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ANIMA MUNDI

Symphonic Prog • Cuba


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Anima Mundi picture
Anima Mundi biography
Formed in 1996 in La Habana, Cuba

ANIMA MUNDI have always combined prog sounds with other music genres and used instruments that are uncommon for rock. Echoes of Celtic, Cuban, New Age, and Symphonic Rock music can be clearly distinguished.

On the 2002 debut album "Septentrion", ANIMA MUNDI's band members consist of Roberto Diaz on electric & acoustic guitars, Virginia Peraza on keyboards, programming, Ariel Valdes on drums & percussion, Ariel Angel on bass, Andremil Oropeza on lead vocals, Regis Rodrigues on bagpipes, recorder, & whistle, Anaisy Gomez on bagpipes, recorder, & clarinet. The followup album "Jagannath Orbit" was released in 2008 with a different band lineup; Yaroski Corredera on bass, Osvaldo Vieites on drums, and Carlos Sosa on lead vocals joining the regular lineup. This album featured guest musicians; Javier Mauri on percussion, recorder, Donna Betancourt on bassoon, and Jacobo García on didgeridoo.

In 2010 the band released "The Way" with 4 tracks one of which is a 26 and a half minute epic, "Spring Knocks on the Door of Men". This time the lineup was new with Virginia Peraza (keyboards), Roberto Díaz (lead guitar & vocals), Yaroski Corredera (bass guitar), Manuel Govin (drums) and Carlos Sosa (also vocals) and as guests Mónica Acosta (bassoon), Yailin Martinez (flute) and Javier Mauri (percussion). In 2013 the next album "The Lamplighter" saw the light of day featuring 2 Suites and an Epilogue clocking a total of 53 minutes. The band again changed with Emmanuel Pirko-Farrath on vocals, Roberto Díaz on guitars, Virginia Peraza on keyboards, Yaroski Corredera on bass and José Manuel Govin on drums.

The band have released undoubtedly some of the best Symphonic Progressive Rock albums from Cuba, namely "Septentrion". On this debut there are also nice intermixes of Celtic influences within the overall structure which add a wonderful sense of ambiance. There are 12 tracks (5 instrumental) and one can get lost in the overall multi-layering of the music. 2010's "The Way" has also gained some high ratings from reviewers. AMINA MUNDI are highly recommended for Symphonic Prog fans.

UPDATED 2014 ---AtomicCrimsonRush (Scott Tuffnell)---
UPDATED Dec. 2015 -- Quinino and E&O Team -----------

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Live In EuropeLive In Europe
Anima Mundi Music
$24.99
I Me MyselfI Me Myself
Anima Mundi Music
$21.99
The LamplighterThe Lamplighter
Anima Mundi Music
$44.74
$21.99 (used)
Jagannath OrbitJagannath Orbit
Musea 2013
$21.99
$22.39 (used)
SeptentrionSeptentrion
Limited Edition
Anima Mundi Music
$21.99
The WayThe Way
Musea 2010
$18.99
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InsomniaInsomnia
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ANIMA MUNDI discography


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

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

3.54 | 61 ratings
Septentrión
2002
3.86 | 111 ratings
Jagannath Orbit
2008
4.07 | 241 ratings
The Way
2010
3.81 | 134 ratings
The Lamplighter
2013
3.92 | 184 ratings
I Me Myself
2016
4.09 | 13 ratings
Insomnia
2018

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

4.43 | 15 ratings
Live in Europe
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Once Upon A Live
2018

ANIMA MUNDI Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.60 | 5 ratings
Live in Europe
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Once Upon A Live
2018

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

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

ANIMA MUNDI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Insomnia by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.09 | 13 ratings

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Insomnia
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by emperorken

4 stars Anima Mundi is the cream of the crop when it comes to symphonic prog. Their last 3 albums have all garnered 5 stars from me. This album will, however, break the streak.

In fact the only way one would know this is Anima Mundi is by looking at the disc. Firstly because there is another new lead singer, their fourth in the last 4 albums. But mostly because the style of this album has taken quite a turn away from the band's prior symph style. Not to say this album does not provide some great symphonic moments- it does. But for the most part, this album is more a mix of spacey/psychedelic and jazzy prog.

