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SOLIS

Neo-Prog • Brazil


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Solis biography
Brazilian outfit SOLIS was formed in 1996 by Sergio Augusto (drums), Marcos de Pinho (guitars), Ricardo Figueiredo (vocals, keyboards) and Claudio Hamilton (bass).

In 1998, while recording their debut album, Hamilton left to settle in USA, which lead to Bernard (bass, of TEMPUS FUGIT) to be involved on the CD prior to the addition of Jonatas Luis (bass) to the line-up.

1999 saw the release of "Gemini", a production exploring symphonic rock with a variety of influences; compared to acts like TEMPUS FUGIT when issued.

After a concert at the Rio Art Rock festival de Pinho and Luis got involved in another band, THE MONTAUK PROJECT, but in 2002 a new recording was made by SOLIS; a single track called Floro do Tempo made for a MPB project.

The band are currently working on a, as yet untitled, second album.

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SOLIS discography


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3.60 | 22 ratings
Gemini
1996

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SOLIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Gemini by SOLIS album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 22 ratings

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Gemini
Solis Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Solis are fairly capable performers who are let down on their sole album release by rather middling production - the keyboard sound is rather cheap, and the lead guitar sounds thin and is too quiet in the mix to my ears - as well as poor compositions. Take, for instance, the opening track Sete Luas De Andrion, which opens with a long sequence of musical sections which all individually sound like they are a intro to the song, so by two minutes in you find yourself wondering when the band are stop going to repeatedly build up the opening tension and finally get around to playing. Once the song proper begins and the vocals kick in, it can't avoid being anticlimactic and disappointing - and funnily enough, "anticlimactic and disappointing" is how I'd characterise the album as a whole.

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 Gemini by SOLIS album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 22 ratings

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Gemini
Solis Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Solis is a brazilian progressive rock band with one album under their wings released in 1999. A good friend of mine and a prog connoisseur, Virgil, was kind enough and give a copy of this album. I was very pleased what I heared, symphonic prog with a touch of folk in places, and definetly, at least for my ears this is not neo prog as is stated in their page. What stroke me was the voice of Ricardo Figueiredo, for quite some time I never heared such emotional voice, such sadness in his tone, excellent. If the instrumental passages are from symphonic prog , like the first track or the last the longest one, the middle of the album, here are only 4 pieces, tracks 2 and 3 are almost pure acustical pieces with with a folk touch , superb arrangements and amazing vocal parts. Even it may sound strange for some reviewers but my fav piece are not the more up tempo ones, or the most longer and sophisticaded ones, but the third piece, L'essence, sung in french with a funny accent, but man what a piece , such sadness in a man voice I quite never heared for many years on prog band, It put a tear in my eyes, superb. The second choice is the first track, the most intristing one and the most symphonic prog from all 4. Great musicianship, even is not a spectacular piece, it containing some very good moments, both on vocal arrangements and instrumental passages. One of the most enjoyble album I heared lately from Brazil, similar with Temp Fugit, infact a musician from that band, the bass player , helped Solis on track 4. 4 stars easy, quite unnoticed band, but worth every second, belive me, the accustical parts, the more up tempo ones, the voice , all is well done, sincere band. Recommended.

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 Gemini by SOLIS album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 22 ratings

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Gemini
Solis Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I waited a long time to do this review and the reason is it's a tough album to get a grip on. And the main reason for that is the very different sounds and styles this album contains. It's a mix of regular neo prog (keys with electric guitar) combined with some of the finest acoustic music you will ever hear in your life. Third significant feature is the Portuguese language in which this album is mainly sung.

Gemini is a short album and it could have been a vinyl with appr. 20 minutes of music on each side. The first song is a regular neo prog track and with this one Solis seems just another one in a long line up of very fine neobands in my collection. The track offers almost 12 minutes of melodic music featuring the usual instruments.

But what this album is really about in my opinion is shown in the second song Alma Gêmea. The finest acoustic music I was talking about is what you can experience in the first six minutes of this enchanting track. It stands out in authenticity and genuineness beyond believe. It's so mollifying and this release is worthy of procuring just because of this part. Unfortunately the last three minutes ruin it a bit with piano and electric guitar that shouldn't have been there really. And that coming from me as huge fan of electric guitar. It should tell enough ...

Third track is very short and are a bit of the same as first six minutes of previous. With biggest difference the overdone sliding of the fingers across the strings that spoils this one a bit.

The album ends with a pretty long epical track with both styles combined and it's probably the best example why I can't really pigeon-hole this album in the end. The beginning and ending of this epic is multi instrumental with keyboards and electric guitar like in the opening track but the middle part is once again with lots of acoustic guitar and the authentic vocals. These vocals by the way are the biggest factor in the mollifying feeling this album creates. The voice is far from perfect, sometimes even seems out of tune but still enchants you. Very special !

