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PETRUS CASTRUS

Symphonic Prog • Portugal


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Petrus Castrus biography
Portugal is not an easy country to get information from, especially because during the 70's when PETRUS CASTRUS was formed, this Iberian country was under a dictatorship that was not very fond on freedom of speech, and this guys didn't fell under the category of political correct. The fact that their first and better album has never been upgraded to CD and the second one just recently makes even harder the search for their material.

Petrus Castrus is an interesting Symphonic band formed 1971 by brothers Jose (Keyboards, bass, vocals) and Pedro Castro (Vocals, guitars, bass), who recruited Julio Pereira (Guitars) and Rui Reiss (Organ) ex members of a band called Play Boys and João Seixas on drums, the name of the band is the latin translation of Pedro Castro.

During this first era they were heavily influenced by Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, The Nice and even Pink Floyd, despite the fact that their inspiration is very eclectic, their sound is very close to early British Symphonic, mostly ELP.

The band signed a contract with the producer Valentim de Carvalho and recorded two EP's "Marasmo" e "Tudo isto, Tudo mais" which were well received by the critic, after this releases they signed with a new born label called Sassetti.

With this label they released their first LP "Mestre" in 1973, considered one of the best albums of all Portuguese Prog history that I had the luck to listen a couple of times. Due to the controversial lyrics based in poems by Bocage, Alexandre O'Neill, Ary dos Santos, Fernando Pessoa and Sophia de Mello Breyner Anderson that are a statement against the Dictatorship, "Mestre" was banned for three months by the Censorship Commission, it's even harder to understand why they weren't completely banned, rumors say they had some strong influences in the Government circles, this album is not available on CD.

After this debut album they release a third single called "A Bananeira" still a satirical criticism to the Government, but brothers Castro tired of censorships and temporal banning of their music decide to end the band and leave Portugal to study until 1976.

This new incarnation of PETRUS CASTRUS recorded their second album "Ascenção e Queda" (Rise and Fall) released in 1978, a conceptual album much more Symphonic oriented but still very naïve, the concept is about the hopes of the people in a fictional new politician of an obscure nation that after some times becomes a new dictator. The critic wa...
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PETRUS CASTRUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.24 | 26 ratings
Mestre
1973
4.18 | 38 ratings
Ascenção E Queda
1978

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

PETRUS CASTRUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

4.04 | 8 ratings
Marasmo
1971
4.00 | 2 ratings
Tudo isto, tudo mais
1972
4.17 | 6 ratings
A Bananeira
1974
3.17 | 5 ratings
Cândida
1977

PETRUS CASTRUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ascenção E Queda by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.18 | 38 ratings

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Ascenção E Queda
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 202

"Ascensão E Queda" is the second and last studio album of Petrus Castrus and was released in 1978. The line up on the album is Pedro Castro, José Castro and Urbano Oliveira. The album had also the participation of Nuno Rodrigues, Helena Águas, Rui Serrão and Fernando Girão, as guest musicians.

Formed in 1971, Petrus Castrus was led by brothers Pedro Castro and José Castro. They recruited Júlio Pereira, Rui Reis and João Seixas and began to practice music near to the symphonic progressive rock vein. They released their debut album entitled "Mestre", which now is considered one of the best Portuguese prog albums of all time. The album consists of songs with poems of Bocage, Alexandre O'Neill, Ary dos Santos, Fernando Pessoa and Sophia de Mello Breyner Anderson. The fact that they recorded these poets cost them the confiscation of the album for three months by the infamous Commission of Censorship. Shortly after recording the album, in 1974, the band suspended their activity. In 1976 the band returned the activities with a new LP titled "Ascensão E Queda", this time as a trio, released in 1978.

Since the revolution of 1974 that finished with the Censorship, the air smelled of freedom. It was a moment of glory for all singers and songwriters, especially for those who had been banned from air-waves, recording studios and live stages. So, it was in this context that the brothers composed a conceptual album, much in vogue among their Anglo-Saxon counterparts at the time, dealing with the contradictions, the irony and irrationality of the games of power, and the ephemeral quality of ideologies. However, for the new powers at the time, on what the majority's feelings, owners of a newly conquered, unshakable faith in the utopia of freedom and popular power, this felt like a blasphemy. The LP edition was of course allowed, but it was never given any promotion and the "enlightened" music critics at the time demolished it completely. Probably, they considered it a "Reactionary Work". The attitude of social satire, always associated with the band and assumed by them, had nothing to do with the musical proposals that arose in the post-revolution, in which one tried to say at once through the so-called intervention music. In reality, it happened to the album the same has happened with "Onde, Quando, Como, Porquê Cantamos Pessoas Vivas" of Quarteto 1111.