So I would rate this album 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4, simply because of the band's continued superb musicianship and production. As a footnote, I think the new lead vocalist is quite good, in fact better than his 2 predecessors. But still, with my expectations so high for this release, I can only think of it as a slight disappointment.

 Jagannath Orbit by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.86 | 111 ratings

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Jagannath Orbit
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars Between 2002 and 2016 the captivating Cuban formation Anima Mundi delivered five studio albums (their latest I M Myself is from 2016), and one live album entitled Live In Europe, from their 2011-2012 tour. This review is about their second album, six years after their acclaimed debut album entitled Septentrion (2002). I bought this CD after a splendid gig from Anima Mundi on a Dutch progrock festival in 2011. And I was not the only one, Anima Mundi made many friends since that first gig in The Netherlands, their blend of skills and emotion in their music appeals to many!

On Jagannath Orbit the sound is more in the 24-carat symphonic rock tradition than their debut CD. And there are a very pleasant and subtle contributions by guest musicians on clarinet, bassoon, bagpipes and digeridoo. The long and varied first compsoition We Are The Light (close to 18 minutes) turns out to be the way to Progheaven: first mellow with piano and soaring keyboards, then alternating between swinging, bombastic, dreamy and a mid-tempo featuring wonderful work on vintage keyboards (Hammond, Mellotron, Minimoog), wah-wah guitar, Yes-like bass and vocal harmonies and a breathtaking final part with sumptuous choir-mellotron and sensitive electric guitar, goose bumps. The other six compositions (two instrumentals) also deliver lots of excitement.

Like the strong guitar work (including biting wah-wah) in Toward The Adventure.

A majestic church-organ sound, moving guitar and beautiful Mellotron waves in There's A Place Not Faraway.

A spectaculair break with guitar and keyboards, again wonderful vintage keyboards and wah-wah guitar in the long and compelling instrumental Rhythm Of The Spheres.

And splendid Minimoog flights, choir-Mellotron and a Progheaven Grand Finale with fiery guitar and lush keyboards in the final track Sanctuary.

A big hand for this Cuban progrock formation, these guys have perfectly used the six years between their first and second album, highly recommended.

 The Way by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.07 | 241 ratings

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The Way
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by steelyhead

4 stars This my first contact with this group and I have to tell You is a pleasant one. Anima Mundi hails from a part of the world We often overlook when We are looking for prog music: Cuba. The band is well balanced and no instrument is more important than other, no even the voice, and a very good one It is. The compositions are on the epic side of prog and You can hear that Howe guitar been played over and over so You will be in familiar territory. Don't expect surprises, the music is good but It is not opening new ventures, staying the course of familiar paths so I am giving them 3.5 stars rounded to four because of where They come from. ¡Mas música chiquiticos!
 I Me Myself by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.92 | 184 ratings

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I Me Myself
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I can't remember how I found out about Anima Mundi but perhaps it was three years ago that I decided to buy "Jagannath Orbit" and give the band a try. The music was full blown symphonic prog with layers of keyboards, guitars, percussion and vocals singing about "Love and Light", a Jon Anderson/ Yes inspired album to be sure. I bought a song from "The Way" from iTunes and then left the band for awhile, always thinking to go back and try another album someday. In the meantime, they re-released their debut, this time in English (the original was in their native Spanish) and recorded a new studio album "The Lamplighter". Then some weeks back I saw that Oliver Rüsing of KariBow posted on KariBow's Facebook page that the two bands had shared the bill at one venue and had gotten to know each other. By coincidence someone posted on a Facebook prog page about Anima Mundi's new album "I Me Myself". I gave the music a cursory listen and was stunned. I ordered the album soon after.

I'm not sure what I missed in between but Anima Mundi went from a spiritual and uplifting symphonic prog band complete with a didgeridoo to what sounds a lot like a heavy prog band. This album features some pretty darn heavy guitars and more Hammond organ (catch the organ solo in "Flowers" that references Genesis). The mood is dark, generally speaking though there are some lighter and some almost whimsical parts. Certainly though, this album has lost the floating-on-a- spiritual-high feel that "Jagannath Orbit" had. The title track, and parts of "Somewhere", "Flowers" and "Train to the Future" are so heavy and muscular that this doesn't seem like the same band. I like that!