Anyway, also the final rating for this release is pretty hard. The exceptional six minutes in second song are simply of masterpiece level but alas it's not all we are treated with. The constant tossing about of the mentioned styles doesn't work very well for me I'm afraid and I would almost give three stars because of that. But what prevails ultimately is the fact we're dealing with a very special album here. Non-essential is not the right description here so I will have to round up because of that. Four stars rounded up from a strong 3,5.

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 Gemini by SOLIS album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 22 ratings

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Gemini
Solis Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars I listened to this CD with a few other new acquisitions on shuffle, and was flabbergasted as I had not recalled ordering any Japanese prog. Something about the delicacy of the vocals and some of the instrumentation casts aspersions to the far east, not that I can compare SOLIS to any Japanese band in my limited lexicon.

Admittedly, the Brazilian aspects are clear enough, especially in the two middle acoustic pieces, even if the short but sweet "L'Essence" is sung in French. "Gemini" is nothing if not a world prog fan's smorgasbord, which might explain why I delight in nearly every moment. The production, the clarity of each instrument, the uncluttered arrangements, the sweepingly epic melodies, the blended mood and tempo shifts plant this effort solidly on neo's top rung.

The first and last cuts are particularly dramatic, with "Solis Invictus Mitra" comprising multiple engaging segments. Both Marcos de Pinho and Ricardo Figueiredo excel on their instruments, and are liberated and reined in tastefully, time and again. In terms of influences, they are so well integrated that I'm hard pressed to identify a mentor, but I would suggest that symphonic prog masters and perhaps local as well as far flung (middle Eastern?) folk music are as important to SOLIS as any direct neo influence.

"Gemini" is a singular work of wide appeal, in which SOLIS plays the ethic fusion twin card, too seldom seen around here. I recognize it when I hear it, even if I might be a half world off. 4.5 stars.

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 Gemini by SOLIS album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 22 ratings

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Gemini
Solis Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-Brazil
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album contains four songs. I agree with the last review by Martijn Martens that said the better songs are the first one (Sete Luas De Andrion) and the last one (Solis Invictus Mitra). The others (Alma Gêmea and L'Essence, with french vocals) are more acoustically directed. Alma Gêmea (or Soul mate), although has almost ten minutes long, is not boring, but very interesting with a great guitar solo in the end. L'Essence is a short and simple song (the less progressive, I would say), but still beautiful. I give four stars to Sete Luas De Andrion and Solis Invictus Mitra and three stars to other two. So 4+4+3+3 / 4 = 3,5 stars The last warning: if you like the noise when the guitar player change notes, you'll find a lot here.

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 Gemini by SOLIS album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 22 ratings

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Gemini
Solis Neo-Prog

Review by evenless
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In my opinion SOLIS is one of many very talented Brazilian progressive rock bands, like AETHER, INDEX, HADDAD, TARKUS and TEMPUS FUGIT.

1. Sete Luas De Andrion (11:54)

Great up-tempo piano intro! You feel immediately the song is going to be exiting and take you somewhere and it really does. Nice detail is that the guitar theme is inspired by the first movement of the fifth symphony by Ludwig Van Beethoven. 5 stars!

2. Alma Gêmea (9:52)

Why does voice of Ricardo Figueiredo irritates me on this track of the album, but less on track 3, and not at all on tracks 1 and 4? I think its because this song is very acoustic and actually the lack of instruments make his voice not very pleasant to listen to, while in tracks 1 and 4 there are abundant instruments to make it all sound a lot better. Only 2 stars for this track because it's really bugging me.

3. L'essence (2:15)

Very short and acoustic track sung in French. Not bad, but no highlight either. 3 stars.

4. Solis Invictus Mitra (16:27)

This and "Sete Luas De Andrion" are definitely the two masterpieces of this album. Fortunately those two tracks are also the longest ones on the album. "Solis Invictus Mitra" actually consists out of seven different tracks blending together in one. Al parts vary in tempo and mood, from happiness to loneliness and sadness. Very well done and certainly one of the two highlights of GEMINI. 5 stars again for this track!

Final score: 5 + 2 + 3 + 5 = 15 / 4 = 3,75 points

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 Gemini by SOLIS album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.60 | 22 ratings

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Gemini
Solis Neo-Prog

Review by vfdo

5 stars I consider this album as an excellent piece of music, and this value I think is greater yet if we note that the album comes from a country where progressive rock is not so popular even between the rock community of its population.

It has soft and heavy rythms that perfectly matches the album, and even when "Sete Luas Do Andrion" and "Solis Invictus Mitra" are quite long (wich once was a standard in early prog music) they never become boring or monotonal due to the great music arrangement and companion between the instruments.

I find the album very simplist but very complete in the composition.

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