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Vytas Brenner - La Ofrenda de Vytas Brenner CD (album) cover

LA OFRENDA DE VYTAS BRENNER

Vytas Brenner

 

Eclectic Prog

4.22 | 47 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "La Ofrenda de Vytas Brenner" is a pioneering album in the prog scene as it was introduced and developed in South America. A few years before the first prog acts from Argentina or Brazil started to record their debut albums, Vytas Brenner conceived and produced a majestic work of prog folk in which the artistic diverse demands of prog rock and the particular colors of Venezuelan folklore (from both the Creole and the jungle areas) were combined in a cohesive amlagam of beauty and mystery. 'Morrocoy' kicks off the album with intense tropical percussive vibrations ornamented with playful guitar leads, until a bridge of keyboard layers soft percussion gives way to teh joropo- driven second section, a section in which intensity is fluidly replaced by serenity. The candid colors of joropo remain a constant point of reference for the musical lines and tempo in the next three pieces. 'La Ofrenda de Miguel' has to be the most beautiful track in the album, leading to a moderate use of intrincacy due to the presence of orchestral interludes and blues-rock bridges led by guitar phrases. The marriage of folk textures and rock washes is just perfect, a real progressive gem. 'Tormenta de Barlovento' is more focused on acoustic sounds, although the progressive element is still present, only in a more subdued manner. The brief piece 'Frailejón' closes down the album's first half, with a light spirited duet of acoustic guitars whose allusions come to fruition with the synthesizer lines and the occasional chorale. 'La Sabana' comprises the most bizarre side of the album. Starting with a dissonant yet delicate orchestral intro, things soon get stormy with a full range percussive display that sets a sonic portrait of the South American jungle while the extravagant synthesizer washes creates some sort of dark, mysterious mood. The last drum beats and rattle shakes provide an effective climax. The dual sequence of 'Tragavenado' and 'Araguaney' digs deep in the jazzier side of the album, in thsi way enhancing the fusionesque trend that up to this moment had remained in a more subtle level. Brenner really shines on piano and clavinet, but guitarist Manavello manages to steal some of the spotlight momentarily with his tasteful guitar leads, adequate for the enhancement of the main motif. Finally, 'Canto del Pilón' recapitulates the more recurrent aspects of the album's repertoire on a joropo tempo, including a jazz-oriented drum solo and a most elegant development of the main motif. "La Ofrenda de Vytas Brenner" is, first of all, a mesmerizing catalogue of musical beauty: it is also a definite highlight of South American prog rock and art rock, even if it was forged in the early stages of the birth of prog in this area of the world. A genius album, indeed.

[Review dedicated to the memory of Mr. Brenner]

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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