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BANDA DO CASACO

Prog Folk • Portugal


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Banda Do Casaco biography
Founded in Lisbon, Portugal in 1974 - Disbanded in 1984

BANDA DO CASACO's genesis comes from the reunion of jazz musician Nuno Rodrigues and FILARMÓNICA FRAUDE's men António Pinho and Luís Linhares, who made the decision to establish a new group who could wield some influence in the Portuguese music scene. Their first LP, "Dos Benefícios de um Vendido no Reino dos Bonifácios" is a real provocation to the estabilishment.
In 1976 they launched their second album, "Coisas do Arco da Velha", where the bands takes their satirical lyrics even further. The song "É triste não saber ler" ("A sad thing, not knowing how to read") is a good example.
BANDA DO CASACO's third and most renowned album, 1977's "Hoje há Conquilhas, Amanhã não Sabemos", features the inclusion in the band of António Pinheiro da Silva, as guitarist, as well as multi-instrumentalist Rão Kyao. This is the band's most experimental album. Launched in 1978, the album "Contos da Barbearia" is a culmination of styles previously explored by the group.

After three years without any recordings, the band returns with in 1981 with a new album, "No Jardim da Celeste". This album is the most rock-oriented of the band, a natural repercussion the growing trend in Portugal. It featured the inclusion in the band of female singer Né Ladeiras and Jerry Marotta, former drummer for Peter Gabriel.
In 1982, António Pinho leaves the group to write lyrics for pop-band "Doce", while the rest of the band present the album "Também Eu", which for the first time features vocals all done by one member, Né Ladeiras.

The final studio album by BANDA DO CASACO, 1984's "Com Ti Chitas", features the inclusion of a somewhat mystical figure in Portuguese music, old lady shepherd "Ti Chitas" (Catarina Sargenta), who sings and plays adufe on the album. It is the band's biggest approach to strict folk music and traditional themes. The group disbands shortly after, while the new pop-rock, punk-rock and synth-pop of the 80's slowly dominated the Portuguese musical scene.

Overall, the band had a very folkish sound, complemented by the use drums, keyboards and the occasional brass and strings, without really having a very strong focus on the "rock" part of "Progressive-Rock" or "Folk-Rock" (electric guitars, for instance, when in existence, were extremely subtle).

This band is widely considered, both in Portugal as abroad, as the country greatest Prog-Folk band. Its 1977 album "Hoje há Conquil...
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BANDA DO CASACO discography


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BANDA DO CASACO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 32 ratings
Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios
1974
3.67 | 17 ratings
Coisas Do Arco Da Velha
1976
4.24 | 39 ratings
Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos
1977
3.77 | 12 ratings
Contos Da Barbearia
1978
2.24 | 6 ratings
No Jardim Da Celeste
1980
3.88 | 6 ratings
Também Eu
1982
3.00 | 4 ratings
Com Ti Chitas
1984

BANDA DO CASACO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BANDA DO CASACO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

4.00 | 3 ratings
A Arte e a Música de Banda do Casaco
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
O Melhor De 2 - Banda Do Casaco / Filarmónica Fraude
2001

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

BANDA DO CASACO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Arte e a Música de Banda do Casaco by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1988
4.00 | 3 ratings

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A Arte e a Música de Banda do Casaco
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 404

Banda Do Casaco is a Portuguese progressive folk band active from 1974 to 1984 considered by many, critics and public, as one of the Portuguese greatest progressive rock bands ever. Born of the encounter of elements from jazz, as Nuno Rodrigues, and from a band difficult to classify named Filarmónica Fraude of António Pinho, Banda Do Casaco lived essentially much of the leadership of these two elements and of their ability to surround themselves always by excellent voices and instrumentalists. One of the main features of the band was the frequent change of their line up, keeping Pinho, Rodrigues and the cellist Celso de Carvalho, and latter, António Pinheiro da Silva as their band's base.

It was in 1973 that it was given the first encounter between Pinho and Rodrigues, who immediately started writing for their debut studio album, "Dos Benefícios De Um Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios", just only released in 1975. The singular album's name began already to denote a certain surrealistic tone and a certain irreverence that will accompany all the musical work of the band. That surrealistic tone emerges sharp on the cover of the LP, from designs by Carlos Zingaro, made with a kind of comics that reproduces some of the moments of the narrative presented on that album.

In the following year, 1976, born their second studio work, "Coisas Do Arco Da Velha". The satirical talent of writing puns by Pinho combines perfectly well with some musical innovative solutions. On the album emerge the guitar work of Armindo Neves and the violin of Mena Amaro, who replaced Carlos Zingaro. Songs like "Morgadinha Dos Canibais", "Canto De Amor E Trabalho", "É Triste Não Saber Ler", "A Mulher Do Regedor" or "Cantiga D'Embalar Avozinhas" contributed to an unexpected success with critics and public, being to be considered in Portugal the album of the year.

And it's because of these two first studio albums of Banda Do Casaco that appears this compilation, which was released in 1988. So, "A Arte E A Música De Banda Do Casaco" is a compilation album that includes these two albums.

As I've already reviewed these two albums previously on Progarchives, in a more extensive way, I'm not going to do it again. So, if you are interested to know, in more detail, what I wrote about them before, I invite you to read those my both reviews. However, in here, I'm going to write something about them in a more short way. So, of course, I'm not going to analyze them track by track, as I made before, but I'm only going to make a global appreciation of both albums.

