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URANIAN

Heavy Prog • Argentina


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Uranian biography
URANIAN is an instrumental heavy prog band created in 2006 in Argentina. The group was formed by guitarist Federico LARROSA and keyboardist Fabián CASTILLO who began composing symphonic progressive rock instrumentals. By mid-2007, the two were joined by drummer Sebastián ACCORDINO and bassist Matías BOUQUEZ. Once the band was whole, they defined their sound through a fluid combination of old-school symphonic prog and prog metal with added touches of fusion, all of it within a heavy progressive framework.

The quartet played their first show in December of 2006, establishing them as a rising force in the Argentinian progressive rock scene. URANIAN has developed a style of diverse heavy symphonic rock and has played with a variety of Argentinian prog bands such as ACID RAIN, ANGELUS, and MAGNO OLSEN, and their first studio album 'La Ciudad de los Sueños'(The City of Dreams) was released in early 2011, for distribution by Musea Records in European countries. Rave reviews soon followed, giving a clear indication of the great reception that this band deservedly is getting among prog audiences.

::::Andy Webb, Andyman1125::::

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3.66 | 27 ratings
La Ciudad de los Sueños
2011

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URANIAN Reviews


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 La Ciudad de los Sueños by URANIAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.66 | 27 ratings

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La Ciudad de los Sueños
Uranian Heavy Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Review originally written for www.therocktologist.com

A great prog metal 'lbum from Argentina!

They are Uranian, whose debut album entitled 'La ciudad de los sue'os' offers the heavy side of progressive rock. Lately a lot of new bands and artists have emerged from South America, in Argentina particularly, we can find a wonderful amount of quality music in the last ten years, with progressive rock going from its most symphonic side, passing through the jazz-fusion one, and reaching the metal face of it. Uranian with their 2011 release, have entered to this wonderful realm, with a strong first album.

Instrumental progressive metal is what we will find here, with ten compositions that make a total time of 69 minutes; though I personally have some ridiculous issues with long albums, this time, I could actually enjoy all those minutes, which show the band's high expectations and goals. Four members playing the 'basic' instruments (bass, drums, guitar, keyboards) gathered and created this ambitious project, with well-crafted compositions, nice arrangements and clean performances.

It opens with 'Amalgamas de soledad', a few seconds with chording guitars and later the other instruments join creating that inherent heavy sound. What I like here is that since the very first track we can appreciate that the four instruments are essential for the composition, I mean, though there are some guitar riffs, it would not be fair to mention guitar leads the music, not at all, the four of them are indispensable parts of the puzzle.

'Alter ego' is a nice track where keyboards make a cool atmosphere, while drums mark the rhythm, and the strings perfectly complement the structure. Before reaching the second minute, the song slows down, the piano enters in a soft way, followed by very cool bass lines. Later it becomes more emotional due to a guitar riff; and then it creates multiple inner changes. 'Regreso al origen' is closer to the symphonic side of metal, mainly due to the keyboard sound. The song progresses little by little, until after three minutes it reaches its climax, with a spectacular sound made by a guitar riff, a background keyboard and great drums.

'Melanc'lico recuerdo' is a much softer track, in which we can settle down our emotions a little bit; it has a melancholic, reflective sound whose guitar figures perfectly work as motifs. Some minutes later the intensity gradually increases, producing a vertiginous, yet emotional sound. 'Paradoja ancestral' starts with nice and joyful piano, which seconds later is supported by acoustic guitar and drums. Later the electric guitar enters creating repetitive notes that continue with that nice and joyful sound, here they remind me a bit of some 80s/90s rock bands. Though later the song makes some good changes, contrasting its heaviest, with its softest side.

'0 bytes' is one of the longest tracks here, and I love how it begins, with a dramatic, suspicious atmosphere that let our imagination fly, in order to create our own story, our own scenes. This is a complex, ambitious track that let us know the band's compositional skills, along with their performing capacities. There are various changes here, one of the best is when after five mintes it drastically slows down and shares a different mood; there are also great musical scales and also cool changes in the instrument leader. All in all give as a result one of the finest tracks of the album, without a doubt.

'En busca del sol' is a good song in which the bass player makes a wonderful work, easily appreciated. The musicianship is pretty nice (as in the whole album) and what I love is that they don't really have a bombastic or mesmerizing sound, they actually keep a low profile in which there is no need of pretentious or see-how-good-i-am solos. 'Transiciones' is a great track, I like how it starts with a calm rhythm and once again nice bass notes, and seconds later it becomes more powerful and emotional. Later we can listen to bass slaps, accompanied by nice rhythm and lead guitar, and cool keyboard background. Worth mentioning that the drummer also has its moments, he is very constant, but in a few passages he goes out the routine and introduces better figures.

The longest track is 'La ciudad de los sue'os', whose eleven minutes clearly define what the music of Uranian is about. It starts softly, once again I highlight the bass; and then it becomes a bit heavier, creating a nice interlocution between all the instruments. There are different inner little passages in this track, like different pictures in one spot, but all highly related each other. The creative progressive metal sound is greatly represented here, with of course, the almost mandatory guitar riffs. And lastly, the album finishes with 'Un tiempo despu's' which has at first a wonderful soft funky sound implemented by (guess who?) the bass, but later changes to that emotional prog metal Uranian get us used to. The song itself is involving us, until it fades out, so the album finishes.

What a great debut by Uranian, it is not the conventional bombastic prog metal, but I would undoubtedly suggest it to any fan of this genre.

Enjoy it!

