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Solis - Gemini CD (album) cover





3.59 | 32 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars I listened to this CD with a few other new acquisitions on shuffle, and was flabbergasted as I had not recalled ordering any Japanese prog. Something about the delicacy of the vocals and some of the instrumentation casts aspersions to the far east, not that I can compare SOLIS to any Japanese band in my limited lexicon.

Admittedly, the Brazilian aspects are clear enough, especially in the two middle acoustic pieces, even if the short but sweet "L'Essence" is sung in French. "Gemini" is nothing if not a world prog fan's smorgasbord, which might explain why I delight in nearly every moment. The production, the clarity of each instrument, the uncluttered arrangements, the sweepingly epic melodies, the blended mood and tempo shifts plant this effort solidly on neo's top rung.

The first and last cuts are particularly dramatic, with "Solis Invictus Mitra" comprising multiple engaging segments. Both Marcos de Pinho and Ricardo Figueiredo excel on their instruments, and are liberated and reined in tastefully, time and again. In terms of influences, they are so well integrated that I'm hard pressed to identify a mentor, but I would suggest that symphonic prog masters and perhaps local as well as far flung (middle Eastern?) folk music are as important to SOLIS as any direct neo influence.

"Gemini" is a singular work of wide appeal, in which SOLIS plays the ethic fusion twin card, too seldom seen around here. I recognize it when I hear it, even if I might be a half world off. 4.5 stars.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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