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Triana - Sombra Y Luz CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.58 | 68 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars TRIANA formed right at the end of Spain's long years under the dictatorship of Franco and were one of the first bands to emerge from the oppression with an interesting fusion of their native Flamenco rock or Andalusian rock with the symphonic prog most similar to the Italian scene with hints of English prog such King Crimson and Genesis. While the debut "El Patio" was the most accomplished with this new fusion of disparate genres, the band that consisted of vocalist / organist Jesús de la Rosa Luque, flamenco guitarist Eduardo Rodríguez Rodway and drummer Juan José Palacios didn't find much commercial success as it came out just before Franco's death however beginning with the second album "Hijos De Agobio" TRIANA started to attract a following, sold more albums and created a more complex sound than on the debut.

While the band started out as a progressive rock band they would jump ship and become pure pop in the 80s. On this third album SOMBRA Y LUZ (Shadow and Light) the band completed the trilogy of progressive rock albums that have become the most well known of their output. SOMBRA Y LUZ is a much different album than its predecessors and while it's always a good thing that a band doesn't ride the same wave album after album, on this one they started going a little more into the mainstream with a heavier emphasis on blues based rock mixed with the expected flamenco and symphonic prog. Despite the prog part of the equation still in play, it has been clearly tamped down and replaced with more straight forward rock segments.

There are still plenty of unadulterated flamenco aspects such as the breakdown on the title track which displays the ubiquitous flamenco styled singing style albeit less Italian prog influenced this time around as well as the flamenco guitar style that is allowed to express itself as the dominant factor. The tracks are a little uneven in how they flow. The first couple of tracks "Una Historia" and "Quiero Contarte" are clearly less prog oriented and almost pure rock whereas the excellent title track takes the band sound into the next logical synthesis of its disparate elements with an interesting mix of staccato guitar, atmospheric mellotron action and proggy time signatures.

The most progressive moment on the album comes from the lengthiest track, the ten and a half minute "Hasta Volver" which goes through various movements and sounds more like the material from the previous album with lengthy bass grooves punctuated by time signature deviations and a return to the Italian symphonic prog sound with the similar classical constructs. The track slinks along at a mid tempo pace and features a mix of the symphonic prog style along with what sounds like a mandolin but probably the flamenco guitar along with a guitar solo and a rather PFM vocal style. The track despite its running time never really deviates from a rather persistent groove and doesn't pick up much steam either as it seems to spin its wheels and leaves a rather unsatisfying result. While a chorus or equivalent section does pop in now and again, the track is actually fairly repetitive.

The finale two tracks "Tiempo Sin Saber" and "Vuelta A La Sombra Y La Luz" focus more on the flamenco grooves and take things into slightly more experiential realms with more creative ideas being implemented and perhaps the best tracks on the album. TRIANA once again delivered lyrics in its native Spanish regarding the changes of the nation and was accompanied by many session musicians to add extra touches however in the end, SOMBRA Y LUZ is very uneven and the tracks don't flow together very well. This signified a downturn in the band's most innovative material but yet would become their most successful album in their native Spain at a time when the public was becoming more familiarized with the progressive rock scene. After this one they would drop most prog and steer into the world of Andalusian pop. There are some great tracks on this one but many are rather generic at this point and the album as a whole is unsatisfying.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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