"Ascensão E Queda" has a magnificent allegory. This album's audition is read like a movie soundtrack, with its six tracks sub-divided into several themes each, filled with unpredictable changes. It has an underlying symphonic progressive rock vibe fed by José Castro with his arsenal of analog keyboards, electric piano and ARP's plus harpsichord and acoustic piano. But it's also a tasteful hodge-podge brimming with ideas, a bit in a Gentle Giant's spirit. It comes to my mind "The Power And The Glory" mainly because the concept, though not in style, and which may can require some repeated listening, since it has the attributes of a continuous grower in us. Although, not obligatory, a minimal understanding of the language may help very well, since the lyrics are also in Portuguese, as on "Mestre".

Musically, the synthesizer's sound effects and sounds of seagulls and sea waves may embellish simple piano and vocal themes, mellotron washes back complex textures of multilayered vocal lines in Renaissance's ambiences. Petrus Castrus enlisted the services of Helena Águas, at the time the best rock vocalist in Portugal, capable of a Annie Haslam like style, for mermaid like calls on foggy nights of dramatic minor chords sequences. Rock and jazzy groves with tasty guitar work, harpsichord driven Baroque passages backed by shimmering 12-strings acoustics, folksy acoustic guitar driven parts, and martial bass & piano themes shaken by Urbano Oliveira powerful drum rolls or brisk funky inflected grooves backing a web of miscellaneous vocal melodies. Nuno Rodrigues, one of the founding members of another of the best Portuguese progressive bands, Banda Do Casaco, and Fernando Girão also guest on some tracks as vocalist, contribute to make of this oeuvre a parallel exquisite and vocal heavy experience, in the style of a true rock opera.

Conclusion: "Ascenção E Queda" is a very beautiful album of the Portuguese prog with its very own atmosphere that provides for a good and a varied entertainment. It can be placed somewhere between Italian and British prog but with a special flavor that makes it as original and strong as any Brazilian, Argentinean or Scandinavian 70's landmark albums in the genre. Petrus Castrus' second album is not a jaw dropping, hyper complex progressive music but rather a more subdued effort, where the focus is on melody and album conception. So, this album became an excellent Portuguese progressive rock album with a very distinctive and unique sound. Unfortunately, the band still has recorded two more singles and has given some live concerts, but suddenly disappeared. Although "Ascensão E Queda" was a commercial failure and was devastated by the critic of the time, today this album is sought, mainly by the collectors of progressive rock music. It has been object of a reissue by a South Korean record label. Luckily, it seems they weren't forgotten.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Mestre by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.24 | 26 ratings

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Mestre
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 201

"Mestre" is the debut studio album of Petrus Castrus and was released in 1973. The line up on the album is Pedro Castro, José Castro, Júlio Pereira, Rui Reis and João Seixas.

Petrus Castrus was a Portuguese symphonic progressive rock band formed in 1971 by brothers Pedro Castro and José Castro. The name of the band comes from the Latin translation of the name of Pedro Castro. The band suspended their activity in 1974. In 1976, Petrus Castrus returned with a new release, their second studio album "Ascensão E Queda".

In 1971, Petrus Castrus released their debut EP "Marasmo" and on the following year they released another EP "Tudo Isto, Tudo Mais". Both works cemented the musical approach to the British prog rock. It was with these works we can start talking about prog rock in Portugal. Of course we can't forget the Portuguese pioneers, Quarteto 1111. However, Petrus Castrus emerged in a decade of great musical innovation and experimentalism, and where many bands in Portugal tried to copy what was broadcast by radio stations and heard occasionally many records brought from abroad.