"Dos Benefícios De Um Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios": "Dos Benefícios De Um Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios" is a conceptual album. Lyrically, the story develops around of a character who sells his soul to the Devil in return, not so much for knowledge or wisdom, but only for money and social prestige. This entire narrative is served to the listener through excellent satiric lyrics, always cared, poetic, corrosive, allegorical and metaphorical. Musically, the group will drink their musical influences from several different musical sources. The two most important are the intervention songs and the traditional Portuguese music. The final result is an exceptional album from the lyrical, musical and even from the art cover point of view. It's an entirely acoustic album with lots of instruments performed, which some of them are very unusual, plenty of vocal works and an irreverent musical approach to the composition mixed with very special lyrics of the conceptual story. The final result is and incredible and very original album, a must have for all prog lovers.

"Coisas Do Arco Da Velha": After their previous very strong debut studio album "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios", "Coisas Do Arco Da Velha" is a more conventional musical work in order to sell better than their previous album, which wasn't very well received in those days. Musically, it's a more conservative effort, really. In reality, it lacks to it the experimentalism that can be seen on their debut. However, we can see on it some glimpses of brilliance too. The singing, playing, composition and songwriting are among the best of the band and are also among the best ever hearing in Portugal. Anyway, as said António Pinho in an interview some time ago, Banda Do Casaco never was a group with a continuity in their work and each album has a very own sound. So, the final result was a more musical conventional work nearest of the typical Portuguese folk. It's also an excellent album, even today, but it's definitely less interesting than their previous studio work, and while having its merits, turns out in comparison with "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios". Still, it remains, for me, a great and a very impressive work.

Conclusion: "A Arte E A Música De Banda Do Casaco" is an excellent compilation album with two of the best albums from the group. As many of us know, Portugal never was a hot bed in terms of progressive music. We mustn't forget that Portugal lived under a dictatorial political regime with censure from 28 Mai 1926 to 25 April 1974. In those times, Portugal was almost closed to the world and so it was very difficult to make any kind of art out of the tight canons of that regime. After 25 of April, Portugal lived another troubled political period with the communists trying to control the country. So, in terms of music it was fashionable to make protest songs with direct political lyrics. However, Banda Do Casaco never followed that route. They were much more intelligent making lyrics more subtle and more creative music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.24 | 39 ratings

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Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 403

Banda Do Casaco is a Portuguese progressive folk band which was active from 1974 to 1984. It was considered by many, critics and public, as one of the Portuguese greatest progressive rock bands of all times. After the failure of the Filarmónica Fraude musical project, more for political reasons than for quality reasons, António Pinho (vocals) and Luís Linhares (keyboards) joined with ex-Musica Novarum band's member Nuno Rodrigues (vocals and guitar) and Celso de Carvalho (cello and double bass) to form a new group named Banda Do Casaco. Many guest musicians passed through the band in their active musical period of life, and many used the band as a springboard to their own musical careers.

The debut studio album of Banda Do Casaco was "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios". It was released in 1975. It was a conceptual album very irreverent and innovative that shocked with the more traditional canons of the time. The band's debut album wasn't exactly well received by the usual folk critics and fellow artists. In those times, in Portugal, we lived in a very troubled revolutionary political period and the album wasn't considered properly a revolutionary musical work. Albeit, as Pinho said in an interview, Banda Do Casaco was much more on the left side than the artists who brought revolutionary flags because they used a protest language much more elaborated.

So, while the group fiercely defended their debut musical work on stage, in the studio they were preparing to take a step down by leaving their more controversial and unconventional musical approach for a more typical Portuguese folk album, to begin selling better than their debut. So, the final result was "Coisas Do Arco Da Velha" released in 1976, a more conventional work. However, while having its merits, it turns out in comparison with their previous debut work.

And so, it appears the third studio album from the group "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos", which was released in 1977. If on "Coisas Do Arco Da Velha" the ethnographic collection of songs, crafted and freely adapted, is still decisive for the final result, this album leans toward a more experimentation into the avant-garde music. The album intended to be a satire to the economic instability and social insecurity in the country. In an album which are very significant the entry to the group of António Pinheiro da Silva and the musical collaborations of the beginners Gabriela Schaaf's voice and Rão Kyao on tenor saxophone, the highlights on the album are the tracks "Acalanto", "País: Portugal" and "Geringonça", which is the first track from the group to features a Mellotron, and as we know, Mellotron is probably the musical instrument that best defines the progressive music. On "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" there are no weak points, really. This is essentially an album that worth by its whole. As with their previous second album, this is also an album full of musical adaptations of Portuguese traditional songs. "Despique", "Alvorada, Tio Lérias", "Geringonça", "Dez-Onze-Doze" and "Ont'À Noite" are those songs. This third album of Banda Do Casaco is today almost unanimously recognized as one of the most fabulous artistic musical productions of that type of music in my country, Portugal. This album is even considered by some persons as their best musical work. In reality, "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" is one of the best jewels of the Portuguese progressive music, especially because Portugal never was really a traditional country of the progressive music. Anyway, I still continue preferring their debut.

Still, "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" has a very incomprehensible story that deserves to be mentioned. The original recordings of the album, pure and simply disappeared, during the turbulent revolutionary political period in my country, and for many years it was thought that it would be completely impossible to reissue it on CD, leaving only this remarkable work within the reach of the rare owners who still retain the original albums. It made that those rare copies became very expensive, turning practically impossible to reach one of them, if they were to sell. Fortunately, it was possible to retrieve it from the vinyl to CD and for the first time this musical work is finally available on CD format.

