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TARKUS

Symphonic Prog • Brazil


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Tarkus biography
Not to be confused with the Peruvian TARKUS of the 1970s, this Brazilian group with the name TARKUS started in November 2000 as a Progressive Rock band in Săo Paulo, Brazil. The music is based on the traditions of the progressive bands of the '70s. The songs on their first album were performed in English but their latest songs are in Portuguese. TARKUS is not an ELP tribute group, but the name was chosen in homage to the second ELP album.

The lineup has changed over the years, with only the two core members Mickey Nicolas (keyboards) and Luiz Teixeira (bass & backing vocals) remaining. Husband and wife Alex Bessa (keyboards) and Maristella (lead vocals) are two of the newcomers. It's no coincidence that Alex is wearing a T-shirt with a Rick Wakeman album on it in the picture of the band shown here. Like Mickey, he's a wiz on the keyboards.

The music is very accessible with strong melodies. Keyboards, including synthesizers (yes, even the Minimoog), are a cornerstone of many tracks. Check out the various videos and MP3 samples on the group's Web site.

Tarkus official website

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TARKUS Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy TARKUS Music


Tarkus - Emerson, Lake & PalmerTarkus - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Cotillion records
Vinyl$2.86 (used)
Tarkus [Vinyl]Tarkus [Vinyl]
Get Back 2007
Vinyl$24.42
Ao Vivo Em NiteroiAo Vivo Em Niteroi
Import
Musea 2005
Audio CD$17.52
$11.95 (used)
A Gaze Between The Past And The FutureA Gaze Between The Past And The Future
Musea/Rock Symphony 2006
Audio CD$130.71 (used)
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TARKUS shows & tickets


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TARKUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TARKUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.44 | 10 ratings
A Gaze Between The Past And The Future
2002
5.00 | 1 ratings
Mundus Novus
2006

TARKUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 12 ratings
Ao Vivo Em Niterói
2006

TARKUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.07 | 9 ratings
Ao Vivo Em Niteroi
2007

TARKUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TARKUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

TARKUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Gaze Between The Past And The Future by TARKUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.44 | 10 ratings

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A Gaze Between The Past And The Future
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by zambinha

3 stars Thanks for the appreciation of all in relation to the work we do considering an amateur band, who paid for by themselves the whole process of recording and production, in addition to composing and performing. I ask if could make it do something good and not nearly good? Maybe if the guitarist was a musician, not a surgeon, having to devote a lot of his work at the hospital, he could sing better and play better ... but in the end, after all, what is a good guitarist and singer?

Grade and final Thoughts

Frank Zappa called Steve Vai to perform guitar parts that could not....

What do you think Peter Hammil of his voice and his vibrato?

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 Ao Vivo Em Niterói by TARKUS album cover Live, 2006
3.78 | 12 ratings

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Ao Vivo Em Niterói
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars A band does itself a disservice when it chooses an idol for its moniker, especially one from the 1970s whose bloom has long since acquired a fetid scent. But I suppose it fits when talking about a tribute band or a clone. However, with TARKUS we have a measured intelligent act that catches a much wider drift of influences than EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER within its sonorous cilia, Yet they have further pigeonholed themselves by naming themselves after a specific album, in the process shortchanging themselves, ELP fans, and prospective fans who don't much care for ELP but would still find much to enjoy.

One aspect that is more or less accurate is the adoption of a sound firmly rooted in the 1970s, but even there I would just as readily draw comparisons to RICK WAKEMAN, BANCO, and other 70s RPI, and no doubt some big Brazilian names of the period. In addition, TARKUS didn't simply ignore the 20 odd years that followed the 70s, and I hear a fair bit of second generation groups from as far as Germany (ANYONE'S DAUGHTER), Japan (TERU'S SYMPHONIA) , and yes, Brazil (SOLUS) in the flourishes of some of the more flamboyant cuts.

