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Symphonic Prog • Spain

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Arcabuz biography
Founded in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Catalunya, Spain in 1978 - Disbanded in 1979 - Reformed 2012-2016

Back in 1978 in the city of Santa Coloma; de Gramenet (Catalonia - Spain), when the first Golden era of Symphonic Prog was fading, a group of young musicians (Carlos Lopez - Guitar; Aurelio Ortega - Drums; Julio Francisco Alvarado - Keyboards and the bassist José Luis Lopez), decide to form a new band to follow in the steps of icons as TRIANA and IMAN which they call ARCABUZ.

They soon started to work and gathered a very respectable They even managed to record a demo containing three tracks "Confrontaciones Dolorosas", "La Setrilleira Monstruosa" and "Al Final De Una Larga Espera".

With this tracks and more unreleased material, they gathered a very respectable fanbase with appearances in Barcelona as the memorable concert in the "Discoteca Georgia" on holy week of 1979 (For the first time since the return of democracy, the public places opened in these days), but it wasn't their time. So each one of them took his own path.

More than 30 years later, the original members decided to try luck again with new hopes but the same ideals and a fresh approach. So on August 1, 2014, they self produce and release the awaited Orígenes, an elaborate and interesting album which blends the spirit of the 70's with the marvelous Spanish sound sound offered by bands as MEZQUITA, IMÁN, TRIANA AND MEDINA AZAHARA, but not as a tribute or a clone, they present us a new and powerful record that deserves to be listened.

Iván Melgar-Morey :::: Perú

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3.16 | 12 ratings

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 Orígenes by ARCABUZ album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.16 | 12 ratings

Arcabuz Symphonic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

2 stars Arcabuz is a Spanish band that was formed back in 1978, because of a number of reasons, including the time the band was formed, the band broke up reforming only in 2014 when they finally released their debut album Or'genes (2014).

Now, to be able to listen this album beginning to end you need a lot of courage and patience, cause this is like the most boring moments of Camel and Caravan united in 7 intrumental tracks.

Instrumental Progressive Rock is not a problem for me, but it becomes a major problem when all of the songs are arranged in a way as if you HAD a singer, and that's the case here. Not to mention that pretty much all of the 7 compositions follow the same patterns (in terms of rhythm and melody) and on top of that you have really week keyboard sounds.

It's hard for me to bash an album by a band that tries to follow the 70's path, but Arcabuz needs WAY much work to be able to step up the Prog ladder, and Or'genes (2014) doesn't help much, honestly.

 Orígenes by ARCABUZ album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.16 | 12 ratings

Arcabuz Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Have to admit that I have a weakness for Spanish Flamenco influenced Prog sinceI heard TRIANA for the first time, so when ARCABUZ was suggested to the Symphonic Team, I didn't think it twice and voted yes after listening some Youtube songs from Origenes, an album that had to wait more than three decades to be released.

So we added them and immediately bought the album expecting lots of acoustic guitar and maybe some cante jondo blended with Moog and percussion, but to my surprise ARCABUZ presented us a totally different musical menu.

Even when the Spanish-Moorish influence is more than evident, they play some sort of Eclectic Andaluz Prog leaving behind the Flamenco guitars, the counterpoint between the distorted guitars and the organ are simply delightful, the rhythm section is impeccable and the band adds some sort of Hard Rock atmosphere that creates a fresh and interesting approach.

I know that ARCABUZ doesn't sound at all like them, but this guys remind me of FOCUS due to the long and fluid instrumental passages, especially for the guitar solos that resemble the style of Jan Akkerman'.Even when musically we are talking of two different universe'And of course, the lack of vocal also surprised me.

The album starts with Confrontaciones Dolorosas (Painful Confrontations) and it's breathtaking organ intro with a Psychedelic feeling, but what captured me instantly was the coherence between rhythm section, distorted guitar and lush keyboards, it is like the collision of two musical worlds that seems created 'ex professo' to be played this way. Also loved the endless instrumental passages in which the band gives priority to coherence rather than to soloing.

La Setrilleira starts with the classical Andaluz sound with soft and cohesive musical sections with Spanish and even Celtic influences, but then comes the radical change, they leave Symphonic territory to enter into some kind of Floydish fantasia with impressive guitar solos in the vein of Gilmour and the drumming that reminds me of Mason, something I didn't expected but loved it.

Música Después de la Vida (After Life Music) is more what I supposed this band was going to play, Andaluz Prog at it's best with radical keyboard passages with a hint of Keith Emerson, abruptly interrupted by heavy guitar'But in the back José Luis López (Bass) and Aurelio Ortega (Drums) manage to keep the band with the feet in the ground.

Al Final de Una Larga Espera (At the end of a Long Waiting): Sounds like a title for an autobiographical book about ARCABUZ, but it's also one of the most beautiful and fluid tracks I ever heard, strangely the guitar solo reminds me a bit of Mark Knopfler with that repressed violence that explodes after a large keyboard solo. This guys keep hitting the nail in the head.

Geisha is the only epic of the album with it's 10:23 minutes and my favorite, because they rescue that natural Moorish sound so preeminent in bands like MEZQUITA, IMAN or MEDINA AZAHARA from the Andaluz Prog golden era. With marvelous performances and radical changes is just what the doctor would prescribe to any Progressive Rock listener.

Raptus Emocional (Emotional Raptus): Probably my least favorite piece from the album, even when it has strong moments, the mainstream elements take over the track making it too predictable, something that ARCABUZ had avoided until this point'Sounds like something taken from the 80's MTV. Still not bad as a tension reliever.

The album is closed by Melomanía en Re (Tributo a un Reencuentro) (Melomania in Re [Tribute to a Re-Encounter]), and they do it in great form, with a track that has everything from melodic passages to frenetic explosions with that marvelous sound that only Spanish guitarists can provide'A great finale for a great album.

I was tempted to go with 5 stars because I'm a fan of Andaluz Rock and this guys are great on it, but I never rate a debut release with the maximum, being that doing that could imply that the band has reached it's peak, and I expect much more from ARCABUZ, so will go with 4 solid stars.

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

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