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Itoiz - Alkolea CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.37 | 26 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Itoiz's third album Alkolea is considered their last classic album and while not as stupendous as Ezekiel, it follows the same trail, albeit not being as bold and daring on the broken ground by its predecessor. One of the explanations is the extended line-up fluctuation, where only three members remain from Ezekiel: leader and chief composer Carlos (of course) and keyboardist Fernandez are the only mainstays. While Itoiz lost the essential flutist Erkiaga (still present, they regain original bassist Garate while the Jiminez brothers have been "ditched" for others. A very sober artwork, even if the inside CD booklet present the same railway imagery of Ezekiel, this album is incredibly good in regards to its release date of 82.

After a great opener, the album gets in the thick of things with the absolute stunner 8-min+ Hire Bideak (happy trails), where the level of Ezekiel is easily duplicated, drawing chills down your spine. Coupled with Errotaberri, the first side of the album is enchanting, almost fascinating and near perfect, the other two tracks although not as flashy, being of a good folk calibre.

Unfortunately the rockier Lanbrora ruins a bit the delicate progress of the album, with an almost country rock feel. Not any better is the ill-advised Marilyn track, which falls a bit like a fly in your soup. Luckily the album is saved by the closing tracks, which return to the standard of what we expect from Itoiz. Both Herri Neurak (popular streets) and Eroa Nazan (going crazy) will take you back towards the debut album. In some ways, a good part of the tracks of the album could sound like the better classic Supertramp songs sung by Rick Davies. The short closer is another candy for the proghead.

While obviously not as perfect as the unreachable Ezekiel, had alkolea done away with two bad tracks and replaced them with more typical songs of theirs, this album would probably be better than the debut also. Due to its exceptional quality (in regards to its late release date of 82), this album is very much worth the investment. Start with Ezekiel, though.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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