Considering this really isn't my thing, I actually like about half of it well enough, my favourite being the piano tour de force "A Conquista". Others with plenty of highlights include the varied and swinging "A Dança Escolhida", marred by a requisite drum solo; the album's longest track "Dumont", with some truly electrifying synthesizer runs amongst occasional excesses; and the lively "O Retorno Da Lenda". I confess that I thought the lead singer was male until I read the credits, but no matter - she acquits herself rather well.

Just as many tracks seem aimless and lack coherence, particularly those in the early going, even as they have worthwhile moments. For instance "O Portal" doesn't wake up till the last few minutes while"Vida Nova" drags on too much at the end with the same theme repeated ad nauseum. Perhaps the group wanted to start the show more slowly and build up to the best tracks.

So this album is not a copy of ELP as inspired as it might be by them. No, no, a brazilian times no! 2.5 stars rounded up.

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 A Gaze Between The Past And The Future by TARKUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.44 | 10 ratings

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A Gaze Between The Past And The Future
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Another good symphonic prog album from Brazil.

Tarkus has in my view released a pretty generic symphonic prog album. There is influences from Flower Kings, Genesis and Yes here. Add some AOR to the mix and you get the picture. The album is not overly symphonic like The Nice or ELP. It is just middle of the road symphonic prog. Nothing to be offended by if you like symphonic prog. Your bank manager may be very offended though because there is a lot of rather expensive CDs and LPs around in this scene.

In addition to the usual fare, Tarkus also gives us one classic orchestral pieces and some pretty superb flute driven interludes. The music is also drenched in keyboards and solo guitars. The sound is very good and contemporary. The best song is the opening track Exit from Calcutta which has some superb melody lines at the end of this ten minutes long track. The rest of the tracks is also very good. The musicians seems talented and I may even offend my bank manager by purchasing the rest of their stuff. I like this album, but it has some flaws. The lack of identity and a signature killer track is the two biggest ones.

3 stars

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 A Gaze Between The Past And The Future by TARKUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.44 | 10 ratings

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A Gaze Between The Past And The Future
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Once you have overcome the first seconds of this album, you have to agree with me that this complex musical fantasy is much more worth than you could ever dreamed of.

These musical parts are just GORGEOUS. No more, no less. The sublime is touching the human: do you grab my mind? The fantastic intro track ''Exit From Calcuta'' is an extraordinary piece of music: it could leave lots of people breathless, and I am just fascinated with this type of music.

Grandiose, emotional, performing. The music available is just superb. Some fantastic moments are combined with very old feeling of my early prog ventures (the early seventies of course). This album is truly a great one: the music displayed is of great emotion and worth the time you could listen at.

I wouldn't say that a track is better than another one although you should consider each musical moments available here one of the finest. Freaks of the early ''Camel'' will just be delighted while listening to the great performances of this band. But there is such a bunch to expect.

This is an album I just profoundly like. Some might say it sounds superficial: I just hold it rather high in my rating. Four stars.with no problems. Skilled band, touching music, sublime moments like during the splendid ''Raft Of Medusa''. I am very glad that they are recording their next album '' Sanctuaryum'' which will hopefully see the light this year.

This is an excellent band from Brazil, and don't expect any ELP clone: the music has nothing to do with this prog giant. It is unique, colourful, skilled, emotional, beautiful, gorgeous, fantastic, original, symphonic. You might understand that I am quite impressed with this gaze between the past.

A great album for sure.

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 A Gaze Between The Past And The Future by TARKUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.44 | 10 ratings

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A Gaze Between The Past And The Future
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Could have been a better album

You know, i am usually very impressed by brazilian prog, when it is good, because in this part of the equator we don't have a good progressive rock industry like in other places around the world. Bad recording equipment, bad market, bad advertising, lack of founds, you name it and we have it here. So, it is usually hard to put out an album so i tend to support the bands the way i can.

