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Soma Planet - Soma.Planet CD (album) cover

SOMA.PLANET

Soma Planet

 

Eclectic Prog

3.49 | 3 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Soma.Planet is one of the most prominent experimental rock bands to rise from the European continent in the new millennium. This Catalonian ensemble creates a solid, modernized approach to the heritages of old-fashioned space-rock, early Canterbury, heavy prog and standardized psychedelia. The album kicks off with the 12 minute long 'Be Yourself', a track fed with an extensive use of spacey atmospheres, not precisely relaxing, but bearing a constrained tension that is pertinently conveyed by the soaring instruments. The minutes go by and the bubble of tension never seems to burst, that is until the drum kit sets a languid pace for the track's development into a post-rocked ambience: the use of Far East ornaments is quite effective. 'Secret Triangle' feels like a Canterbury-style ballad retaken by a 70s psychedelic band: equally dense and eerie, this song states a disturbing flair. The last minute is devoted to an uptempo 7/8 coda, pre-Hillage Gong style. 'Action' is jazzy in the way that Colosseum and early KC jams were in the very late 60s; guest pianist Pedro Comago is vital for the track's development. 'Granada' finds the band leaning close to fusion, a job nicely done. 'Moments Before Tea' sates a pleasant jazz-rock dynamics, properly by another guest on electric piano. 'Kaleidoscope Visions' sounds like a mixture of rough post-rock and early VdGG, with some undertones that could easily remind us of alternative rock's standards. The jazz-rock scheme elaborated in 'Reaction' gets an additional spacey treatment; the Sigur Ros-related melancholy of 'Sunset' receives an added sophistication through the underlying acoustic guitar arpeggios and bolero-like drumming. Both tracks are short yet they display enough room for a pertinent development of the respective ideas - this band has an undeniable ability to manage colorful or grayish moods within not too extended confines. 'Cosmic Sector' sounds like a halfway construction between 'Secret Triangle' and 'Kaleidoscope Visions', albeit with a more muscular set of arrangements. This band is really in love with the use of in downtempo songs. 'Songs of the Soul' is a lovely exploration of fusion-infected space-rock: its Arabic nuances and fluid dynamics make it sound, to a degree, like an old Hillage album's leftover mixed with a lost Embryo jam during the "Rocksession"-era. The album's last 11 minutes are occupied by 'Cerebrum', a proficient exhibition of prog-jazz that recaptures the musical dimensions of Gong, Soft Machine, VdGG and Boz-era King Crimson. The transitions between the various motifs and tempos are perfectly fluid; when a specific section is on teh run, the band knows how to take full advantage of it like a vibrating, well-oiled machinery. This splendid excursion serves as a bright climax that closes down the album with flying colors. well, given the circumstances in which a band as dense as this can provide a certain vividness of color to the music that they write and arrange. Albums like "Soma.Planet" are dreams come true for those avid lovers of old psychedelic progressive rock who just can't let go. This and more is what Soma.Planet offers to the prog-friendly contemporary years, with a pertinently modern attitude.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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