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 La Ciudad de los Sueños by URANIAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.66 | 27 ratings

BUY
La Ciudad de los Sueños
Uranian Heavy Prog

Review by JulioZtop

4 stars Regarding the young age of all musicians in Uranian, we could outline this band's debut album "La Ciudad De Los Sueños" as a bright promise, but it would also be unfair to focus solely on the band's potential for a future developing when this debut album itself reveals strong arguments for a mature voice in the present. Uranian's position is installed in the realms of instrumental melodic prog-metal, with LTE and Dream Theater's symphonic side as major references, together with other secondary factors ? among them, neoclassical prog-metal, vintage Rush and even some nuances of prog-metal fusion. All these elements are cohesively orientated toward a symphonic, tonal compositional strategy, not redundant on technical excesses or dissonant tensions, whatsoever.

Pointing out influences mostly serves as an indication for the reader, never as a diminishing of the band's own identity. This band clearly defines its sound on the basis of sonic amalgam, melodic symphonism, harmonies in the instrumental interactions that consistently establish dialogues as opposed to long monologues. The album is very even and equilibrated throughout its 70? minute time span, so do not expect any "guitar hero" expansions here. True, Federico Larrosa's technical prowess is real and clear, yet it is not pyrotechnics but a healthy balance between the inputs by his lead guitar, Fabián Castilla's keyboards and Matías Bouquez's bass: specifically speaking, the keyboards' role is not limited to just providing ornaments or layers in the background, but bringing decisive elaborations of the themes' moods while Larrosa's guitar keeps its power and lucid variety.

The album begins with "Amalgamas de soledad", a vibrant opener that right away reveals the band's essential stance, with "Alter Ego" following as some sort of 6+ minute long mini-suite that comprises variations of intensity and leading timbers, as well as changing melodic bases stated on a symphonic basis. "Regreso al origen" has a powerful keyboard-based motif that sustains the guitar layers; later on, a slow passage hangs on in the interlude;, finally, a reemerging guitar lead states the final mood over a busy keyboard orchestration that alternately builds arpeggios and electrifying phrases. "Melancólico recuerdo" is more deeply based on a ballad motif, including a middle section that gives room for the guitar to state appealing variations. Next are two highlights: "Paradoja ancestral" and "0 bytes". The former establishes a set of playful rhythms and fusion-oriented ventures, developed through folkish reminiscences skillfully inserted in a metal-centered scheme. The latter is a 9 minute carrousel of symphonic-meets-metal mid-tempo moods, which once again state the midway of symphonic prog and prog-metal where the band feels quite comfortable; the balances between the frontal and background guitars and between the high and low sonorities are simply delicious. The track's development features a very luminous acoustic-based middle section. Yet another peak in the album is "En busca del sol", a track that I find somewhat similar to early 80s' Rush: it explores melodic riffs and variations in both the peripheral and central sonorities, with motifs that come and go and return in a fluid continuity. "Transiciones" also bears a powerful framework, only this time on a mid-tempo pace. The namesake track is the longest one (almost 11 minute long): it takes its time to develop the intended ambiences, but it ultimately works very well once the idea is completed. "Un tiempo después" closes down the album with coherent cohesiveness, recapitulating the album's overall moods: the guitar's role is featured in sonic storms that aim at creating a final source of emotionality.

A special mention goes to Charly Cid, whose labor on sound production and mixing was terrific, bringing the perfect balance between the instruments.

My personal view on the way that this band has forged its style of choice is that it must preserve itself from over-extending its themes and avoid futile repetitions of motifs, all of which would eventually make the music redundant. Hopefully, these guys will continue delving into some facets that still are laid on an incidental level, such as the attempts into fusion territory ("Paradoja ancestral") and acoustic-based atmospheres ("0 bytes"): by doing so, these Uranian guys will enable themselves to deepen their compositional variety and create more distinctly crafted pieces in the scope of future releases, therefore, making the listening experience more fun. But, all in all, "La Ciudad De Los Sueños" is an excellent progressive rock effort that states the band's credentials with authority, a band that from the starting point makes its way among the best in the current progressive scene. Playing the game of instrumental prog metal is no easy deal for either audiences or musicians who must support it in an appealing fashion, yet Uranian manages the challenge quite successfully.

(Translation from spanish by Cesar Inca)

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 La Ciudad de los Sueños by URANIAN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.66 | 27 ratings

BUY
La Ciudad de los Sueños
Uranian Heavy Prog

Review by Lima96

3 stars Wow. Amazing. Here's one of my personal contenders for the album of the year (sharing this title with Wobbler's Rites At Dawn, Gösta Berlings Saga's Glue Works, Sky Architect's Dying Man's Hymn and Accordo Dei Contrari's Kublai, among many others, so far) I'm really glad to see Uranian included in the Archives.

These guys hail from Bahía Blanca, Argentina; and their sound is an incredibly effective and powerful mix between progressive metal elements and symphonic ones, like Liquid Tension Experiment's symphonic side (their song 'Biaxident' comes to my mind) or the heavy-symphonic rock that the french outfit Nemo offers, minus the (dramatic) vocals.

I had already listened to a few songs of theirs before their debut album came out and the band gained my attention, and when their debut album came out, I have to say that they have not only reached my expectations, they have completely surpassed them.

All the musicians make an excellent performance on this album, and it's evident that they four know exactly how to play them. The dramatic keyboards, the powerful 6-string bass, the precise drumming and the jaw-dropping guitar work are in a perfect balance all along the 69 minutes of the album.

Every song is brilliant, but Amalgamas de Soledad (Loneliness Amalgams), Paradoja Ancestral (Ancestral Paradox), the namesake song (The City Of Dreams) and Un Tiempo Después (After a While) are a step higher than the rest of the album.

Highly recommended!

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Thanks to César Inca for the artist addition.

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