However, the band must earn that support by putting out a good album and not just releasing an average album. Tarkus almost releases a good album, but in the end, due to two problems that i will mention ahead, their album is just average. Their music, though very inspired by the 70's prog sound, don't sound dated nor derivative, the songs are pretty interesting and the lyrics are not bad also. Their main influence here, despite the obvious Emerson, Lake and Palmer tribute in their name, is the dutch band Focus, along with minor Yes and ELP influences.

There are, as i said before, two big problems in A Gaze Between The Past And The Future, and those problems make the album lose a bit in the overall quality: 1) their guitarist isn't good and 2) the vocals are hesitant and/or out of tune in some parts throughout the album, besides having a reasonably strong accent (but the accent was a much bigger problem for Frank Bornemann and that didn't stopped him, right?). The guitarist isn't able to play the notes clearly when he is supposed to be playing fast and the vocals are usually out of tune due to the bad vibratos.

Besides having those two problems, the album is pretty decent. The flutes are very good when they appear, the bass and the keyboards do a pretty god job also, being those three the highlights of the album, as long as instrumental work goes. As far as the songs go, the highlights go to: Exit from Calcutta, Blue Light and The Raft of Medusa.

Grade and Final Thoughts

I rate A Gaze Between The Past And The Future as an average progressive rock album because it is quite of a mixed bag. Though the flutes, bass and keyboard works are very good, the guitar and the vocal work are not good, although not being horrible. So, in the end, the bad parts and the good parts add up, resulting in an average result. If they solve those two problems in the future and do release another album (since MUNDUS NOVUS IS A HOAX) they may be able to deliver a truly good album.

Better luck next time.

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 A Gaze Between The Past And The Future by TARKUS album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.44 | 10 ratings

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A Gaze Between The Past And The Future
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A very fine symphonic album by this interesting brazilian band. Great keyboards, guitars and flute interplay. Vocals on the other side are the weakest link. Not a bad voice, really, but vocals, like so many prog bands often do, seems to be an afterthought. Later on the band would get a much better singer and recorded a live album that showed their real potential. Anyway, the songs on A Gaze Between The Past And The Future are all good with some jazz influences here and there. Highlight to me is the first track, Exit From Calcuta, with some really inspired guitar breaks and wonderful flute.

All in all a good CD, with adequate prodution and fine playing. All musicians are very skillful. If you´re into symphonic prog and want to know something different, give it a try.

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 Ao Vivo Em Niterói by TARKUS album cover Live, 2006
3.78 | 12 ratings

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Ao Vivo Em Niterói
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by Atkingani
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars When I first heard of TARKUS, I thought they were merely an ELP tribute or clone band and didn't care too much about them. Later advised by some fellow PA buddies I realized my mistake and started to keep them in trail which led me to this live album, "Ao Vivo Em Niterói", and hey, I stayed truly surprised and even touched by this release, especially if one takes in account that I'm not too much into live albums and also that, in general, female vocals do not ignite my soul when the subject is prog-rock (although I love female vocals for several other music styles, like pop-rock, bossa nova, rhythm & blues, etc).

My first word goes then to Maristella Bessa, the singer. Her sweet timbre remembers a few the much admired Jane Duboc (ex-BACAMARTE) while her steady voice extension is quite close that of Zélia Duncan (who recently worked with MUTANTES). She has still much to learn and improve but I do believe she's already in the correct way. Her participation here contributed hugely to make this live album very pleasant and audible.

My second word goes to the general production which was able to issue a flawless album, practically exempt of the common faults observed wearisomely in the majority of the live albums, no matter the country they were produced and released. All this embellished by one of the most gorgeous art covers I've the opportunity to see recently.

My third word goes to the band - what a cluster of skilled musicians. They are really first-class mates and even knowing they had re-grouped short before this live act, they play like a geared team, soaring high their tunes, chords and signatures. Alright, they have their ELP moments but I guess they are much more in the vein of classic GENESIS, YES, CAMEL, RENAISSANCE and their Italian and Brazilian counterparts of the same period - in fact, the album is clearly imbibed in the 70s but we may feel an aura of the 21st Century grazing all around.