There's another important aspect and that's the stripped down approach to composition. I feel like this album could have been recorded on an 8-track because there's a simplicity, even sparsity to the music at times with only drums, bass and keyboards or drums, bass and vocals carrying the song. Because of this simpler approach the bass guitar stands out more. Add to this the drums, the Hammond sound, Mellotron, or synthesizers, and the harder, heavier guitar and you have an album that packs a punch!

Not everything is so clenched and gritted though. "Clockwork Heart" offers a sly black-cat-cool jazzy touch and more atmospheric passages take us across the oceans between the rocky continents and islands. There's also a sombre but beautiful piano passage in "Train to the Future", which turns into a kind of requiem or dirge before a Pink Floyd-like guitar solo comes in, accompanied by rising strings. It concludes with strummed acoustic guitar and a cello. Come to think of it, the cello has become a pretty regular instrument to hear on prog albums. The closing song "Lone Rider" includes some flute and is possibly the most relaxed track on the album.

Though there was plenty to catch my attention from the get-go, it's taken me a few listens to really soak in all the sounds and songs. Parts I previously dismissed as less interesting have proven to offer some terrific music reaching for different emotions. With this album Anima Mundi have earned themselves a spot on my bands-to-hear-more list, and with Virginia Peraza's remark saying something to the effect that the trilogy of "The Way", "The Lamplighter" and "I Me Myself" make Anima Mundi's three best albums or something, I will be giving this band more attention.

 I Me Myself by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.92 | 184 ratings

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I Me Myself
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

5 stars After the release of many good albums, the band is back with another symphonic adventure of epics songs. This is another concept album about the relation between human and the technology. And it is just what the music here is illustrating ; a modern symphonic prog rock style with heavier moments display by a heavy guitar sound only possible because of the modern technology of today. As usual, the music has a lot of quiet and beautiful atmosphere where the melody is carried slowly. The addition of sax and trumpet will make you think of VDGG and Pink Floyd, but the influences of those bands including Yes and Genesis are not obvious because the music has that unique Cuban type of Prog Rock. The keyboards lines are more upfront that those bands, but not as much as ELP. I really enjoyed the way the bass lines are flying throughout this album, also the new vocalist voice Bermudez is not bad.The band has the talent to bring the vocals at the right time after long instrumentals and majestic parts. The tree first songs are never boring and the song "Clocking Heart" is the only step back from that excellent album with a relaxed jazzy atmosphere. "Flowers" is less adventurous, but very catchy with a nice guitar solo , and the singer's voice seems a bit forced here. "Train to the Future" is another highlight of the album with a fast tempo pace where all instruments are shining. The last song is some acoustic and a more vocals- oriented song containing another beautiful ending with the electric guitar.
 I Me Myself by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.92 | 184 ratings

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I Me Myself
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by emperorken

5 stars Well, here is one of the great symphonic prog bands of this millennium. I had huge expectations for this release as I had considered each of their previous 2 releases 5 star albums. And I must say, the band's compositional skills and musicianship remain at their peak. Just fantastic- nobody does it better than Roberto Diaz, Virginia Peraza, and the rest of the instrumentalists.

So why only 4 stars? Obviously, it's the new vocalist, Two albums ago, they had Carlos Sosa on vocals, and he was perfect on "The Way". On the last album, "The Lamplighter" they had Emmanuel Pirko Farrath, and although he sang with a rather thick accent, his voice was rich and warm and fit the music well. Now we have "I Me Myself" and another new vocalist, Michel Bermudez. I find Bermudez' voice not only heavily accented, but also somewhat irritating. Especially when he is singing in a high pitch, which is most tracks except the closer, "Lone Rider", on which he is quite listenable. And although the lyrics are in English, hardly a word is understandable.

So here we have an album that could probably qualify for 6 stars musically, but I am bringing it down to 4 for the generally annoying vocals. The redeeming thing is that there are quite a few extended instrumental passages which are just a joy to hear. Oh, to have Carlos Sosa back singing on this album would have made it a truly exceptional album.