It happened the same with "Mestre" with what happened with the debut album of Quarteto 1111. It was also banned, for three months, by the Censorship Commission. Only with the fall of the political regime, in April 25, 1974, it was possible to create something new and with liberty. So, "Mestre" became also a very important album, like "Quarteto 1111" is for prog rock in Portugal. This is the main reason why we can say that the two early musical works of Quarteto 1111 and Petrus Castrus are the pioneers and represent really the first truly progressive rock musical experiences in Portugal.

With their debut EP "Marasmus", it became very clear this wasn't a vulgar band. On this first EP and on the following second, "Tudo Isto, Tudo Mais", Petrus Castrus questioned the traditional Lusitanian soft customs, in the song lyrics and in the musical arrangements too. As happened with Quarteto 1111, Petrus Catrus also used many poems of some of the best and most known Portuguese contemporary authors such as José Mário Branco, José Carlos Ary dos Santos, Alexandre O'Neill, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen or of the Brazilian poet Manuel Bandeira. But they also have used poems of some of the greatest classic Portuguese poets like Fernando Pessoa and Bocage.

"Mestre" isn't a classic symphonic prog rock album like "Ascensão E Queda", the second album of Petrus Castrus is. Rather, "Mestre" is more an eclectic album which included a part of its elevated claim also by the used texts, all in Portuguese, of different authors, all critics of the political regime at the time. Virtuous solos or extravagant instrumental braids are looked for in vain. Nevertheless, this mix of more angular rock, folk-like, organ proto-prog and psychedelic, with a shot of jazz and some sound effects, was quite progressive. Basically, the music is very melodic, sad to passionate pianoforte. José Castro sings, accompanied by his brother at the piano, the most distant instrument on this album. In addition, subtle to powerful bass, drums, acoustic and electrically amplified guitars, other keyboards and sometimes a xylophone come together. Often, the music takes on the ride and turns into more dynamic, somewhat straighter rocker. Beautiful songs stand next to hard rocking, boogie piano numbers and also cheerful dancing, often provided with distortion and other psychedelic effects. In addition there is a raw and angular production on the album.

The highlight on the album is the introductory title. "Mestre" is an elegiac gripping mixture of wonderful singing, great piano, swinging organ movements, spinet miniatures and subtle rhythm accompaniment, which digs deep into the auditory canals. This is really a great symphonic prog track. The rest of the album no longer reaches the density and the sound, neither the progressivity of this piece. It's very eclectic, there is no common thread and often the music is in more mainstream waters. Due to that, the whole thing is quite colourful and varied but I think there are many other great tracks on it like, "Pasárgada/Saudades Do Rio Antigo", "Tiahuanaco", "História Do Azul Do Mar" and "Só Mais Nada".

Conclusion: "Mestre" brought a new and unusual sound to Portugal. In addition to the attempt to build a symphonic rock, well structured and executed ideas, Petrus Castrus stood out for the originality of the lyrics. "Mestre" comes to reveal and confirm a band that achieved a musical and poetic unit worthy of registration. If the musical influences are rooted in Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Procol Harum and Pink Floyd, the lyrics plunge deeply and directly into the reality that surrounds and feeds us, like from the allegory, "História Do Azul Do Mar", the analysis of national myths , "Pátria Amada", to the direct interrogation, "Tiahanaco", to the verification of a fact, "Mestre", many of the times with the use of poems of some of the most representative poets of the Portuguese language. "Mestre" becomes to demonstrate the qualities of a band that reveals a conscious, lucid and intentional work in a meaningful and often critical instrumentation. This is why Petrus Castrus with "Mestre" is one of the best representatives of prog in Portugal.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Tudo isto, tudo mais by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Tudo isto, tudo mais
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The Second EP

As difficult as it was for Portugal to get into the progressive rock world of the early 70s due to the country existing under the dictatorship of Salazar, it was even harder for the brave few who dared to buck the censors and distribute politically charged progressive rock to put out their music. While PETRUS CASTRUS managed to release a small three track debut titled "Marasmo" which is Portuguese for "stagnation" or "apathy," the band didn't find much luck releasing a full-length album the following year either and resorted to putting out a second three track EP titled TUDO ISTO, TUDO MAIS (All This, Everything More) in 1972. The one constant the band enjoyed on these two early EP releases was a stable lineup until after the recording of their first album "Mestre" when guitarist Júlio Pereira would depart and the band would change up their sound.

