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Haddad Ars Longa Vita Brevis album cover
3.60 | 21 ratings | 5 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ars Longa Vita Brevis (5:09)
2. Roma Atomica (8:59)
3. Pinky's Boogie (3:11)
4. Reddish Bonfire (3:39)
5. Sierra Maestra (1:58)
6. Saara (5:07)
7. Trianon (3:12)
8. San Francisco Bay (2:04)
9. Ismalia (3:02)
10. Danca das Aguas (8:33)

Total Time: 44:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Gustavo Haddad / vocals, keyboards
- Leandro Haddad / guitars, vocals
- Paulo Pelissari / lead guitars
- Sergio Melo / drums
- Rubinho / bass

- Zezito / saxophone (on a few tracks)
- Alexandre Lima / bass guitar (10)

Releases information

CD Rock Symphony #RSLN102 / Musea Records

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to memowakeman for the last updates
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HADDAD Ars Longa Vita Brevis ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HADDAD Ars Longa Vita Brevis reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by WaywardSon
4 stars This album takes the listener on quite a trip! It starts off with a funeral scene, and you can hear a priest saying "Ashes to ashes...dust to dust.." which is a bit gloomy, but there is also someone singing "I´m singing in the rain...just singing in the rain!" at the same time!

This sets the scene for disturbing, yet comfortable listening. The band transport the listener to another place, with soothing music that pulls the listener into a completely different state of mind. The lyrics are in Portuguese, but the music actually does the talking and puts one in a dreamy brooding state of mind.

"Roma Atomica" is quite political and you can hear G W Bush saying "If you are not with us, you are against us" They are obviously not too pleased about the current American Government and the state of the world in general! Actually, I found out that I have to be in the mood for this music, but once you start listening, you are pulled into another world. They also have a "tropical" sound and feel to their music. Great instrumentals with floating guitar sound (yet, quite raw sounding at the same time), and crystal clear playing, that I imagined myself on a deserted beach at sunset with the band playing right by my side!

For those who like to experiment and aren´t afraid of breaking out of the mould, this album is for you. To have the abilty to transport the listener into another world is what progressive music is all about!

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars It was here, with this release, that I met HADDAD for the first time: the pleasure of hearing this album made me get back and seek for other previous band's works. There's a happy-end story behind it when talking about progressiveness - now they reached the point and they reached hugely! Every prog-thing is clearly noticed within "Ars Longa Vita Brevis": the concept, a mix of life & death with mankind at their lowest entropy point and. above all, art, the surviving whaler amid the wrecked ship of a decaying civilization; the arrangements - prog at its purest and best; the musicianship of band's member; the general atmosphere ranging from dark to poignant but leaving a feeling of grace and enjoyment.

Opening track, the title-song starts either thunderous and mournful, synths and sound effects provide the show that continues with some beautiful symphonic parts, catchy and agreeable in a way that a weary soul is easily carried to the stars. Piano, guitar, bass and drums work in harmony, the short sax interlude is amazing, vocals are great and the banquet is completed with nice lyrics. HADDAD set their guns in a grand manner.

The next track, the mini- epic 'Roma atômica' acts like a suite for the first one, the link between the songs is clear but now the sound is somber just like the grave singing voice. The band show their claws with the astonishing instrumentation, an appreciable achievement after so many years on the road. The majestic and sorrowful solo segment brings remembrances of PENDRAGON's 'Masquerade Overture' and goose bumps are inevitable.

Other album's tracks are average to good but not in the same level of the beginning double. 'Pinky's boogie' has a folk flair making it looks like HARMONIUM's 'Dixie'. 'Reddish bonfire', sung in English, is a soft ballad backed by hard guitars and interesting choir. The short 'Sierra Maestra' is a kind of pop-electronic-salsa filler. 'Saara' is a bit weary while 'Trianon' is agitated and even danceable with its funk rhythm. Album's near final part includes the half-exotic and half-rocky 'San Francisco Bay', the romantic-to-be 'Ismalia'. 'Dança das águas', the closing track, returns to the good ol' symphonic prog, this time blended with folk and nice inserts of hard-prog and fusion - a pretty farewell to the album, an expected so long to the band.