Well, here it is August 20, and after several months of repeated listens, I am raising my rating to 5 stars. My reason is that the vocals are now much less objectionable(except for maybe "Flowers"), and the music is so fantastic so that it cannot warrant less than 5 stars.

 Jagannath Orbit by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.86 | 111 ratings

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Jagannath Orbit
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Anima Mundi are a symphonic prog band from Cuba, though if you search for them on iTunes, you'll find another band of more experimental and eclectic sounds with the same name. The Cuban band has been around since the mid-nineties and released four studio albums, the first in Spanish and the others in English.

In an interview I read with keyboardist Virginia Peraza, she explained the great difficulties facing a band from Cuba: recording studios not being on par with those in more advanced countries, equipment often being bought second or third hand, and restrictions on what foreign music is permitted in the country. If I recall correctly, it was after this album, "Jagannath Orbit" that a Russian label picked up the band and they got a lot of promotion in Europe and went over to play in some music festivals. From then on, the band's fortunes changed as their music became better known internationally.

According to song writer and band leader Roberto Diaz, the band wanted to play music like the grand symphonic prog bands of the seventies but also have a strong spiritual message in their music. The name Anima Mundi comes from a concept by Plato and means Spirit of the World. True enough, their music is similar to what Jon Anderson- led Yes could produce but somehow even grander and more uplifting.

The Wikipedia article on the band describes their music as a combination of, "symphonic rock, new age, Celtic, space music and traditional Cuban influences". That's a very accurate description of "Jagannath Orbit" to be sure. The band really covers all bases with grand symphonic prog passages, atmospheric and spacey moments, lively rocking parts, and one or two world music segments. You can't miss the didgeridoo in "Rhythm of the Spheres".

For a band who hail from a relatively poor country, their guitar and keyboard sounds fill all the expected sounds for a major prog band. Peraza's sound pallette includes a variety of synthesizer sounds, piano, organ, and Mellotron. Diaz's vocals suit the spiritual and optimistic lyrics very well, not an Anderson copy but he could have been a good choice as a Glass Hammer vocalist. In fact, though Yes and Glass Hammer comparisons are easy to make, I don't feel that Anima Mundi are trying to emulate those bands. The guitars, bass, and keyboards are in the style of those bands; however, I never feel that I'm listening to a Steve Howe or Chris Squire clone, unlike say Cathedral. Anima Mundi have captured the essence of a spiritually inspired symphonic prog band and managed to sound most like themselves.

If you like big, bold, and grandiose symphonic prog with some laid back atmospheric moments, Anima Mundi are worth looking into. They do the job very well, at least on this album and from what I've heard on the next album "The Way". They do long, multi-part songs very well, never relying on any one particular musical theme to carry the song for long. This is busy and excited music but doesn't sound like a medley either where transitions come every 12 bars for the sake of complexity. There's a sincerity to the busy-ness, a band excited about writing music like this in order to express themselves.

For my personal opinion, an entire album of this grand, spiritual, uplifting symphonic prog is a little too much. If you've ever felt that a Glass Hammer album simply exudes to the point of oozing a Christian message then this album has the same effect except without being specifically Christian. This is Jon Anderson territory for sure. Check out the song titles: "We Are the Light", "The Awaken Dreamer in the Soul Garden Dreams the Flower Planets", "Jagannath Orbit (in the Orbit of Love)". This is loose-fitting tunics and linen pants, barefoot and beads music. And that's where I find the album a little too much to take all at once. Each of the songs, long and short, are good and wonderful on their own. But all together in one sitting can make me tune out or hunger for something a little darker or more aggressive.

Still, this is a band worthy of including in the same sentence as Yes and Glass Hammer. If you're a fan of those bands, then Anima Mundi come highly recommended. Come to think of it, if Yes' "Heaven and Earth" had been more like this then it likely wouldn't have been slagged so badly.