Conclusion: As I said before, fortunately, "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" is finally available on CD. Acclaimed in 1977 as the best album of the year in Portugal, Banda Do Casaco presents here one of their best works in reinventing their rich musical legacy. As I wrote before, basing part of their repertoire in the traditional Portuguese folk songs, as they have done on their previous studio album, here we have the subversion of the traditional canons of what we normally know as folk songs, reaching their work with surrealistic edges like "Despique" and "Geringonça". In other ones, like "País: Portugal", there are acute musical and lyrical true portraits of Portugal and of its capital Lisbon. Concluding, the complex sounds constructed on this album, place, in my humble opinion, Banda Do Casaco among some the best prog folk bands that appear in the 70's. "Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos" and especially "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios" are two of the best prog gems of the Portuguese music, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Coisas Do Arco Da Velha by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.67 | 17 ratings

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Coisas Do Arco Da Velha
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 402

"Coisas Do Arco Da Velha" is the second studio album of Banda Do Casaco and was released in 1976. It was released after their admirable debut studio album "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonfácios", in 1975. However, while that album was made in the format of a conceptual album, this time with "Coisas Do Arco Da Velha", Banda Do Casaco decided to divide the album into several individual songs without anything in common with each other, really.

"Coisas Do Arco Da Velha" has eleven tracks. The first track "Morgadinha Dos Canibais" is an adaptation of a traditional Portuguese song whith the usual criticism to the secular Portugal in its lyrics, which always was one of the trademarks of the band. By its musical arrangements and also by its lyrics so proverbial surrealistic, this track is really a must. The second track "Ai Mê André" is also an adaptation of another traditional Portuguese song. It joins nicely the pastoral lyricism of the strings, an exultant and decided piano and a beautiful female voice. The final result is another excellent track with enigmatic lyrics and without losing the touch of poetry. The third track "Romance De Branca Flor" is based on another Portuguese traditional song and their vocalist Cândida Soares wins her artistic name to Cândida Branca Flor with this track. It opens with anxious voices calling and a dazzling oboe. It's undoubtedly influenced by the British Folk of the 70's and where the strings and the keyboards accentuate the dramatic character and the sophistication given to this beautiful atmospheric piece of music. The fourth track "Rigolindo" is a very short piece of music. It's a small and fresh musical intrusion of a minute and a half by fifes and tambourines. These drums always sound to me manly and exciting. The lyrics say that "At least once every year, you know well from the piggy bank". But, unfortunately, in nowadays the banks replaced the piggy banks and brought us the problems that we all know. The fifth track "Olá Margarida" has the breath of a winter night with a fireplace in a wood house. A pale and a brooding eroticism of a string quartet and a guitar masterfully performed rises with a thousand strings for hope. With this track, the band can't be ashamed with this impeccable musical lesson of a passionate troubadour. The sixth track "Canto De Amor e Trabalho" lyrically is about the head of a family on the back of his donkey that yearns for homecoming after a fatigue day work to eat a hot meal and have time to give a kiss to his little girl. Musically, there is no instrument that doesn't participate in the ingrained smell of the Portuguese fields. The guitar the violin and above all the female chorus are the perfect proof of that. The seventh track "É Triste Não Saber Ler" lyrically is a song that reflects perfectly well the Portuguese traditional and telluric melancholy and it's very difficult not to feel a certain emotion with its lyrics that saying that is sad we don't know to read. Musically, it's a song that echoes with the jingle of chimes that alternates with deepest cello supported by the vocals. The final result is an excellent song with a superior musical arrangement. The eighth track "Virgolino Faz O Pino" is a song with a text full of nonsense supported by a female choir a church organ soon replaced by a single voice accompanied by strings. Despite being a nice song it's probably the less interesting track on the album. The ninth track "A Mulher Do Regedor" is a fantastic cornucopia of melodies framed in the social Portuguese context in those times. The violin plus the cello and the vocals will start us on the sofa in a drunken tone for a little foot dance. This song is perfectly at the same level in terms of what is bolder in the Portuguese popular music. The tenth track "Era Uma Vez Uma Velha" is a very humoristic song very well balanced with a little piano, violin, xylophones and where little by little "velha" (old woman) is exchanged for "ovelha" (sheep). Maybe it's not perceptive for those who don't know the Portuguese language, but as with on "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios" we have again the Portuguese puns, so typical in this band. The eleventh and last track "Cantiga D'Embalar Avózinhas" is another adaptation of a traditional Portuguese song. It's also a very short song that opens with a jazz piano and a full strings orchestra. This is a simple and nice song that serves perfectly well to close this pleasant album.

Conclusion: After their previous very strong debut studio album "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios", but which wasn't very well received by critics and public in Portugal, Banda Do Casaco decided to make a more conventional musical work in order to sell better than their previous debut. As was said by António Pinho in an interview made some time ago, Banda Do Casaco never was really a group with a continuity in their work and each album has a very own and distinctive sound. So, the final result of "Coisas Do Arco Da Velha" was a more musical conventional work nearest of the typical Portuguese traditional folk. "Coisas Do Arco Da Velha" is also an excellent album, even today, but is definitely less interesting than their previous album. Despite is has its merits, it turns out in comparison with "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios". Thus, I'm going to rate it with 4 solid stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.89 | 32 ratings

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Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 401

October 1974. Portugal was in a state of great political upheaval, with the April revolution on 25 still very fresh, and with a not yet fully established and stabilised social order after having left a 48 years of a dictatorship political regime. It was in this month, and in this socio political troubled context that a new prog group in Portugal named Banda Do Casaco came into the studio to recorder their debut studio album, "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios".

The final result of the work made by the band was a conceptual album of Portuguese progressive folk music absolutely odd that no one managed to overcome in other subsequent efforts tested in this musical style, and in my humble opinion, not even the group itself. In reality, it's, therefore, a musical work of the highest quality level. That is true to the instrumental and composition level, to the level of the concept and lyrics and to the level of the art cover of the album.

