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Bacamarte - Mário Neto: Sete Cidades CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.51 | 75 ratings

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3 stars Sete Cidades (Seven Cities) is the name given to a strange and formidable geological site located in Northeastern Brazil - presently a national park. Some say that the figures and shapes are ruins of an ancient civilization while others attribute their construction to ETs or the likes. Near the mentioned site, there are caves with odd inscriptions and remnants of a possible presence of human beings much older than actually accepted by scholars for the entire Americas (there's a tough discussion taking place about this issue, nowadays). Also these Seven Cities are located near one of the country's poorest regions where great land extensions are the property of a few barons while the common peasants struggle for each day survival and a kind of agrarian reform to better balance the situation there, is urgently required.

Well, and where does BACAMARTE's "Sete Cidades" fit in this script? Probably and initially thanks to the interests of Mario Neto, the band leader, in exobiology (see/hear 'UFO' from their first album: "Depois Do Fim"). Since we don't know when the songs were composed, we may presume they were thought as a close follow-up to their first album and Neto traveled to that part of the country to meet flying saucers but instead he found poverty and despair. He then changed the album theme from ethereal digressions about little green men interacting with primitive humans into a libel against injustice, oppression and misfortune, spiced here and there with messages of hope and love declarations toward Brazil and their people. In the end, both themes appear in the album, something clearly noticed when you compare the soft and inebriating instrumental tracks, that belongs to the galactic realm, with those provided with lyrics, that sound raw and earthen.

Another weird feature is that although keeping band's name, "Sete Cidades" is really a solo album (unless other names had been erased for 'who knows the reasons') - we may glimpse only one guest musician and the information that Neto was responsible for basically the entire instrumental section let alone the vocals. For the lyrics, a short note: they're childish! Others treated through their songs and poems the matter of land distribution and inequality much better and deeper; so we must leap this part and concentrate mostly in the music.

'Portais', the opening track, follows the same formula used at BACAMARTE's debut album, a gentle intro giving room to a bombastic middle part and then a strong final part, although less thunderous but still grandiose; a great song, indeed. 'Ritual da Fertilidade' brings some pseudo-Amerindian drum beats mixed with Brazilian & Caribbean batuque, a kind of drumming extravaganza, which is in reality totally out of context. 'Filhos do Sol' is weak, vocals contribute largely to make this song clearly forgettable, nor even the Guarany flute section is able to save this song.

'Espírito da Terra' stars in a good manner, keyboards and bass do a fine job seconded by a pleasant guitar accompaniment that helps the singing part this time improved by a folk and pleasant accent. The guitar solo here is one of the album's best moments. 'Mirante das Estrelas', issued as a bonus track in the first band CD (not in the original LP) and if there amid several gems it's hardly noticed here this song shines intensely.

Last two tracks are correct, 'Carta' is short and agreeable, being slightly spoiled by the vocals but due to its length it poses no hearing problem. 'Canto da Esfinge & Portais', the album longest track alternates pleasant and boring moments but for the better it shows an undeniable great instrumentation.

This work is truly two steps below BACAMARTE's first album, even being perfectly hearable. Anyway, it's not frustrating for a band beginner and it's also acceptable for a band appreciator. More than these points, it may sound as a bell or a hornet to stimulate the entire band to regroup and to produce another marvel like "Depois Do Fim" - hope is the last to perish. Final comment: Good, but non-essential; rating: 3.

Atkingani | 3/5 |


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