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Agnus - Pinturas y Expresiones

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Topic: Agnus - Pinturas y Expresiones
Posted By: avestin
Subject: Agnus - Pinturas y Expresiones
Date Posted: October 27 2007 at 19:19 - AGNUS - Pinturas y Expresiones   
Review by - avestin (Assaf Vestin)
[Special Collaborator Zeuhl/RIO/Avant Team]
Posted 4:58:27 PM EST, 5/2/2006

4%20stars Another lost treasure from Argentina. Agnus released this album, its only one and it’s a shame there wasn’t any more. The album contains 4 beautiful tracks, which bear the influence of Mia and Italian bands such as PFM. The flute has a major role here, giving this a slightly ethereal sound, which is reinforced by the heavenly sound of the female vocals. The beautiful thing here is the multiple female vocals sung together and the male vocals in opposition to them.

In the first track XXI Century the flute plays a certain tune that is then played around by the band and developed more. It is sometimes reminiscent of Camel and Gotic. As someone said, it ends a bit abruptly, and it’s a shame. However, this song contains some beautiful female vocal performance and also an enchanting flute playing. The second track is a bit rockier in nature, again with the flute setting up the scene for the rest to come and complete the picture. The guitars and the banjo here have an important role as well and they give the track a nice spacey, old and native sound as well as add the necessary rock element in this song and in the others as well. Born the day starts with some more angelic female voices. It continues as a light classic rock tune with a guitar playing a bit alone. Then the music fades away while the singer continues and the flute comes in and plays along with the singing, all accompanied by the drums that come back as well. Then start a nice vocal part of the male singer with some finally noticeable bass part and the same guitar from earlier giving its rock sound. The song goes on with some more interesting developments and suffice it to say that it does not linger on the same musical idea for too long and remains interesting to listen to for the whole of its 11:50 minutes (there is even a drum solo). A beautiful and quite original song for sure. The last song King’s History is very different from the rest of the album. It is a folk song (not Latin folk, but rather English folk), with beautiful female and male vocals and a violin that gives the song its flavour. The flute is present here of course as is the banjo. The song changes from jumpy happy tempo to a slow, melancholic mood. The faster rhythm of this song makes you move involuntarily.

Even though the songs are quite long (all first three are longer than 10 minutes), they are composed such that they flow seamlessly and without being boring at all. The only downside is the fact that I feel as if the songs are not developed enough. They could have both developed their musical ideas more and come up with others. But regardless of this, the music is beautiful and very satisfying. This may not be the most original music heard, but it sure is an excellent album, very well performed and it contains some beautiful melodies and vocal parts.
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Posted By: avestin
Date Posted: October 27 2007 at 23:01
No response?
Here are several other reviews:

Collaborators Reviews

AGNUS — Pinturas y Expresiones

Review by - Marcelo (Marcelo Matusevich)

4%20stars If we talk about Argentine '70s progressive rock, bands like CRUCIS, MIA or ESPIRITU come to mind. There aren't lots of people knowing AGNUS, an independent group that - after several years in music scene- recorded its only album, "Pinturas y Expresiones", in 1980.

AGNUS sound is evidently influenced by Italian progressive bands (PFM, APOTEOSI or MAXOPHONE could be very good references), adding lots of antique music and blues touches.

"Pinturas y Expresiones" is a mid-complex album, essentially instrumental, with excellent vocal games and chorus (male and female Spanish voices), great flute and guitar performances (the main instruments), nice violin and a solid rythmical basis. Songs titles were translated to English in the Rock Progressive Worlwide (Brasilian label) edition.

Music is plenty of variations along the album, blending pastoral soundscapes with intense (but never bombastic) progressive melodies, blues rythms and a medieval and sacred feeling. Highlights: The magnificent and very Italian "XXI Century" and the short "King's History", this one with a beautiful violin.

This only AGNUS stuff isn't so refined as MIA or so fantastic as CRUCIS' albums, but it's a really good South American artistic expression. Recommended.

Posted Monday, September 06, 2004, 14:51 EST | - Permanent link

AGNUS — Pinturas y Expresiones

Review by - hdfisch (Dieter Fischer)

4%20stars Excellent album in Italian Symphonic Progressive style!

One and only album by Argentine progressive rock band AGNUS is a rarely known little gem within the rich South American prog scene. They used to have a close relationship to great and more famous band MIA and although their compositions might be a bit less intricate than MIA’s ones I think they were really not inferior to them. As my fellow reviewer Marcelo stated already, their music was heavily influenced by 70’s Italian Prog and maybe as well a bit by CAMEL. The album consists of four long compositions performed very well on guitar, keyboard and flute with occasional very beautiful vocals (male and female) quite often in a pastoral vein.

XXI Century is built around a very nice flute motif with awesome guitar and flute interplay and many shifts between themes. The pastoral sounding female choir is fitting perfectly to the music and delivers a touch of Renaissance era. Flute is obviously the dominating instrument on this record together with guitar as the title track Paintings And Expressions is demonstrating. As already the opener this one is as well a terrific one. The only slight criticism that might be put on this album actually is that the rhythmic work is not very versatile but the otherwise high skill shown by guitarists Archie Basílico and Luis Sáez and flautists Cecilia Glariá and Laura Fazzio let this minor flaw be forgotten immediately. I’d like to mention as well that the vocals provided by eight members all together are very pleasant and beautiful. Born The Day has some more heavy sections but contrasted very well by pastoral choirs in between. Again an awesome guitar playing here (sorry that I’ve to repeat myself, I can’t say it often enough) and for the first time the drummer moves more into the focus with quite a good solo. The album closes with King’s History which is a nice up-beat folksy tune played on flute, violin and acoustic guitar with beautiful vocal harmonies.


