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Spin XXI - Contraponto CD (album) cover


Spin XXI


Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 30 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Spin XXI (the refurbished name for the refurbished veteran Brazilian band Spin) managed, with the release of their album "Contraponto", to take revenge against the forces of Fate that had prevented them from releasing anything during their seminal years in the distant 70s. What we have here is an attractive and effective catalogue of symphonic prog pieces heavily inspired by the evocative magic of vintage Genesis and the peculiar colorfulness of Yes (in their Wakeman-eras). You can also notice some added touches of Camel's melodic sense, which allow the guitar and keyboard input provide an energetic dynamics to the main compositional ideas. Spin XXI's offering is very closely related to your regular symphonic rock bands from Latin America, but keep in mind that these guys are real children of the 70s and not mere revivalists. Well, the album's first 17 minutes are occupied by 'Sensaçoes Diversas' and 'Buscando Algo de Novo'. The opener bears a very catchy feel, something that the Genesis/Yes fan will find quite appealling. The optimistic vibe is consistntly continued by the second track, which is also longer and more sophisticated. This one is particularly featured by the emergence of excellent guitar and keyboard leads, full of virtuosity without getting into exaggerated pyrotechnics. The rhythm section works perfectly well, sustaining the dynamics of the rockier sections and the relaxing mood of the softer ones. That being said, it would be accurate to note down that the motif shifts are more recurrent than the rhythm changes - the band is clearly interested in keeping a constraint profile regarding the expansion of the musical ideas. That is tru even for their most ambitious number, the 2-part suite 'Conflitantes Paranoias'. Filling a 15 3/4 minute span, this piece finds the band working at the top of their creative strength in order to complement teh rockier sections and the acoustic moments in a cohesive marriage. For the acoustic moments, the instrumentation is based on dual acoustic guitars or interactions between violao and guitar, which creates a genuine bucolic spectrum. The final section is a well accomplished climax: those soaring guitar lines (very Hackettesque) find an adequate match in the keyboard adornments in the development of the solemn motif. This could have been a great closure for the album, but this specific privilege is for 'Ventos do Passado'. For this one, Spin XXI decided to focus on their pastoral side making a mixture of acoustic Hackett and Renaissance 70s ballad, with a touch of Wakeman in the keyboard department. Even though "Contraponto" feels a bit too short, it must be regarded as an excellent item for any good symphonic prog collection - Spin XXI vindicated themselves gloriously with thsi album.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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