If there's a band yet to be discovered by the prog-crowd I believe that HADDAD poses as a fair candidate and "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" can be the admission ticket. Two first tracks and the final one are clear masterpieces but the album as a whole isn't although it's close to it; let's wait their next release. will it come?

Review by CCVP

Ars Longa Vita Brevis is surely the best album of this amazing family band so far, and i must say that i am impressed. Haddad is from my home state capital Vitória of the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, and that is why they amaze me so much. My home state have absolutely no tradition whatsoever in progressive rock and maybe Haddad is the only progressive rock band of Espírito Santo still, even after being around for more than a decade because, like i said, there is absolutely no tradition at all. Knowing that, and listening to this amazing album for the very 1st time i was completely shocked and without any reaction, because of the export quality of this band and because it is still very unknown.

The music here, as i said before, is very interesting. Being very keyboard driven, since the main composer is the keyboardist, following the line traced in Orion, but the music here is much more worked and well composed than in orion, giving the album the piece of unique that every good progressive album need. Another interesting thing is that the classification neo-progressive is quite untrue here, since only few musics resemble neo-prog, being most of the album some kind of bluesy progressive rock with a bit of 60's traditional rock and roll. By the way, the last track is actually a re-recording of a music released on Gustavo Haddad's solo album back in 89'.

The lyrics are, at least, noticeable. They are private to every music and create a little story on every music, except on roma atômica, which is a direct critique to United Stares expansionist war politics and weapon hegemony.

Overall Rating: a very good album made by the little family band, with solid music and noticeable increase to the previous album. 4 stars 4 sure.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Very interesting prog band from Brazil that makes a mix of various influences like symphonic rock, blues, jazz, pop and more. The result is a captivating array of songs that defy easy classification: not very complex, but tasteful, well crafted, well arranged and melodic. Most of the tracks are short, very keyboards driven. Lyrics are in portuguese and english, but unfortunatly the vocals are a problem: while Leandro´Haddad´s voice is not really bad, it is clear the band would benefit a lot if they had a ´proper´singer instead of a guy who just can sing in tune and nothing more. On the plus side the music is basicly instrumental and in this field they are skilled and very talented.

The production is quite good. There are no fillers and the songwriting in general is very fine. Ok, nothing is really new or groundbreaking but those are quite versatile and the album is quite varied, showing the band members can handle different styles without problem. I guess they could be a little more bold in the arrangements since they are so good, but it seems they are still inthe process of building their own sound and I found Ars Longa Vita Brevis a very enjoyable album. If you like eclectic, melodic prog, go for it. 3,5 stars.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars The title of this album is an expression credited to Hippocrates loosely meaning "art is long, life is short". Life may be short but the Haddad family knows that music can span and link generations. Here the group has attained a level of maturity and comfort with their broad influences, from 30s swing to 60s pop to modern progressive, combined into a palatable deliverable. If their output could only reflect the excitement inherent in their cultural fusion, they might be better known. Well, this is prog after all, so perhaps not.

One of the weaknesses here is the use of not one references to American cultural and political phenomena in "Roma Atomica", which is otherwise an intriguing cross of MOODY BLUES, CHICAGO, and ALAN PARSONS. Contrast this to the radio ready "Reddish Bonfire" which eclipses any sell out inferences with its melancholy air and yet uplifting melody. The best of the ambitious long pieces is the album closer "Dança Das Águas", which is also the most overtly symphonic piece, even as it includes Zezito's lovely sax and plaintive guitars from Leandro Haddad. CAMEL and QUIDAM are conjured in some of the best passages. In general, Haddad slavish attachment to somewhat tacky detrimental to any claim to excellence, but they are clearly working on it. Also, they don't have a lot of tracks where the vocal and instrumental prowess are on display simultaneously.

An improvement on earlier efforts, "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" takes the long view of its art and music, gently unfurling a pleasant if only moderately engaging legacy that nonetheless aims to outlive a lot of what we hear today.

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