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u - Cuentos de ayer y de hoy CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.05 | 50 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars u's debut were rather chaotic and difficult. In 1975, their two leaders, Molina and Mercado changed the name of the band from "Fresa" into "u". The line-up featured in the info for the album is the one of the founding members, not the one who effectively recorded this album.

The band has signed with an independant label before the first split (Beverly Records). They should have released an album, but the record company went bankrupt and the available material will disappear. The real problems will take place when Mercado will need to leave for his military service. When he'll come back, another guitar player had been hired and he was so pissed off that he decided to quit and form his own band ("Leo"). Molina will become the absolute leader of the band and will decide who will come on board and will impose his compositions.

The line-up of this album is : Franois Andr (violin), Enrique Ballesteros (drums), Jorge Calvo (bass), Jos Carlos Molina (vocals, flute, metrolln, etc.) and Jos Mara Garca Sini (guitar).

Since I had read that this band was a combination of hard rock and Tull music, I decided to give it a listen some three years ago. And I was extremely impressed with this album. If ever you like the hard side of the Tull (like I am), this album is an absolute must for you.

The energy and power delivered here is absolutely phenomenal. When you add some great instruments fully related to prog as the flute and the violin, you can imagine the result (but believe me, you absolutely need to listen to this record).

With the opening number, the pace is set. It's as violent as "Fireball" (Purple). The beat is enourmous, gigantic. A tornado, really.

The guitar solo during "Preparan" is one of the wildest I have heard. But the whole of this song is pure craziness. Fantastic rhythmic section as well during this number. Vocals are also special : very high tone, and not too screamy. Spanish is used for all the songs. The first highlight of this great album.

When you listen to "Algunos Msicos Fueron Nosotros", it starts a bit quiter than the opening numbers, but it won't take long for "u" to knock us out again. Still, at mid time, there will be a softer moment : some violin and flute coming out of nowhere. A few seconds of tranquility in this devastating hurricane.

"Cuentos De Ayer Y De Hoy" is the most "Tullesque" song and another highlight. A lot of great fluting again. u are really fantastic during this track. But you really need to like hard-rock music to appreciate this outrageous album. No respite or so little.

Like in the pastoral intro for "El Juglar" (the second longest number here, just over eight minutes). The acoustic intro is almost symphonic. Superb flute again, some sweet violin and soft acoustic guitar. Almost "Trespass" my friend. It will last for three minutes and thirty seconds; moment which starts again a serious rocking part. Not so hard than during the other numbers, and there is a fabulous guitar solo in here. The riff is pretty much hypnotic and, at times, it reminds Crimson.

This song features several theme changes, and even mellotron is used. A complex and impressive piece of music. Another highlight (but so far there are almost nothing else than highlights...).

The closing and longest number (over 9'30) is again a more sophisticated track. Delicate vocals and sublime flute again. The band is fully symphonic for about seven minutes, which is the moment to feature a heavier sound but not as wild as in the early parts of this album.

This album is DYNAMITE. I would compare it with "In Rock" (in terms of wildness and devastation). It is truelly an exceptional album and I would really recommend it to you guys. On the harder edge of the scope of course.

Five stars.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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