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Alas - Alas  CD (album) cover

ALAS

Alas

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.84 | 89 ratings

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Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars I've been on a bit of an Argentina binge lately, review-wise, so I figured I may as well revisit this first release from Alas. The band, like most others from Latin America, never got the chance to release very much material during the 70's. Indeed, Alas' classic period only saw the release of two discs, with this being one of them.

As it happens, this is probably only the second best of their classic run. With a humble three-piece setup of keyboards, bass and drums, the ELP comparisons are inevitable, and on this first album Gustavo Moretto certainly makes his appreciation for Emerson a lot more pronounced than on their sophomore "Pinta Tu Aldea". With that in mind, and the fact that the original album contains only two tracks, one sprawling across each side of vinyl, one might be quick to assume that this is a symphonic record. That isn't the case, though; the playing style by all involved is very much rooted in jazz, with a rather non-linear compositional style, each side meandering its way through various instrumental passages, alternating sparse, meditative interludes with energetic outbursts on the keys.

As with its successor, "Alas" is noteworthy in just how deep and multifaceted of a sound these three managed to create with such limited personnel and recording quality. Moretto showcases his talent as a multi-instrumentalist, offering some trumpet touches here and there, and even some brief vocals. So there's really no shortage of creativity and talent on display here. However, I do have a few qualms with the overall product. The music can sound a little directionless at times, and ultimately not that memorable; Moretto's energy and ability would go on to be consolidated much more effectively into a cohesive musical whole on the follow-up album, "Pinta Tu Aldea". That doesn't mean that there isn't anything to enjoy on here, of course. There are still well-done sections and this is an album I'd recommend to any fan of the Argentinian "rock nacional progresivo" style.

As it stands, 3 stars. A good album, but "Pinta Tu Aldea" is the essential release from this South American trio.

Magnum Vaeltaja | 3/5 |

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