The starting point here, the instrumental and atmospheric 'O portal' is plenty of keyboard sounds (TARKUS have two keyboardists!) and the climate they create is able to keep the hearer's attention until guitars blast strongly. Looking for a real progressive track, then come and listen to this: eight breathless and amazing minutes. 'Mundo novo', nervous, frenzy, powerful in its beginning, brings Bessa cool vocals as a nice counterpoint to the apparent madness. The catchy 'Vida nova' has fair lyrics (in Portuguese), fairer vocals and even fairer band's playing.

'Pensamento' is only a gentle interlude for the lengthy 'A dança escolhida', that although sporting prog-rock arrangements (synth and piano sections are fascinating) has its voiced parts more oriented to a romantic landscape blended with some fusion excerpts - not bad but a bit senseless. 'A conquista' turns the climate back to the indisputable progressive realm and the result is above average, limpid and engaging. 'O retorno da lenda' keeps the enchantment of previous track this time provided with astonishing synth and piano tunes played dexterously.

'O hino', a prayer, short and emotional, well-fitted for the singer's flight opens space for the mini-epic 'Dumont', precisely when words like flight and space are essential to understand the life of the great Brazilian praised here, Alberto Santos-Dumont. Lyrics sound like a final will done by the portrayed inventor and work accordingly with the melody that assumes the shape of a jet plane. 'Ensaio dos ventos' closes the album tenderly; a joyous farewell for an intense work.

That said all that lasts is a sincere recommendation to check this album - an excellent addition to any prog music collection, without any doubt.

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 Ao Vivo Em Niterói by TARKUS album cover Live, 2006
3.78 | 12 ratings

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Ao Vivo Em Niterói
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Live CD of this very good symphonic band from Brazil. It is their first with the new line up that includes another keyboards player and a new singer. The sound is very much 70´s keyboards driven prog music not much unlike ELP (of course), Triumvirat and others. Actually most of the time the band reeks of 70´s music in both musical and lyrical fields. So much one wonders if this record was a reissue of some long lost live recording of that era, even in some instruments timbres (like the Ovation acoustic guitar). Fortunatly the recording quality and overall sound is very modern. Production is crystaline and you can hear each instrument perfectly.

I´m a bit annoyed by the hippie/new age-ish kind of the lyrics, all sung in portuguese. If you can live with that the music itself is quite good, powerful and varied; done by professional players who clearly love what they do and know how to play their instruments backwards. Songwriting is also top notch. Maristella Bessa´s voice is good and fit well in the musical context of the band. There are some great instrumental passages with lots of keyboards solos (mini moog is very used) and guitar. The rhythm section is firm and flexible at the same time. The band seems to be playing together for years!

Conclusion: Tarkus finest CD till now. Those guys do put a great show. If you´re into this kind of progressive music you can go no wrong with this CD. Radical progheads and general music lovers will be delighted! Highly recommended.

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 Ao Vivo Em Niteroi by TARKUS album cover DVD/Video, 2007
4.07 | 9 ratings

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Ao Vivo Em Niteroi
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a Brasilian six piece band rooted in 2000, they have released two studio albums: A Gaze Between The Past And The Future (2002) and Mundus Novus (2006). In December 2006 Tarkus also released the live CD entitled Ao Vivo Em Niteron (2005, Brazil). This DVD contains 12 composition (including the ten CD tracks and two extra songs), the running time is at about 1,5 hour. We can enjoy many camera positions and lots of solo shots, the lightshow is no more or less than tasteful with wonderful red, blue and green colours, the excellent musicians play very enthousiastic and the female singer sounds warm and passionated.