From the lyrical point of view, it treats the Portuguese reality, setting it in a very highly intelligent and ruthless political satire. The album develops around the story of a character who sells his soul to the Devil in return, not so much for knowledge or wisdom, but only for money and social prestige. This entire narrative is served to the listener through excellent satiric lyrics, always cared, poetic, corrosive, allegorical and metaphorical, occasionally adorned with inspired puns which, moreover, are perfectly evident even in many of the titles of the tracks such as "Henrique Ser Ou Não Henriquecer", "Lavados Lavados Sim" and "Horas De Ponta E Mola". The use of puns is frequently used in Portugal, which is particularly evident in the dialogue of many Portuguese films of the 40's of the 20th century. Moreover, a simple attentive listening of this album is enough for realizing the enormous importance that the lyrics have. They're at least as important as the instrumental aspects, and, in fact, there are few moments unsung throughout these almost 40 minutes without it. However, this abundance of vocalizations never becomes tiresome. Probably, the fact that the sung parties will be divided by many performers contributes to that. So, this is a work that must be seen in both aspects, in lyrics and music. But, it's very difficult for those who don't know the Portuguese language to have the complete picture.

In music and in instrumental terms, the group will drink their musical influences from several different musical sources. The two most important are the intervention political songs and the traditional Portuguese music. To that we can join the jazz, some progressive music, experimentation and boldness, all served by an exemplary implementation. Indeed, we can find on this album, side by side, the reverence to the tradition of the old time music, and some absolutely revolutionary aspects such as the use of dissonances, the intricate composition or even the use of unconventional instruments like the use of stick and deodorant sprays. In terms of composition, its notorious the rich of new ideas that were put on the album, preventing any possibility of it becoming boring or repetitive, even after several hearings. This rich of ideas is particular evident on the song "A Cavalo Dado" where, thanks to the constant changes in melody, the band cans built a true epic track, which however, doesn't reach more than 3 minutes long. Which is more impressive to me is that despite all these changes in such a short time they never sound forced or seems to be put out of the place.

Finally, it deserves also highlighting the beautiful graphic work of the art cover of the album, courtesy of Carlos Zingaro, which involves the album with a kind of comics that reproduces some of the moments of the narrative presented on the album. If you have a copy of the original vinyl disc, you know perfectly well what I'm talking about.

Conclusion: Finally, I returned to review some more Portuguese progressive albums. After reviewing albums from Quarteto 1111, José Cid, Petrus Castrus and Tantra, here comes the time to review some albums from Banda Do Casaco. So, I decided to begin by their debut. And what an album it is, especially because we are talking about a debut. In my opinion, it belongs to one of the few and best Portuguese progressive albums from the 70's with some others like "Onde, Quando, Como, Porquê, Cantamos Pessoas Vivas" from Quarteto 1111, "10.000 Anos Depois Entre Vénus E Marte" from José Cid, "Mestre" from Petrus Castrus and "Mistérios E Maravilhas" from Tantra. "Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios" is really an exceptional album from the lyrical, musical and even from the art cover point of view. It's an entirely acoustic album with lots of instruments performed, which some of them are very unusual, plenty of vocal works and an irreverent musical approach to the composition mixed perfectly completed with very special lyrics of the concept story. The final result is and incredible and very original album. So, and concluding, if you want to hear a traditional progressive album with long epics and where the use of electric musical instruments is common, stay away from it. However, if you are an open mind and you are looking for something "new", strange and original, even if you don't catch a word of Portuguese, you are in the right place. You can't lose your time checking it.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Também Eu by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.88 | 6 ratings

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Também Eu
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by Meltdowner
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars For a long time I ignored what came after "No Jardim da Celeste", which is their least interesting album (despite having some quality songs). After purchasing their box set and giving "Também Eu" (Me Too) a listen, I confirmed that my suspicions were very wrong.

Looking at the booklet, it's evidently their most instrumental album. This is due to the fact that António Pinho, one of the two frontmen and main lyricist, left the band to produce other artists. So this album ended up being Nuno Rodrigues' baby, with his real one (probably not coincidentally) on the cover.

Since it was recorded in the early 80's, an intensively creative time for Portuguese Pop Rock, there was a big change in the band's style. I'd say it's a kind of New Wave-ish Folk and I assure you it's of great taste. Also unlike their other albums, in this one you can only hear the velvety voice of Né Ladeiras, who didn't get nearly as much spotlight on their previous album.

The opener, "Salve Maravilha" starts with a soothing instrumental, featuring Tó Pinheiro da Silva the usual flutist, long-time member Celso de Carvalho on cello and Peter Harris (who replaced Larry Fast in the last minute) plays synthesizer. We're suddenly introduced to the lively rhythmic section: Jerry Marotta behind the kit again and Zé Nabo on bass guitar (you might know him from José Cid's space odyssey). Né Ladeiras joins the band and brings the most catchy tune of the album, nicely complemented by synth arpeggios and great classical guitar solos played by Nuno Rodrigues, I presume. The song ends in an atmospheric manner, led by 12-string acoustic guitar.

"Sedução" is an instrumental track (except for a few vocal harmonies), dominated by cello and backed by acoustic guitar. It becomes quite rhythmic in the second half.

"Sétimo Dia" is a lovely ballad that begins with a fretless bass solo (played by Celso) and 12-string guitar. Né harmonically sings "phonetic illustrations" (something that was done before in "Acalanto") of the names of the members' children. The bass guitar melodiously accompanies the vocals.

Afer that there's "Crença", which features a sublime interplay between flute and vocals (mostly wordless) with a vigorous rhythmic section.

Next we have "Alcateia", a song divided in three parts. The first one opens with a saxophone trio arrangement, which is played by Jerry and repeated a few times during the song, and pastoral acoustic guitars, accompanied by bass and keyboard improvisations. The second and main part follows with a 12-string guitar and soothing synth pads soon followed by a fast bass line and marching rhythm. Né delivers another soft Pop moment with a funky chorus. The last part is a spacey outro with an unpleasantly adrupt ending.

"Esvoaço em Lorilai" is a short acoustic ballad containing more "phonetic illustrations" and fretless bass.

