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ARTNAT

Symphonic Prog • Portugal


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Artnat biography
ARTNAT was formed by the lead guitarist of the known TANTRA prog group from Portugal, Manuel CARDOSO. ''The mirror effect'' in the name of the album reflects the continuity of TANTRA´s symphonic prog style of music, but with a personal 21st-century touch with new members Sara FREITAS (vocals), Paulo BRETÄO (basses), João SAMORA (Drums), and André HENCLEEDAY (keyboards).) Gui da LUZ (synthesist) remains from TANTRA`s Terra CD lineup. The music is a complex symphonic prog rock with many twists like an eclectic version of YES.

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3.74 | 13 ratings
The Mirror Effect
2021

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ARTNAT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Mirror Effect by ARTNAT album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.74 | 13 ratings

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The Mirror Effect
Artnat Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars The six-piece formation Artnat is founded by Manuel Cardoso who was leader of the known prog band Tantra, from Portugal, formed in 1976 and disbanded in 1981, after the albums Mistérios E Maravilhas (1977), Holocausto (1978) and Humanoid Flesh (1981). In 1998 Tantra was reformed and released the studio-albums Terra (2002) and Delirium, and the live CD Live Ritual (2003). And now Manuel Cardoso has founded Artnat "to give continuity to Tantra`s style of prog music , but with a personal 21st century touch". In this new formation only Manuel Cardoso (guitars) and Gui da Luz (synthesizers) remain from Tantra`s re-union line up. New members are: Sara Freitas (vocals), Paulo Bretão (basses), João Samora (Drums) and André Hencleeday (keyboards).

What an interesting genuine prog music, and what a challenge to review! Listening to this debut album 70s Yes comes to my mind (Howe and Squire sound, complexity, excellent musicians and awesome interplay) but Artnat delivers a more eclectic and quirky musical approach. The focus in the 11 elaborate and captivating compositions is on the fiery guitarwork and the high piched vocals. This is fuelled by a powerful and fluent rhythm-section, and embellished with inventive play on keyboards, from electric piano to synthesizers and Mellotron. This music deserves a lot of attention, because so much is happening: lots of dynamic atmospheres and shifting moods, with amazing soli (often on guitar) and interplay, and (often surprising) musical twists and turns, blending elements from 70s symphonic rock, jazzrock, psychedelia and experimental. Two tracks are intrumental (From Chaos To Beauty and Cosmic Machinery), emphasizing the huge skills of the musicians, and the eclectic sound, I am impressed. The female singer does a very good job, she has a wide range, from mellow and dreamy to powerful and theatrical, and she is also a perfect balance to the often complex and bombastic sound with her crystal clear, high pitched voice.

Prog to discover, far from mainstream, a bit quirky, but loaded with interesting and adventurous musical ideas.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 The Mirror Effect by ARTNAT album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.74 | 13 ratings

BUY
The Mirror Effect
Artnat Symphonic Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars ARTNAT is a Portuguese group founded by two of the members of TANTRA living musically from 1977 to 2005, known as distilling complex symphonic notes ranging from prog rock to jazz rock and dinosaur sounds namely YES, CAMEL, ELP and especially KING CRIMSON for the typical sound of the guitar. A jazzy sound apart I said with detours to the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA too, with various keyboards associated with a singular and recognizable guitar. ARTNAT by this inverted word, like a mirror effect, tries to make its music evolve by giving it a convoluted modern range; Manuel and Gui want to amplify the symphonic style and the progressive quality with colorful titles often bordering on the experimental, a new take off?

"Riding the Edge of Darkness" frank attack with the voice of Sara on a variation à la Kate BUSH or that of Emilia from QUIDAM, fat, psychedelic, soaring synths, a frightening male voice, Manuel's tortured guitar for a dark crimsonian avant-garde atmosphere, mouthing of the ARTNAT-TANTRA sound. "Eternal Dance of Love" with a fretless bass and strange synths, spleen atmosphere, the jazzy side is felt, then the recognizable melodic spleen guitar, beautiful as a princess, not very objective that but when it's beautiful you get lost; a gentle crescendo with the magnified voice which pushes the tone even more; back to the final bass. "Return to OM" sub-divided into "Nirvana" and "The Warrior" for the epic piece; complex music, tantric in fact if you have already listened to TANTRA; barjot composition, synthetic jazz-rock with brass, Yessian variation with these twirling synths, voice of the diva, all this reminiscent of DISTRICT 97 for the jazzy side and the high voice, riff à la 'You Really Got Me' then intimate break where HOWE appears, a voice in Portuguese which integrates, giving a singular character; drum rumble, frippian guitar and intimate variation bordering on jam and its fruity, airy spleen guitar. "From Chaos to Beauty" and a beautiful orchestral, a little messy then which arises with incisive, whirling instruments, showing dexterity more than melody, limit tribal jam with hints of GENESIS at times and of new-wave by the way, from ELP too.