 The Lamplighter by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 134 ratings

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The Lamplighter
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

3 stars If you've got an itch for something that'll transport you back to the days of neo-prog, Anima Mundi's latest release, The Lamplighter, may be your ticket. These guys do a surprisingly good job at nailing a sort of Marillion vibe with some moments that even take you back to Gabriel-ish era Genesis, such as on "The Dream Child Behind the Mask." The structure of songs becomes a bit predictable overall, with a general focus on vocals and a sort of verse/chorus format, but this format seems slightly obscured (in a good way) by the dense atmosphere of synths (particularly the synth brass on songs like the quirky "The Call and Farewell Song" and "Endless Star," both of which additionally feature some piano work that feels very tone-poem- esque in nature. Additionally, Anima Mundi seems to have a knack for the haunting and ominous, as in the tron flutes opener to "On Earth Beneath the Stars," as well as the aforementioned "Endless Star." Some of these elements do get a bit overused, however, as is clear by the time we reach "The Human House." Luckily there are still some great moments on the record, such as the lovely folk/classical blend guitar motifs of "The Return Part 1″ and the variations on these by way of vocals in part two. Despite the fact that I'm not a huge fan of neoprog, I still enjoyed The Lamplighter due to the sort of serious feel of the album as a whole and perhaps the very dark moments which were very intriguing.
 The Lamplighter by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 134 ratings

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The Lamplighter
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I just realized this band couple of months ago when a friend of mine recommended me to have listen to it. AT first I was not quite impressed with it as I found the mismatch which was quite obvious between the music and the vocal part at the beginning part of the album. This might be caused by my expectation the band would play something heavy as its name is quite similar with the opening track of Black Sabbath "Tyr" album called as Anno Mundi. I think the name has different meaning with the Black Sabbath one. Once I removed the image of heavy music then I started to appreciate the music even though still found the vocal is not quite powerful - not something prog, I think ...

The music of this album isa basically pure soft neo-prog music with long sustain keyboard solo and some guitar work in Floydian style. Obviously this is a concept album with major three movements and I started to enjoy the music as the second track The call and farewell song (6.20) unfolds. It's basically a typical soft or dragging neoprog with relatively slow tempo music. This is not something that I can enjoy day by day as I feel not having patience with its really slow movement of the music. I am not saying it's bad but I have to wait quite a long time to get the right passages. As I enjoy the music its entirety, I find the 7th track titles as Endless Star (10;38) is quite interesting. It's not because of the longest in term of duration, but I really enjoy how the music moves in ambient mode with long sustain keyboard work and stunning Floydian guitar work.

Overall, it's a good album from Cuba prog band Anima Mundi. The music is in the vein of something like Red Sand etc. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 The Lamplighter by ANIMA MUNDI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.81 | 134 ratings

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The Lamplighter
Anima Mundi Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

3 stars Anima Mundi is a band that comes from Cuba. This fact alone would be enough to make you curious, and honestly, you should. Anima Mundi is a good band that's been around for over a decade and their new album The Lamplighter (2013) is their 4th. I was indeed curious about the band, I kind of missed their 'boat' along the way. I've listened to their debut album Septentrión (2002) but completely missed their next two albums: Jagannath Orbit (2008) and The Way (2010).

Now Anima Mundi has a new vocalist Emmanuel Pirko-Farrath and this is a fact that could make them even better. But to begin with I'll tell you that Eammanuel's vocals are... not there. His voice is far away from being a bad one, but the problem for me lies in his accent. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a snobbish kind of guy that looks for the 'perfect english'. Being from a country that doesn't have English as its main language (Brazil) I struggle myself to not have a heavy accent. The problem isn't that, very often bands comes from different places with singers with a bit of accent and that's fine. In Anima Mundi's case is very hard to bear the accent and because of that the melody lines.

Now, when it comes to the music, The Lamplighter (2013) has everything correct. Symphonic Prog played with very good keyboards (the best feature on the album), good Gilmourish guitars, good bass lines and ok drumming. And as I was listening to the album I notice that is exactly that the biggest problem with The Lamplighter (2013), everything is 'correct' and 'good' but there's nothing on the album (with a few keyboard moments) that make me say 'oh yeah, now we're talking' or even get really excited about.

The 'Suite The Lamplighter' is nice and I particularly like the last song 'His Majesty Love'. Overall the feeling of 'ok, when they're going for more' stayed with me the whole time. Maybe it's not their kind of music, but I was always waiting for some challenge, for some more. And it never came. Maybe it's not MY kind of music, anyway, a good album, but not essential.

Thanks to The Symphonic Team for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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