The album ends with "Assim", a return to its beginning but this time with vocals.

I think this is their most cohesive album instrumentally, in great part due to a really good production, and I'd put it after "Hoje Há Conquilhas..." and their debut in order of preference.

4 jackets.

 Coisas Do Arco Da Velha by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.67 | 17 ratings

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Coisas Do Arco Da Velha
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars First album by Banda Do Casaco was instantly followed by another one, ''Coisas do arco da velha'', supported again by the Phillips' management.There are some line-up changes, as Armindo Neves and Mena Amaro joined the band on guitar and violin respectively, replacing the departing Jose Campos e Sousa, while Carlos Zingaro would appear only as a past member on violin.The album features also the presence of female singer Candida Smith, who later had a decent career as a singer under the name of Candida Branca Flor.The album was recorded at Estudios Radio Triunfo.

A rather more mature effort, ''Coisas do arco da velha'' is not far better than Banda Do Casaco's debut, but it is certainly a more balanced and versatile album with some quirky Prog Folk Music surrounded by airy and dreamy soundscapes, fronted by smooth piano lines and ethereal female vocals by Candida Smith and guest vocalist Helena Afonso.The progressive content seems more apparent and there are even moments in here with some slight PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI mood, especially when acoustic guitars, piano and violin come in evidence.Horns and strings remain a regular component of the band's menu, producing somekind of dark Chamber Folk, which often gets more relaxed with the presence of ethereal male and female vocals.A few pieces are still grounded deeply in Portuguese Folk with strings and acoustic guitars being the dominant instruments.But there are also some new flavors explored, as for the first time Banda Do Casaco's arrangements, especially during the second side of the original vinyl, contain an obvious Classical nature with polyphonic vocals, church organ and orchestral strings creating cinematic textures and producing some trully impressive atmospheres, mostly in a melacholic yet grandiose mood.

Despite the little-to-none presence of electric instruments, ''Coisas do arco da velha'' appears to be a nice piece of 70's Prog Folk Music.Imagine a Portuguese version of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI with more emphasis on traditional than symphonic arrangements and you are pretty close to its charming sound.Recommended.

 Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.89 | 32 ratings

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Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Folk-Rock ensemble hailing from the Iberian peninsula and formed by singer Antonio Pinho and pianist Luis Linhares,both former members of Filharmónica Fraude,a musical project which failed due to political reasons.The two of them met with ex-Musica Novarum guitarist Nuno Rodrigues and bassist/cellist Celso de Carvalho to establish the basic form of BANDA DO CASACO,who meant to be one of the historical bands in Portugese history.First album ''Dos benefícios dum vendido no reino dos bonifácios'' was recorded in 1974 but only released the next year ,fortunately a CD re-issue would follow about 20 years later on Phillips.

BANDA DO CASACO was always a group dealing with social and political issues and thus they became very popular in their country.Their sound is very far from the rock attitude,actually this album could easily be described as Folk music with experimental and psych elements here and there.12 short tracks with extensive lyrical content do not leave much space for adventuruous musicianship,however some of them contain quite nice passages close to the progressive rock nature:acoustic guitars and piano interplays,delicate flutes,a few grandiose horn sections and a good dose of complex violins,contra-bass and cellos offer sometimes a decent music experience.Unfortunately the shorter tracks are only dominated by Acoustic Music and vocals and a foreign listener loses such way his interest,unless you are familiar with the Portugese language.Speaking of vocals,both male and female work here is very nice,sometimes presenting decent polyphonic lines.As for the typical rock instrumentation,only ''Cocktail do Braço de Prata'' and ''Horas de Ponta e Mola'' contain a few distinctive electric moments supported by some beatiful piano and keys...and please notice the total absence of a drummer.

The final result is a big question mark in my head.Lots of stuff in here sounds really boring and leaves me rather cold,while the musicianship can get sometimes really intricate and challenging,regarding the clear folk nature of the band.The accurate rating is exactly 5/10,but I will upgrade this one to three stars,considering the album's importance and the quite original sound of the band.For pure folk fans though,this would be possibly a highly recommended album.

 Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.24 | 39 ratings

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Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by Kotro
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The crown jewel of Portuguese progressive music

Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos is an extremely difficult album for me to review properly. It deserves a thorough analysis by someone clearly more competent to judge than me - still, I will try to do my best. To begin with, it's difficult to review because there is so much to analyse: vocals, instruments, song structure, History, similarities with other bands, originality, etc, and my own knowledge (whether of music theory or just music in general) is simply not enough to do it justice. So I will adopt my usual approach to reviews by trying to describe in the simplest, most honest way what I'm hearing. But boy, it won't be easy.