"A View from Above" and a catch-all title, jazzy, rock, crossover, alternative, Latin, Génésisien, Manuel's guitar divinely responding to the synths of Guilherme and André. The tune is pretty hard to pin down with these solos forays and vocal touches; complex, adventurous. "Cosmic Machinery" for an instrumental fireworks display of dithyrambic synths, there is creativity at the MINIMUM VITAL or at VANGELIS at times, at the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, a little on the ELP and an oriental guitar, a monument that you have to listen again, colorful, diverse and creative. "The Mirror Effect" for the return of Sara and Manuel's tormented Frippian guitar; spatial derivation by the synths amplified by the percussions of João, a jewel still simple at the beginning, whose musical convolutions surprise. "Celebration" with tribal percussions and choirs; it starts off with a tune reminiscent of the first Kate BUSH when she was trying out different vocalizations; the parts of keyboards on VANGELIS, not OLDFIELD, in short it deposits. "The Dramatic Beauty of Life" with the wolf and the rain no, this is not a fable of the FOUNTAIN; what is the child doing? Good frank jazzy touch with these warm synths, Paulo's bass maintaining the rhythm; synths there, voice taken like an instrument here, jam or improvisation requiring several plays and a musical opening, a dramatic moment of great beauty, good bon Sonner les Matins '! And we come to "The Complex Art of Creation" continuing on this jazzy breach at the start, then an hymn tune to VANGELIS and GENESIS, then downright on YES, a borderline Kobai voice for a progressive search improvised from afar; synths and guitar sending the notes back to each other as on a palm game, Manuel giving a final melodic touch rounding the basic unstructured tune a little. Symphonic "finale" with piano, voice from up there, pompous air which also reveals all the diversity of the musicians.

ARTNAT brings out this mirror effect to open our slightly clogged musical ears; progressive, complex art music flirting with improvisation, esotericism; stimulating, bouncy music, tortuous breaks; an avant-garde voice in aerial use, crystalline and on lamentation, the keyboards magnifying the mysterious atmosphere. A sophisticated sound that may be off-putting at first, too conditioned to sound simple to the ear; a beautiful sound that soothes, captivates, makes you meditate over listening.

 The Mirror Effect by ARTNAT album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.74 | 13 ratings

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The Mirror Effect
Artnat Symphonic Prog

Review by Smurfreviews

4 stars Review #4 This album is special in more ways than one. On the one hand, it is my first Portuguese band to listen to. On the other hand, we are dealing with a highly interesting release, which I would now like to go into more detail. The music on "The Mirror Effect" can be described as a mixture of symphonic prog with jazz elements and psychedelic excursions. There are linear pieces that are easy to grasp, but also jam-like passages as well as complex song structures that open up only after repeated listening. Thus, this album has a natural demand on the listener - something I personally like very much, because the music is not consumed quickly, but must grow. The contrasts on the first album of the six Portuguese are particularly appealing. Warm, relaxed sections alternate with wild instrumental passages and the songs develop their very own identity. Particularly noteworthy here would be, for example, the third song "Return To OM". A long track that shows the band's range of skills (and is even sung in several languages). At this point, the vocal talent of singer Sara Freitas should be mentioned, who manages with her voice to present hymn-like melodies and powerful lines most impressively. And while you are well settled in one section of the song, "Artnat" comes around the corner with a twist and let the song continue in an unpredictable direction. The versatile sounds of Gui da Luz and André Hencleeday on the keys are especially noticeable here, which in combination with the guitar work of Manuel Cardoso always create a charming interplay.

"The Mirror Effect" is an impressive and above all independent debut, which cannot be easily pigeonholed. The music surprises, challenges the listener at the same time and can cross many borders thanks to the high musicality and the creativity that comes with it, from which the album benefits sustainably. And while I'm listening to the penultimate song "The Dramatic Beauty Of Live", I'm sure that the band can continue to increase its potential in the future. I am very excited!

 The Mirror Effect by ARTNAT album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.74 | 13 ratings

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The Mirror Effect
Artnat Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars It was 2005 exactly when Guilherme da Luz (synthesizer) and head of department Manuel Cardoso (lead guitars) had released the last album under the previous moniker TANTRA. Now more than 15 years later those portuguese fellows supposedly took a rather easy way, just going into reverse. At first when it comes to the band name obviously. In between it sounds like some vocals are presented in backward mix. And then, in consequence, also regarding the album title if you will. Anyway, moreover they were successful in putting a new six-piece team together, which guarantees challenging compositions, a lush sound, and stellar female vocals. And so this happens to be a one hour lasting rollercoaster affair actually, when considering the general eclectic approach.

I mean just take the adventurous song couple Eternal Dance Of Love and Return To OM which has so much to offer. The unpredictable flow, wonderful guitar presence. Keyboards are greatly classical and symphonic tinged. Sara Freitas shines with Kate Bush similar and slightly opera styled vocals, on top in multiple languages. Then sometimes the overall sound reminds me of the prominent and lively early Yes times. All of this is summed up finally in The Dramatic Beauty Of Life - the name says it all. Great inspiration! 'The Mirror Effect' is an album brimfull of thriving moments. Other similar bands which come into my mind are Spirits Burning, Molassess, just for a proper orientation. A surprising sonic exploration, please check this out!

 The Mirror Effect by ARTNAT album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.74 | 13 ratings

BUY
The Mirror Effect
Artnat Symphonic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars ARTNAT is a prog group from Portugal and they released "THE MIRROR EFFECT" in 2021.

What an interesting album. From the very beginning, it can be noticed that we set out on a totally different path from the classic sound and that it will definitely represent a new experience. Album starts with "Riding the edge of Darkness", a very interesting composition with strange time changes, definitely an eclectic song with elements of jazz. Throughout the album, it can be noticed that the band has definitely developed their own sound.

Very strange musical transitions that combine elements from psychedelia, space rock, that definitely create a calm atmosphere, to very confusing eclectic pieces that lead us into interesting discomfort, but when everything is combined the whole compositions sound interesting and definitely create a new and very satisfying experience.

It is very important to mention the fantastic vocals of Sara Freitas whose style fits perfectly and adds extra quality to the band

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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