From the first moment I listened to Tarkus I was carried away by their wonderful symphonic prog compositions featuring a lush keyboard sound (two members are keyboardist), strong and warm female Brasilian vocals (at some moments similar to Bacamarte), a dynamic and fluent rhythm-section and a crafted guitar player (from acoustic rhythm guitar to propulsive riffs and sensitive soli). The most remarkable element is the sound of the Minimoog, the music contains lots of spectacular soli with strong hints from Seventies Rick Wakeman. The climates on the ten compositions shift very flowing from dreamy to often bombastic and some songs deliver solo pieces on classical piano (very sparkling) and classic guitar (with flageolets that remind me of Steve Hackett). My highlights on this very compelling CD are O Portal (pleasant changing climates and a great build-up that culminates into an exciting 'grand finale'' with Minimoog flights in the vein of the final part of Starship Trooper by Yes), Vida Nova (warm intro with classical guitar and piano, then lots of shifting moods and again exciting Minimoog runs and sensitive electric guitar) and A Danca Escolhida (wonderful twanging guitar, than first a dreamy atmosphere and then a strong build-up to a bombastic final part with powerful organ waves and propulsive guitar riffs). The final track Ensaio Dos Ventos delivers a pleasant atmosphere with a rock element (swinging piano, R&R guitar and powerful vocals) but it ends with a symphonic prog finale that delivers sparkling piano and sensational Minimoog flights, goose bumps! The two extra songs are also worth listening, "no fillers, all killers"! First No Campo, a solo piece on the Takamine acoustic guitar, the atmosphere reminds me of Steve Hackett his composition Horizons, emphasized by the use of flageolets in the end. Then the wonderful and very compelling Vale Magico, it starts with a majestic church organ sound, then a slow rhythm with a captivating electric guitar/sitar (on keyboards) duel and a grand finale featuring lush keyboards, this is Progheaven!

I can only conclude with "highly recommended", in my opinion Tarkus deserves worldwide attention, what a band, what a performance, what a splendid DVD!



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 Ao Vivo Em Niterói by TARKUS album cover Live, 2006
3.78 | 12 ratings

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Ao Vivo Em Niterói
Tarkus Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a Brasilian six piece band rooted in 2000, they have released two studio albums: A Gaze Between The Past And The Future (2002) and Mundus Novus (2006). In December 2006 Tarkus also released the live CD entitled Ao Vivo Em Niteron, I read that this concert is also released on DVD and you can even watch a video track on YouTube!

From the first moment I listened to Tarkus I was carried away by their wonderful symphonic prog compositions featuring a lush keyboard sound (two members are keyboardist), strong and warm female Brasilian vocals (at some moments similar to Bacamarte), a dynamic and fluent rhythm-section and a crafted guitar player (from acoustic rhythm guitar to propulsive riffs and sensitive soli). The most remarkable element is the sound of the Minimoog, the music contains lots of spectacular soli with strong hints from Seventies Rick Wakeman. The climates on the ten compositions shift very flowing from dreamy to often bombastic and some songs deliver solo pieces on classical piano (very sparkling) and classic guitar (with flageolets that remind me of Steve Hackett). My highlights on this very compelling CD are O Portal (pleasant changing climates and a great build-up that culminates into an exciting 'grand finale'' with Minimoog flights in the vein of the final part of Starship Trooper by Yes), Vida Nova (warm intro with classical guitar and piano, then lots of shifting moods and again exciting Minimoog runs and sensitive electric guitar) and A Danca Escolhida (wonderful twanging guitar, than first a dreamy atmosphere and then a strong build-up to a bombastic final part with powerful organ waves and propulsive guitar riffs). The final track Ensaio Dos Ventos delviers a pleasant atmosphere with a rock element (swinging piano, R&R guitar and powerful vocals) but it ends with a symphonic prog finale that delivers sparkling piano and sensational Minimoog flights, goose bumps!

I am glad that Tarkus is on Prog Archives but this bands deserves more attention, what an excellent live CD!



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