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Amarok - Mujer Luna CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.51 | 33 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With their fifth effort "Mujer Luna", the Spanish-Venezuelan ensemble Amarok consolidated in a most consistent manner their particular prog-folk-fusion style, and also enriched it with a conveniently abundant pallet of musical colors. Given the liberal display of sonic diversity such as the one incarnated in this album's repertoire, we can actually state, without falling into the trap of overreaction, that "Mujer Luna" is a primary highlight of the band led by multi-instrumentalist Robert Santamaría. Marta Segura serves as a well gifted charmer with her versatile singing, alternating the candid and the evocating at ease. The namesake title opens up the album with exquisite piano flourishes on a Mozarabic note, soon to be enhanced through the track's development. 'En el parque' leans closer to the standards of symphonic prog, bearing an ambience of sadness and solemnity; the motif and mood variations that take place in the mid section are accurate extensions of the lyrics' message, focused on the human drama of the nuclear bombing. With 'Arabesca en 4 movimientos', a mesmeric 9 minute long instrumental, Amarok goes headlong toward the reconstruction of exotic folk under a fusinoesque premise; the same goes for both duets for tabla and saz delivered on tracks 5 and 10. The telluric warmth displayed in these tracks serves as a bringer of vivid images from ancient history before the arrival of Modern Age. Less antique and more full of progressive antics is the ambitious piece 'Sueño sueños', an energetic title in which the keyboard interventions portray a solid mixture of Emersonian and Wakemanian hints, while the lead guitar combines the edge of psychedelia and the textures of jazz-rock. Of course, loyal to themselves, the musicians deliver an exotic interlude, full of lyrical magic from the Middle East, before a second jazz-rock-tinged interlude opens the door for the main motif's final reprise. 'Sueño sueños' is a really magnificent gem, a peak in this album. 'Nana para el hijo de la tierra' and 'Dónde estás mi amor' set the ground for further exploration into the band's introspective side - 'Nana' is a delicious bucolic ballad inspired by Renaissance pastoral music, while 'Dónde estás mi amor' assumes a more affimative stance with those recurring Arabic tones (once again). The band's pompous facet returns with flying colors in the 5-part suite 'Tierra austral', yet another highlight. Being a fully instrumental piece, all musicians develop the successive motifs with total fruition, creating a exciting amalgam of symphonic prog, fusion, pastoral and Eastern; the marriage of modern and traditional instruments is incredibly cohesive, sustaining an aura of majesty beyond words. The final section is very dreamy in its almost mysterious serenity. The conclusive reprise of 'Dónde estás, mi amor' is a translation of the main track's motif into the Celtic vibe and swing, which the band ultimately approaches by introducing extra rock tones. So, in short, "Mujer Luna" is an excellent item in the recent history of prog, one of many released by Amarok.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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