AGNUS’ Pinturas y Expresiones is by no way a very original or innovative album and might be not an essential one seen from a general view. But nevertheless it’s an excellent one and I’d like to recommend it to any lover of 70’s symphonic rock in the Italian style. So like my two fellow reviewers I’m rating it as well with 4 stars!

Posted Thursday, June 16, 2005, 11:43 EST | - Permanent link -

AGNUS — Pinturas y Expresiones

Review by - Cesar Inca (César Inca Mendoza Loyola)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist

4%20stars Agnus was a large Argentinian association that emerged from an art-rock band founded by guitarists Luis Sáez in 1974. By the time their only album “Pinturas y Expresiones” was recorded and released, the band comprised no less than 10 members, among them, two guitarists, one flautist and four female vocalists. With their meticulous instrumentation and the occasional addition of violin by a guest, it is clear that the band was ostensibly interested in working on the potential tapestries of symphonic prig rock. All in all, it is fair to note that the band’s intentions are not translated into pompous, overcharged sonorities; Agnus manages to develop a well- balanced constrain throughout the musical ideas’ developments, and that’s certainly a crucial merit of their statement. The keyboard input is never invasive, mostly displaying layers and harmonies in order to provide a basis for the tracks’ overall atmospheres. the band’s sound is more stylish than pompous, with lots of room for pastoral moods and only some spaces for a few (not too) dramatic passages. Points of reference to describe their line of work can be: Apoteosi, Celeste, “Storia di un Minuto”-era PFM, “Mágicos Juegos del Tiempo”-era M.I.A., and for most of the sections dominated by the dual electrics guitars, Almendra amd Invisible. I will review the repertoire as the LP’s original tracklist, not the one that has been arranged for this CD edition (which, by the way, does not kill the music’s general spirit). The namesake track was originally a much longer suite than the one that ended recorded here. It gets started with an articulated jam, in which the guitars display ethereal leads and harmonies. It won’t be too long before the flute gets in and enriches the sonic landscape. At times, the rockier sections sum up to an unimstakable intensity, ultimately creating intersting alternations with acoustic passages during the suite’s last section. ‘Historia de un rey’ is the album’s shortest track, featuring the guest violin in delicate dialogues with the flute: the song’s playful mood is patently inspired by a mixture of Celtic and Renaissance stuff. ‘Siglo XXI’ is arguably the most accomplished composition in the album. It starts with a cosmic ambience (somewhat reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s ‘Echoes’), hence exploring the band’s most mysterious facet. The flute and chanting join in along the refined nooks and delicate crannies that go appearing along the way. This marriage of symphonic and pastoral makes the best of Agnus, indeed. Unlike the title track, ‘Siglo XXI’ doesn’t let a motif stay around too long, so the sense of colorfulness feels tighter in comparison. I personally wish that the closing climax had been a bit longer, but all in all, everything seems to be perfect in this epic song. The third and last epic song, ‘Nace el Día’, closes down the album in a similar note to that bore by ‘Siglo XXI’, albeit with a major presence of the rocking side – meaning, more room for a few guitar solos. IMHO, its inner structure doesn’t comprise a robust feel as in tracks 1 and 3, which makes the drum solo appear a bit forced. But, on the other hand, this song has the merit of letting Agnus exhibit their most extroverted side, always keeping things constrained so the repertoire can keep its cohesion. Also, the lyrics powerfully deliver a tale of prosecution and punishment, the best lyrics in the album. I am not the first one praising this album in the Internet, and definitely it deserves its good fame. While not being as deliciously extravagant as Bubu, nor as elegantly colorful as M.I.A., nor as powerfully energetic as Crucis (just to name a few of their most celebrated compatriots), “Pinturas y Expresiones” would make an excellent addition to any prog collection.

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2007, 18:39 EST | - Permanent link

Guests Reviews

AGNUS — Pinturas y Expresiones

Review by - geezer

4%20stars An interesting album by this one-shoot Argentinean group. The music of Agnus is in the South American tradition but at times they sound remarkably like some of the symphonic 70’s Italian groups like Premiata Forneria Marconi. This is by no means a bad thing. It makes this album a beautiful blend of two different music cultures. There’s no doubt that Agnus was a first class act in the South American scene. The musicianship is of highest guality. This album has great fast guitar playing in the style of Bacamarte, searing flutes and wonderful vocals. The keyboards are not in the role of a solo instrument but more of a background instrument. The guitar and the flute are the lead instruments. “Pinturas Y Expresiones” is mostly an instrumental album but when the vocals appear, both male and female, they are very good.

There are only 4 tracks in this album of which three clock past ten minutes. My favourite track is the opener “XXI Century” but the rest of the tracks are not far behind in quality.

Conclusion: One of the best from Argentina. It’s not a masterpiece but an easy recommend from the South American scene.

Posted Sunday, May 29, 2005, 10:05 EST | - Permanent link

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Posted By: el böthy
Date Posted: October 28 2007 at 00:36
One of my to get albums, man how is it that I, an argentinian doesnt have it but you Avestin (was it Israel where you come from?) do... arghhhh


"You want me to play what, Robert?"

Posted By: avestin
Date Posted: October 28 2007 at 18:54
Originally posted by el böthy el böthy wrote:

One of my to get albums, man how is it that I, an argentinian doesnt have it but you Avestin (was it Israel where you come from?) do... arghhhh

I'm a hybrid, eclectic origins... LOL
Anyway, I discovered them through PA; yet another band I got to discover here.

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Posted By: avestin
Date Posted: November 04 2007 at 15:45
El Bump...

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Posted By: avestin
Date Posted: February 24 2008 at 01:02



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