On TUDO ISTO, TUDO MAIS, the music pretty much continues the mid-tempo often laid back pastoral symphonic prog heard on the debut EP. In fact, i would bet that all this material was intended to be released on a single album but due to the hardships affecting the Portuguese political realities, probably was plagued with every type of problem imaginable. The title track begins things with a classical piano run that sounds like a jazz lounge club or something but then becomes more pop oriented followed by busy Latin percussion. The melody almost sounds like "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack but just off enough not to cry plagiarism. Weirdly this one appears alone as a video while the other two tracks appear compiled together.

"Familiada" (family) has more of an acoustic guitar and bass groove and sounds like a mix of 60s pop psych mixed with some 70s symphonic prog bombast. Nice guitar tones and vocal harmonics. Once again the classical piano runs pop in and dominate for a while but the 60s groovy bass lines are what give this one a true vibe, man. Somehow and i'm not sure where but "Moscas, Sol e Gente" (Flies, sun and people) seamlessly picks up from the first track. Maybe these are one track with different parts? Another mystery surrounding this. Maybe i'm only hearing one track that is labeled as two?

As i'm writing this, this mini three track Vinyl 7" is going for 179US$, so to say this is an obscurity and in need of a proper re-release is an understatement. There's a whole lot of uncertainty around this one. I'm not even sure what the official times are of the three tracks are so i'm not 100% even positive i listened to all three, however i'm writing this review simply to make more people aware of this band's existence and that their first release was not "Mestre" but rather the two short EPs that came before.

While there is no doubt that PETRUS CASTRUS was not the most talented prog band to have hit the 70s scene, there is a very interesting vibe that they exude most likely due to the hardships endured in their very existence. While this may be more of historical significance than musically speaking so, the musical experience is hardly unpleasant and an interesting blend of the 60s and 70s. Perhaps i'm overrating this but i like it!

 Marasmo by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1971
4.04 | 8 ratings

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Marasmo
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The Debut EP

The progressive rock movement took off like wildfire once King Crimson released their epic "In The Court Of The Crimson King" in 1969 and soon thereafter all of Europe followed by the world, would start to experiment with the complexities that were on full display in the sudden popular music that took off. However, this only applied to free countries. Even within Europe there were dictatorships hindering such experimentalism and despite having once been the world's greatest empire and economy, Portugal somehow found its way into the clutches of the tyrant Salazar's rule from 1933 to 1974 when the country was technically considered to be run by a corporatist authoritarian regime which in simpler terms is considered fascism. Due to this small detail in history, Portugal didn't participate in the progressive rock wave that was occurring in other parts of Europe at the same time. Despite that though, the human spirit is strong and similar to the situations in Greece and the communist occupied Eastern European countries of the era, a few determined artists managed to slip through the cracks.

PETRUS CASTRUS was one of those determined bands that formed in 1971 during the reign of the dreaded rule of one of Portugal's darkest chapters and emerged as one of Portugal's very first progressive rock bands. The band was formed by two brothers, Pedro and José Castro but somehow in the spirit of dictatorships, Pedo won the coin toss i guess and the band name was chosen as a Latin translation of his name. Sounds very Roman Empiresque, hmmm. Initially the band consisted of five members with the other members being Júlio Pereira on guitar, Rui Reis on organ and Joāo Seixas on drums. While the band would change things up greatly before their first full-length album "Mestre" in 1973, their debut actually took place with this short EP titled MARASMO (Portuguese for "stagnation" or "apathy") which was a biting political critique of the situation occurring at the time. Due to the state of affairs in the country, as one can imagine, pretty much everything progressive came to a grinding halt and only the most determined individuals would dare to contradict the powers that be.

That brings me to this short but sweet EP that only lasts a mere 11 minutes and 32 seconds but what a bold statement it was. Not only does it display one of the boldest and most in-yer-face album covers that happens to be one of my favorites of rock history but despite its blink of an eye time length, it was quite the political dissidence of the era. It's all in Portuguese and more biting for those who speak the lingo but the titles themselves are quite the political critique. Alongside the title track are two equally polemically titled tracks: "Ovo De Chumbo" (Egg of lead / gunshots) and "Batacuda Vulgaris" (Vulgar dance percussion group?). While the album sounds rather tame by our standards today, it should be emphasized how significant this tiny little historical artifact was at the time and place it was released. It was like the ultimate defiance of power that would be a part of the revolution that overthrew the repressive government only three years after its release.

