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Medina Azahara - La Esquina Del Viento CD (album) cover


Medina Azahara


Symphonic Prog

3.00 | 15 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Medina Azahara's second album finds them following the trend initiated in their debut album (ultimately, their highlight). La Esquina del Viento successfully prolongs the preceding effort's momentum in their fluid hybrid of melodic hard rock and flamenco-based symphonic prog, although it is not too hard to notice that the band is a bit less concerned with exploring their melodic ideas' potential: songs tend to be shorter and the instrumental sections are less developed. The keyboard input assumes a bigger presence in the band's ensemble, with its layers and orchestrations being more featured in the mix and having more places for soloing; nonetheless, guitarist Miguel Galán remains the most featured instrumentalist. From their third album onwards, the band's artsy aspect will begin to wane, but let's not get ahead of ourselves right now. La Esquina del Viento kicks off in a very splendid fashion with 'El Rincón de Mi Mente', a magical travel to the wonders of instrospection powerfully signaled by an impressive intro section and moving sung lines. The symphonic core so well displayed in this opener finds proper reiterations in the album's slow songs: 'Una Mañana de Mayo' and 'Tiempo de Miseria' both bear a blues-rock tempo on a slow beat, in this way guaranteeing the preservation of a solem mood and eerie keyboard layers while each track evolves. I wouldn't have minded if these two songs lasted some more time, since I think that their feeling could have been exploited with more expansive arrangements. Another track that definitely should have lasted more is the closer Amanece en la Ciudad, whose odd time signatures and rich melodies make it an aborted progressive piece that barely makes it to the 3 1/2 minutes span. 'Las Flores Blancas' does comprise a proper duration for its basic development. The catchiest tracks in the album are 2 and 5, really quite good, based on tasteful melodies that are elegantly arranged: 'Sueños de Locura' is much inspired by classic Uriah Heep, while the title track (the album's first A-side single) bears a majestic feel despite not being too sophisticated in structure. Track 6 is the least relevant, just a nice up- tempo optimistic track that adds nothing special to the big picture. Well, all things considered, tracks 1, 3, 5 and 7 are the most notable in the album: not as essential as their fantastic debut, but still worthy of a place in a prog collector's desk.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |


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