Like in previous albums, the band took 800 years of Portuguese folk and refurbished them in modern sounds, courtesy of electricity, while at the same time maintaining the use of archaic and traditional instruments. On Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos, their experimentalism took a step further, following the footsteps of their debut instead of their more conventional second album. There is still room in this album for some of the melancholic folk of Coisas do Arco da Velha, but it offers so much more, in fewer songs than previous efforts. Acalanto opens the album with the typical eerieness of the band. A delicate flute is heard, accompanied by dissonant strings, before the dominant cello steps into the picture, paving the way to a languid male chorus. A sudden change of pace as the full band comes in. The acoustic guitar, flute and violin take the lead. A short violin solo makes the transition for the band's first attempt at rock, featuring a drum kit and an electric guitar - still, it's the violin and cello that have prominence, along with one of several instruments unknown to me. The track then returns to its opening eeriness and languid chorus. The next track, Despique, is another take on traditional themes. It begins with the delicate sound of tuning, before another unusual instrument opens the song (Stylophone?). It features the funny vocals of António Pinho accompanied by the violin. The drums are once more modern sounding, adding flavour to this amusing folk rant. The delicate voice of Gabriela Schaaf opens the next track, País: Portugal accompanied only by the acoustic guitar. The drums soon kick in, as well as the wild saxophone solo by Rão Kyao. In a strategy so common to Banda do Casaco, the famale vocals give way to the male, and vice-versa. The fast pace of this song is complemented by the drums, violin and a subtle electric guitar. Alvorada, Tio Lérias! begins in a spacey mood, clearly dominated by bass, that quickly turns into a thrilling strings track, very similar to chamber music, with the cello and violin dominating, subtly complemented by the electric guitar. A sudden change in pace in rhythm give way into an almost martial beat, with the adufes, drums and wild flutes being heard. A paraphernalia of small traditional percussion instruments then bring this excellent track to a close. Geringonça is the first track by the band to features that ultimate prog instrument, the mellotron. The celestial choir of the keyboard open this spacey song, soon enriched by a sweet flute, delicate electric guitar chords and the lovely voice of Gabriela Schaaf. After the first sung section, the drums, strings and unidentified electric instrument make their appearance. A delicate, yet powerful track, spacey in sound and theme (an alien sighting), featuring, as usual, great arrangements and an unusual (but highly welcome) mellotron and electric guitar. Dez-Onze-Doze is another take on the sounds of Portuguese folk, featuring an impressive array of traditional instruments, in a very celtic sounding track, whose percussion and strings provide it with a very fast pace, here and there broken by the melancholic chorus. The guitars introduce the vigorous lead male vocals, complemented by a full band chorus. Of special relevance in this track are the guitar and harmonica solos. A spacey female chorus brings the song to its end. Ont'à Noite is a traditional ballad, with a piano, harp and violin driven opening, dominated by the stunning angelical vocals of Mena Amaro and the soothing tone of Nuno Rodrigues. The piano, harp and violin are replaced, in a second section, by acoustic and jazzy electric guitars, flute and bass, before the delicate, jazzy fade-out. Água de Rosas is an instrumental closer - a short, bucolic track, driven almost exclusively by the string instruments (violins, cello, guitars), also featuring flute and another unusual appearance, the oboe. A delicate finish to an exciting album. Overall, it is an extremely varied record in terms in musicality, even if folk is the dominant trend. Here and there you can hear hints of chamber music, the space-rock of bands like Eloy, jazz- fusion in the vein of Miles, and the kind of ethnic music and chorus one could find among Oldfield's finest works, all delivered with a technical proficiency hard to find these days in a rock band. The female vocals reach the heights of Maddy Prior and Annie Haslam (sometimes surpassing them), while the male vocals vary from soothing to vibrant. It is truly an orgy of sounds, with plenty to explore.

Hoje Há Conquilhas, Amanhã Não Sabemos is an extremely influential work. Few albums have been quoted as an influence by groups and artists so diverse in musical background - it is featured in the preferences of contemporary jazz, rock, pop, folk, punk, classic and minimalist composers in Portugal. It is also a common presence in every list of greatest Portuguese albums regardless of genre. I am no exception to that - the album is placed high on my all-time favourites list. The degree of experimentation, technical ability, and quality of composition in terms of progressiveness is still high, even if it's already 1977. So, while late, it is indeed a masterpiece of progressive-folk, well-deserving of the five eggs. Stars, I mean.

 Coisas Do Arco Da Velha by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.67 | 17 ratings

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Coisas Do Arco Da Velha
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by Kotro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Coisas do Arco da Velha" is a Portuguese idiom used to describe bizarre events, weird happenings or really far-fetched ideas. However, like a previous reviewer wrote, what you'll find here is mostly very old stuff. The band's debut album wasn't exactly well-received by the usual folk mob and fellow artists, and while the band fiercely defended their work on stage (there are several written reports of concerts of the time), in the studio they were preparing to take a step down by leaving their unconventional approach aside for a more typical Portuguese folk album. The result, while having its merits, turns out pale in comparison with the previous and especially the following works.

The first three tracks express this tendency clearly: they are arrangements (with the bands own lyrics) of traditional songs. Morgadinha dos Canibais features a very varied rhythm between faster and slower paced, with intertwining male and female vocals, with some great flute, harmonic and cello playing, among the usual paraphernalia of instruments at the band's disposition - an excellent opener, and one of the highlights of the album. Ai Mê André is an ethereal love ballad featuring great female vocals and a tasteful string arrangement. The middle section is driven by the piano as the vocals multiply. A bassline and acoustic guitar give it a bit more punch, before the phantasmagoria of the vocals and strings return for the ending. Romance de Branca Flor begins with some very traditional vocals and percussion. What we ear is a sung dialogue between man and woman, the story of a woman cheating her husband, who soon discovers the betrayal (Matty Groves, anyone?). Hints of the band's early album are then heard as the traditional sounds give way to organ, wind instruments and cellos - a lovely piece. Rigolindo is a short track mostly percussion and flute driven, with a full band choir - a typical traditional folk song. Olá Margarida is another calm love ballad, almost a male version of Ai Mê André. The acoustic guitar (complemented by the eerie female chant in the background) is the motor of the song, showcasing some excellent playing. Canto de Amor e Trabalho is one of the more upbeat songs on the album (but not in a jiggy kind of way - Portuguese folk is much more melancholic than Spanish, French or even English or Irish folk). The violin makes its first clear appearance in this song, which once more features some great mix of male and female vocals, as it tells the story of a farmer returning home after a hard day's work and his wife's wait - a celebration of rural life. É Triste Não Saber Ler brings the melancholia back, being as it is a long lament about not knowing how to read (which metamorphs into one's inability to imagine and have ambitions). The arrangements in this song are superb, with excellent strings and even what seems to be a didgeridoo, making any kind of percussion completely unnecessary. Virgolino Faz o Pino begins with a female choir backed by church organ, soon replaced by a single voice accompanied by strings. The whole first and second section repeat throughout the song. A Mulher do Regedor is another upbeat and this time funny song (about the less appropriate adventures of a lady in a village while her husband, a national assemblyman, is away in Lisbon), more jiggy than the others, dominated by the cello, violin and acoustic guitar. Era Uma Vez Uma Velha is another song starting as a ballad with sudden changes in rhythm and punch. The quieter parts are, as usual, female sung accompanied by strings, before the rest of the band jumps from behind a rock displaying all their instruments and different vocals for the chorus. Cantiga d'Embalar Avozinhas is another take on a traditional song, a really different take, as it is opened by a jazz piano and a full strings orchestra, and featuring a child singing a lullaby to his granny - an amusing display of the world upside-down that the band seem to love so much. This last songs brings the album to a closing.