Musically speaking this is quite subdued symphonic prog mostly by the numbers with influences being derived by the mellower and spacier members of the camp such as Pink Floyd and earlier proto prog bands such as The Nice and Procol Harum but overall the sound of PETRUS CASTRUS reminds me most of the symphonic prog of bands that emerged from Argentina of the 70s ranging from Alas, Magma (not the French band) and Crucis amongst others. The title track remains very keyboard dominated and the Latin based Portuguese language lyrics remind me very much of the pastoral symphonic Italian bands of the same era albeit without the sophistication. At the time in Portugal there was engaged in a catching up game in time and place and the music here very much represents the late 60s style of proto-prog trying to reach 70s European progressive rock heights. While nothing PETRUS CASTRUS ever did reached those high levels of accomplishment, the band was successful in many ways of at least garnering an emotional response to their musical movement and that's what keeps this somewhat relevant even in the modern era.

While the title track was very pastoral and in full mellow mode, "Ovo De Chumbo" reminds me of the progressive folk that Argentinean Sui Generis would pump out late on in the 70s with an acoustic guitar melodic chord dominated riff somewhat rooted in popular music (lasting under three minutes) with a heavy emphasis on keyboard bombast. It ends with a nice guitar solo with a nice tone and bluesy flair. Likewise the third track "Butacuada Vulgaris" is a short little melodic track that has a rather Santana type of rhythmic percussive drive with that famous Carlos Santana guitar accompaniment. Once again the keyboard bombast is in sync with the melody but more ambitious in its classical excursions and note seeking completeness. After the Santana sounding part fades out, a classical piano with an organ counterpoint take the lead for a while but it ultimately bounces back to the Santana-esque style with a heavy emphasis on drumming. Overall, this tiny slice of Portuguese prog may not blow away the uninitiated but somehow i find this to be quite charming with the added knowledge of the history that surrounds it and even without such is a nice groovy crossover prog type of experience.

 Ascenção E Queda by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.18 | 38 ratings

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Ascenção E Queda
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Petrus Castrus' second album finds the Portuguese band presenting a style of progressive rock which relies less on speed and complexity and more on sophistication and atmosphere, with the stately piano work of José Castro being particularly responsible for this sound. Indeed, if I were to compare this with the work of any other progressive artist, I'd have to raise the spectre of the Enid, whose work from this era has a similarly romantic feel to it. Not your typical twiddly-diddly "let's see how crazy we can get these time signatures" prog rock album, but a truly original sound which doesn't deserve to linger in obscurity
 Ascenção E Queda by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.18 | 38 ratings

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Ascenção E Queda
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by Luis de Sousa

5 stars This is the best rock album ever recorded in Portugal, better even than the brilliant works produced by José Cid during the same decade. "Ascenção e Queda" is a real Opera, that dives deeper into that sort of musical framework that any other rock recording I know of. For each character there is a different melody in each different act, each one special in some way, really recreating the changing scenes you would get in a live thetrical representation. The quality of the recording itself is the best possible at the time with great performances from musicians and especially singers.

Unfortunatelly this outstanding record has been largely forgotten and so far hasn't got the recognition it devserves. In first place because the listener must really understand the lyrics to fully grasp the density of the record; those don't speak Portuguese are thus left at loss. And secondly because the record has been largely neglected by whomever owns printing rights. A physical copy has become prohibitivly expensive in CD format; I am yet to see a vynil copy for sale but I would expect it to go for several thousand euros.

Indespensible in any symphonic rock collection.

 Mestre by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.24 | 26 ratings

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Mestre
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Portugese psych/prog obscurity,the first prog-related record I ever heard from this country.PETRUS CASTRUS were found in August,1971 by the Castro brothers,Pedro on bass and Jose on keys/vocals.Among the band's members we meet guitarist Júlio Pereira,a respected figure of the Potruguese musical scene,who participated in more than 70 records throughout his career.PETRUS CASTRUS released a single entitled ''Marasmo'' in 1971 and an EP under the tiltle ''Tudo Isto e Mais'' the next year,before recording their first LP ''Mestre''.

