to write progressive rock reviews became a reality, the conscious decision to avoid criticizing mostly amateur prog artists became the foundation on which I still steadfastly adhere to, as demonstrated by the long list of 4- and 5-star reviews I have posted over the decades. After all, who am I to decide how and what an artist should be composing, recording, and releasing? My duty as a fan is to provide as much positive feedback as possible and if its really bad or not my style, I just avoid the issue completely, just as a vegetarian culinary reviewer should stay away from rating a steakhouse. Nevertheless, there are exceptions, such as the object of this two-part analysis of Brazilian band Sub Rosa that released a STUNNING debut, highly rated with reason, only to be followed by an absolute shocker. Talk about two extremes. Therefore, guided by that same credo of fairness and humility, I will review the debut first and then, tackle the sophomore work and try somehow to rationalize the obvious disparity between the two, also noted by many other reviewers.

"The Gigsaw" was issued in 2010 and spans a whopping 63 minutes of quality prog that dares to improve over repeated listens, ultimately stamping it with well deserved laurels and thunderous applause. Within mere seconds of the epic 10-and-a-half-minute opener "Symptoms of Life", as a delicate harpsichord etude introduces the groove set in stone by an extremely simple but effective bass line, both robust and rotund in its greasy steamroll ahead, I find myself conquered there and then. Rolling organ waves and a binary thump keeps the pace oppressive and fascinating. When the sleek violin alters the pace, flinging the arrangement into neo-baroque section, the insistent electric guitar takes over, spreading its extended solo of shrill emotion to even loftier heights. The deliberately slow pace is utterly intoxicating. Gentle acoustic guitar contrasts, followed by a cool reprise take this brilliant track to its thrilling finale, adding a breezy vocal that has a definite medieval tinge. Wow!

After a brief romp, the third track "Enslavement of Beauty" reconnects with a pastoral theme, where acoustic guitar and sweet violin set up the tremendous female vocal, as the organ, bass and drums set a languid pace. The chorus is immediately captivating, bathing in a sense of familiarity that soothes and forces one to smile as "I see the Light" scours deep into the nodes. A blistering guitar solo flutters in the wind, swerving, swooping, diving, and spiraling like some Red Baron triplane. The sense of detail is obvious, with added choir effects, harmonies, and intense piano. Absolute killer track!

"Equinox" takes a radical shift into more atmospheric realms, the high-pitched bass carving out quite the melody as the beat intensifies, the wind effects chaperoning the male/female vocal. The mid section is a keyboard festival of sublime organ and wild synths, giving out the needed symphonics as the effect-laden guitar slams ahead with shrilling devastation in another extended flight. Not interested in releasing the pedal by any stretch, "Amok" offers another long and sweet violin-led meditation, with a metronomic beat of drum and piano deliberately setting up a plethora of sound effects, noises, shadows and fading light. Hypnotic beauty.

The raging, eerie but brief "Your Eyes" has a sound similar to Norwegian band Fruitcake in its cold effectiveness. The echo-laden male voice is spectral. "The Order" maintains a spooky pace, as both gender voices merge into a playful theme, highlighting a desire to flesh out harmonies in a rather charming manner. The axe solo burns brightly once again as the delightful voices put this to bed.

Big surprise as the semi-funky "Zeitgeist" kicks in, offering an intoxicating Andy Summers-like guitar riff that just keeps giving, as the synths churn crazily overhead and the rhythm section keeps apace. The jazzy piano solo is unexpected and outright delicious, teasingly toying with the attention span, keeping the listener on its toes. Damn brilliant! The companion piece "Widow's Daughter" is another winner, a fresh female vocal over a steady beat and bruising organ set-up, there is a slight accent but its utterly charming (the Brazilians do not actually speak their language, they sing it). A melodic organ ditty really stuns again in its effective humility, with more guitar flicks of the wrist to keep things exciting.

The quality level dips only slightly from hereon in as "The Mirror" is more of a rocker, a forceful vocal leading the way, with insistent female harmonies and a slick and lengthy guitar solo. Pretty good as well. The two-part "The Last Ride" is another good track, offering a vivid electric guitar intro, humming organ and a tight lilt. Once again, the two voices act in unison, delivering the story efficiently. The mathematical guitar phrasing shows some experimentation in staying away from the obvious, while part2 (all of 1 minute 57) is as light letdown, as it plods very briefly to its end. The bucolic "Fatality Show" initializes an ornate acoustic guitar, then evolves into their usual style of organ and guitar interplay with a relentless beat. The vocal duet is effective and interesting. The tender exit is exquisite.

Since the opener was such a massive delight, why not do a brief reprise? Only a minute suffices to stamp this with my fullest recommendation. Next up, the follow-up 11:11 .

4 Signs of Being

Latest members reviews

3 stars The Gigsaw is the first studio album of Brazilian prog act Sub Rosa (under the rose) and the lineup at the release of this album was: Reinaldo on bass, keyboards, guitars and vocals Alvaro on keyboards and synths Barbara on drums and percussion Glaydston on lead and backing vocals ... (read more)

Report this review (#2758635) | Posted by ElChanclas | Sunday, June 5, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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