Musically, it's a more conservative effort, but still featuring some glimpses of brilliance. As in the first album, the singing, playing, composition and songwriting are among the best one will ever hear coming out of the Iberian Peninsula - but it's the musical approach that fails, due to its lack of experimentalism. As all the albums of the band, it requires a lot of attention to fully grasp it and therefore appreciate it. Lyrically it's still a strong album, filled with rich wording and political or humorous themes - while the first album was a critical take on the corruption of city life, this second album is a praise of the rural lifestyle. But I am not a lyrics man, not even in my mother tongue, and so the writing, no matter how good it is, is not enough to rate this album highly, especially when doing so from a progressive rock or folk point of view, and to an audience that probably wouldn't understand them anyway. Like the first album, it is an easy personal five stars for the beauty and quality of the compositions and songwriting, but for the purposes of a prog-oriented review I can only give three stars (perhaps four if you're a real folk lover), due to its more traditional and less adventurous approach to folk. But don't take my word for it - judge for yourself.

 Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios by BANDA DO CASACO album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.89 | 32 ratings

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Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios
Banda Do Casaco Prog Folk

Review by Kotro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A historical document and all-round awesome album

So, I finally have some time to review the albums that I know from this almost forgotten band. More of a small orchestra then a typical 3-5 piece band (their origin was a phylarmonic, even if it was a fraudulent one - pun intended), Banda do Casaco took portuguese folk music to new heights, mixing modern instrumentation with traditional themes. Very much like any other folk-rock band, one might say. Well, it's not that simple.

When Banda do Casaco first appeared, the concept of traditional folk music in Portugal was restricted to popular balls and marches, songs taught to children in pre-school, and ethnical dances. Banda do Casaco took other themes from deep folk culture, and revamped them in new lyrics, using the unapparent musicallity of the Portuguese language through several wordplays. This was a constant throughout most of their albums, but it is especially present in this one - Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido no Reino Dos Bonifácios is an exceptionally strong vocal folk- prog recording: it features some very poetical lyrics and singing, with great choirs, and unusual ranges (Na Boca do Inferno, for instance, has some low rough vocals that could easily find a spot on some Death Metal album 30 years later). But let's by trying to describe the most important element: sound.

This is not a rock album. It's a full-blown folk album whose arrangements and experimentation make it fall under the "progressive" moniker. The album opens with the sound of drums, in an almost tribal rhythm, which is soon enough followed by an incredible paraphernalia of instruments, with the strings being the most dominant element. The first track reeks of Wyrd, although one cannot really be sure if the band knew what Wyrd was. Aliciação - Espírito Imundo is reminiscent of some of the sounds of Comus' First Utterance, with it's delicate percussion and subtle vocals, with the piano and female choir complementing the strings later on. D'Alma Aviada and Ladaínha das Comadres follow on this sonority, with some lovely acoustic guitar work and harp, as well as the wild violin. Percussion is present here and there, always in a fast-paced, almost tribal rhythm, with the later track featuring a hypnotic litany accompanied by flute. A Cavalo Dado is an astonishing track due to its multiple variations in such short time, less than 3 minutes, beginning with a pastoral choir accompanied by a jazzy piano, switching to a repetitive theme closer to a rock n'roll rhythm, then back to strict folk. Lovely choir vocals present throughout the song, before the cool ending with some sublime piano and declamation. Henrique Ser ou Não Enriquecer is the shortest track, a delicate pastoral folk ballad delivered by the female voices of the band, featuring a lovely violin solo by multi-instrumentalist Carlos Zíngaro. Bonifácios is an acoustic guitar-driven ballad, with some soft male vocals, and a catchy rhythm. The first half of Lavados Lavados Sim is the folkiest part of the album, close to the typical sounds of village fairs of days long gone. Featuring an interesting interplay of male and female choir, it soon sees the introduction of cello and horns, at times evocative of Renaissance. The jazzy piano returns in the end, clearly breaking all conventions of folk tunes. Cocktail do Braço de Prata begins with the interplay of acoustic guitar and violin, before the vocals kick-in. Like A Cavalo Dado, it features plenty of variations in sound, between regular folk and some percussion that reminds me of Moerlen's work in Gong. A delicate electric guitar can be heard in the back. Na Boca do Inferno is a two-part song (in only two minutes), featuring some very low, rough vocals in a grim track dominated by the violin. It quickens in pace as it comes to the end and several instruments (mostly flute and acoustic guitar) take their place in an amazing vortex of sound. The Gong-like xylophone-like percussion returns for the beginning of Horas de Ponta e Mola, where we also get some piano and electric guitar in the background. The longest track of the album, it is more constant in its sad, delicate sonority than many of the other shorter tracks. The ending is extremely eerie, with a weeping violin being heard over the repetitive piano, like something out of the darkest Hitchcockian scene. Memorando - Sábado Sauna Sábado Santo, after a small spoken part, begins almost like a lullaby, even though the words sung by male and female vocals are far from advisable to children. The chorus drops this sonority at moments, but the sarcastic lullaby dominates. The final track, Opúsculo, is a mostly vocal track, with a cacophony of instruments and sounds in the background. Vocals do dominate this album - as I said previously, a lot of the musicality inherent to the songs comes from the singing, greatly helped by a mastery of the Portuguese language not available to every native speaker. The main concern was to make the words musical, something not very easy to achieve in any language, while at the same time having them making sense, which is even harder - yet the band managed to do so in style. Let's give the theme a quick run-trough.