At a time of dicatorship in the Iverian country,PETRUS CASTRUS dared to blend rock with political lyrics,which actually cost them after the album's pressing.This is mostly a Psych album with Folk and progressive leanings,very much in a song-based style.Unfortunately I do not know even one Potruguese word,as the album would be much more interesting if I understood the lyrics.Musically we have to deal with somekind of a mix between Classic and prog rock with Acoustic/Folk parts and heavy lyrical doses.About half of the album is more in a singer/song-writer style with decent acoustic guitars,calm piano and changing vocal lines,which sometimes sound really angry and expressive.The band tries obviously to send anti-political messages to the listener,however non-Portugese/Brazilian listeners will have a limited interest for these songs.On the other half the compositions seem more intricate with nice Hammond organ,good electric parts,heavy bass lines and a few nice breaks as well,though the band never trully enters the real progressive realm.Some moments of these songs are really captivating,but notice that they also contain lots of lyrical moments and a mostly calm atmosphere.

I would recommend this album only to those who can understand PETRUS CASTRUS' lyrics or could actually translate them.The album's true value is based on its lyrical content,while musically it has a few to offer to a demanding proghead.Except you are a devoted fan of Proto- Prog with strong Psych/Folk overtones...

 Mestre by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.24 | 26 ratings

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Mestre
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars An interesting band from Portugal.

This album was released when Portugal was run by a fascist military junta. Their lyrics was about freedom and that was a bit of a clash with this political regime. Their lyrics is therefore supposed to be excellent. So far, so good.

The music comes across as a mix of space rock like Pink Floyd and Eloy, Italian symphonic prog like PFM and prog folk like Harmonium (their second album). This is a good mixture of styles.

The songs are driven by some rather good vocals, piano and Hammond organ. The sound is rather more space rock than symphonic prog. The sound quality is acceptable, but nothing more. This album was recorded in difficult circumstances and the band got the best out of the situation.

It is therefore a pity that there is not really any good songs here, besides of the good title track. The rest of the songs is nodding away and is easy forgetable. Even after ten times listening over a period of three weeks, I am not able to remember anything from this album. The music is pleasant, but forgetable. Besides of the title track, I do not find this album enjoyable. I am sorry.

2 stars

 Ascenção E Queda by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.18 | 38 ratings

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Ascenção E Queda
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

5 stars 01. A Chegada Are the winds of change? Or would the new wind? The disc starts with a good piano leading a beautiful melody and a voice very interesting. Totally exciting, with the sensational piano melodies, amid some seagulls sing at the bottom of the track. It is very good to hear Progressive Rock in the native language Portuguese, has a special sound. It is a great balcony that divide the two brothers each verse. When the whole band enter the parade is already won. The bottom line of Pedro Castro is very good. In the second part of the song it becomes more lively and full of beautiful melodies and lyrics are remarkable.

02. A Revolta A voice ad infinitum as I usually call the song starts (those without truce between the phrases). Footprint and a nice pop on the band, also embedded with beautiful keyboards and vocals overlapping without equal. A confusion of words and crazy. Around the piano giving space to the vein of the symphonic band and to Jose Castro (if I am not mistaken) to sing with his voice hoarse.

03. Ascenção This track is an example of Progressive well done, very beautiful and melodic, the vocals are excellent on all points. Filled with keyboards orchestrated, good parts of the battery and the participation of Urban Oliveira Helena Waters on vocals. All tracks of the first side are composed of two parts, the second track that is full of passages jazz / rock sensational.

04. Declínio E Ruptura The clove leaves one with the music to sound more sensational, more should be used by other bands. Who is participating in the band on vocals and Nuno Rodrigues Rui Serrão the bottom. Enter into a dialogue scene in the band, a true mini-rock opera with very good bass lines.

05. Indecisão E Demência Battery almost a schedule to the On The Run (Pink Floyd), a line of low excellent line and a beautiful voice. Following a beautiful guitar solo is a song is more melodic and calm. From now on nearly half a carnival / circus, with an instrumental passage well arranged and with a special synthesizer surrounding all spaces. Following the guitar gives the tone for coming into contact with the beauty again. Almost a tango at the end with strangers' attack 'of a guitar and drums and also abnormal.

06. Queda The voice that already excellent start to the song. Interpretation as the entire disk. After an instrumental introduction and all broken Yezda Urfa, to finish this part a bit of 'samba'. The second part is good for guitar and piano riffs played together. Sensacional, after things get very emotional lyrics and melody with an animal.

A great disc for Progressive Rock Sinfônico Portuguese, and I said!

www.progshine.com

 Ascenção E Queda by PETRUS CASTRUS album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.18 | 38 ratings

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Ascenção E Queda
Petrus Castrus Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Having bought "Mestre" by PETRUS CASTRUS a few days ago, decided to go back my old vinyl collection in search for "Ascenção e Queda" (Rise and Fall), but the poor LP was scratched that made it unable to be listened, so made a visit to my rarities store and found a copy of the CD with some extra bonus tracks,.

The problem is that when the owner noticed I was searching for the specific CD, he asked me 30 bucks (the same guy sold me "Mestre" for US$ 2.99 a few days ago), after some negotiations I got it in 15 bucks, a good price for a very good album.

"Ascenção e Queda" is a Symphonic conceptual album, very close to the Rock Opera format, that tells a story about the hopes of the people in a fictional new politician of an obscure nation that after some times becomes a new dictator, from his arrival to his decline.

The album starts with "A Chegada" (The arrival), which begins with the noise of wind, as announcing the storm that is going to come, a soft piano works as background for the vocals in form of narration, which describes the arrival of the dictator, full of promises and hopes,. The piano is the constant from start to end, around the middle the music starts to grow in intensity as announcing a explosion, but it softens again, leading to a second narration. It's only about the fifth minute when the rest of the band joins in an extremely beautiful passage where the keyboards and drums take the lead and simply delightful vocal contra punt completes the scene.

"A Revolta" (A Revolution) stats a lighter and mainstream oriented track which describes the moment in which the new politician receives the support of some sectors of te people and hw the face the old regime, fast and confusing at the beginning, but suddenly a piano section puts order to the chaos, the vocals are outstanding, full of emotion and sensibility, then the track enters to a very Prog section where José Castro starts to play with the possibilities of his keyboard, very interesting track, full of contrasts and variations.

"Ascenção" (Rise) is darker and melancholic, a beautiful female chorus adds a haunting sound. The new politician takes the power and people believe in h9is promises. The track is again full of changes and keyboard effects, but always keeping the pompous and martial atmosphere. Again excellent keyboard work by José Castro.

"Declinio e Ruptura" (Decline and rupture) is an acoustic track that describes the moment when the new President starts to behave as a dictator and begins to loose the support of the people. Again in form of narration, with interesting dramatic sections that suddenly explode in frantic passages and melodic sections, great work.

"Indecisão e Demência" (Indecision and Madness) is one of the strongest tracks, starts very influenced by PINK FLOYD, but suddenly changes into a beautiful and melodic 100% Symphonic song, where as usual the vocal work is outstanding, two male voices that collision with the softer and haunting range of Helena Águas.

But what impressed me more is the number of radical changes that this band can offer on each track, it would be amazing for any band to keep the coherence, but they seem to have no problem, everything has a place and a reason.

"Queda" (Fall) starts with a repetition of words "He's mad, his mad, he was always mad", mixed with rants and complains against the tyrant, while a frantic drum keeps the tense atmosphere alive. Suddenly a Greek influenced Harp marks a radical change, but again the frantic section re-starts over and over, as if the Governor regains control and looses it again, but each time the calmed sections are shorter, a perfect musical description of the situation.

Again without warning a strong explosion is heard and the song turns into melodic and nostalgic, as if announcing the end of the tyranny and a new start, just to begin the cycle again.

As usual I won't talk about the bonus tracks "Bananeira" and "Seis e Meia da Tarde" which are good, but have no place in a conceptual album that was released to tell a story, not to find a place for forgoten songs, which are pretty good but not wrote by the author to be part of this album.

Excellent album that deserves far more popularity, good for any listener who doesn't care for lyrics in foreign language.

Four stars.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to bhikkhu for the last updates

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