The album is in fact a concept album, but you wouldn't really know it unless you read the liner notes, where the entire storyline is explained - it is basically the story of a man (the "Vendido" - sell-out) who sells his soul to the devil (there is a thin line between metaphor and fictional reality regarding this "sale") in order to be rich and successful in the "Kingdom of the Bonifácios" (Portugal, presumably in the years that preceded the 74 revolution) - a Portuguese society musical spin on Dr. Faust, if you will. A giant metaphor criticising the abandon of moral values in exchange for money, power, and ultimately, comfort. Our subject, the "sell-out", is a rural man, awaken from his sleep by a gorgeous woman, who lures him with promises of all sorts. Thus the title, Aliciação/Espírito Imundo (The Luring/Immoral Spirit). In the second song, he observes his simple way of life, which never pleased him, and decides to sell his soul to the woman whom now appears to him as the Devil. The song's title (D'Alma Aviada) is one of several puns and wordplays present in the album. Before he leaves, he his stopped by the elder women of his village (the "Comadres"), who instantly know something isn't right. They warn him, and he answers with scorn. The women sing a litany ("Ladaínha") to keep the Devil away. In the next song, A Cavalo Dado. (Don't look a gift horse.) the "sell-out" sets out on his journey and meets a one-armed woman, created by the Devil, with whom he marries for money, after briefly thinking it over in the track Henrique Ser ou Não Enriquecer (another of those puns and wordplays impossible to translate without loss of meaning). Bonifácios is a lovely poem which makes a really sarcastic, but in the end, very true appraisal of the Portuguese - they appear here as sheep, as Henrique (Prince Henry the Navigator) and his political heirs drive thousands of them into hard living conditions and death for their own profit. It establishes a parallel with Lavados Lavados Sim, which speaks of all those who, in the 20th Century, had to leave the country searching for a better life while others, like our "sell-out", were getting richer at their cost. With the money he has made serving the State, the sell-out is able to afford is armless (but not harmless) wife a shinny new silver arm - this is told in the 8th song, Cocktail do Braço-de-Prata. With a fat account in a Swiss bank, his family taken care of, the "sell-out" spends his days fattening himself even further. In the haze of success, he appears to have forgoten his earlier contract. But the evil is there to remind him - in Na Boca do Inferno Beelzebub himself reminds the sell-out of his contract, and puts him back on his path, by telling him to take his son to Boca do Inferno (Hell's Gates, loosely translated - a cliff near Lisbon overlooking the Atlantic) and teach him how to follow is own success, by dropping all moral values in favour of watching over one's own back. Horas de Ponta e Mola - yes, another wordplay, this time combining the expressions "Hora de Ponta"(rush hour) and "Ponta e Mola" (switchblade knife) -, along with the next track, Memorandum - Sábado Sauna, Sábado Santo, tell us how our "sell- out" is safely at home with his family after a day's work, while a presumable partner is killed-off by his henchmen. He coldly tells his secretary to send a nice envelope to the widow and buy the kids something. Sábado Sauna, Sábado Santo shows the band in their nastiest sarcastic poetical vein, telling us about the good life of those whose money makes them invincible and hides their crimes, while they practice the good life of saunas and gambling on Saturday morning and church and family in the evening. The final track has the most undecipherable meaning of the album, but the final liner notes are clear: "the sell-out remains faithful to Fatherland, God, and Family - or so he claims. We say: to Hell with him!". Unlike Faust, there is no Lord to save our "sell-out" from his diabolical contract, probably because he doesn't want to be saved. Its an extremely vicious (but deserved) attack on the lack of moral values of pre-1974 Portuguese society (but which could have perfectly been written today) and those who forget their humanity in the face of capital and power. A lot of the meaning in this album will be lost to non-portuguese speakers - hell, it may even be lost to some natives - and I cannot dabble to much in it in the space of this review: the literary content of this album would be enough to fill the pages of an academic thesis. It may be of help to say that the whole theme of the album is visually summarized in the artwork - a small comic book where one can easily identify the elements told by the words and music, using humorous, exaggerated and provocative drawings, courtesy of Carlos Zíngaro.

Dos Benefícios Dum Vendido No Reino Dos Bonifácios, despite the "folk" label, is everything but a cheerful album - it is actually a display of very grim, eerie and dark music, complementing an even darker storyline. The instrumentation of choice (more than 20, not counting other objects not necessarily instruments) are kept to minimum levels of volume, with the strings and piano occasionally achieving a greater presence. The vocals are essential is conveying the various moods, and all singers of the band do an exquisite job. Everything about this album is top-notch: composition, songwriting, musicianship, performance. A sublime array of talents, with plenty to discover and guaranteed to make you want to listen over and over, each time discovering something new - the pleasure is doubled for those who understand the concept. This is not a masterpiece of progressive rock, but only because it's not progressive rock. It is a sublime folk album with progressive leanings and a masterpiece in its own right. Anywhere else it would get five stars, but for the purposes of this website it will have to settle for four - but rest assure, Banda do Casaco will get their 5-stars from me soon enough, in another album. Because no matter how good this album is, it's NOT as good as it gets from this band.

Thanks to micky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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