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聲gel Ontalva - 聲gel Ontalva & Vespero: Sada CD (album) cover

篾GEL ONTALVA & VESPERO: SADA

聲gel Ontalva

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.69 | 40 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars "Uwasa No Onna". I was curious about the title of the first track of the second collaboration between Angel ONTALVA, guitarist of the RRIO band OCTOBER EQUUS and the Russian VESPERO. Well, it's the title of a Japanese movie of 1954 about a widow who becomes a geisha: "The crucified woman". Having not seen the movie I don't know how much this track describes the movie, but it's dark and melancholic, built around a bass line with jazzy percussion and the typical sound of Angel's guitar. Not too different from the atmospheres of another good Russian band: YOJO.

Sada, which gives the title to the album is a town in the North of Spain, close to La Coruna one the Atlantic Ocean. This track is more jazzy but there's a subtle darkness which is pervasive throughout the album. Here the violin of Vitaly BORODIN plays an important role, partnered in the melodic part by the guitar. The odd signature reminds to the early or the late CAMEL.

The third track has an unusual, for ONTALVA, quantity of major chords. It sounds like a slow Bossa Nova, at least it has a sort of Brasilian mood. It's another excelent track and honestly I can't imagine what the title "Her eyes sparkled in a strange way" can mean. At the first listens I didn't realize how close to Camel it was. The second part of the track end in particular drums and guitar, but also the violin, brought to my mind the final part of Lunar Sea, from Moonmadness. Not a copy, don't get me wrong, it's the structure and some passages that show a kind of affinity, The acoustic coda is fantastic, and creates the contrast with the distorted guitar that opens the following "Day Of Truth".

Distorted guitar that disappeares very soon. This track is closer to the RIO of OCTOBER EQUUS, but is still a dark melodic one. At least until the percussion and the unusual sequence of chords show that Vespero can play everything. It may be included on an October Equus album. There's another good violin performance. Keyboards are present but remain in background.

"A Sense Of Clarity" goes back to the previous mood: a sort of slow jazz with unusual signatures. What is really impressive is how all the instruments are fused into a single flow of music. It doesn't matter if it's violin or guitar. What is even more remarkable is the way it changes to RIO exactly in the middle of the track. There's a smooth transformation into a kind of free jazz form o that the listener finds himself in the middle of a chaotic darkness which then returns to the previous mood again with a smooth transition.

"Futari Kiri" (Japanese again) means "just the two of us". Also this track has something reminding to Moonmadness, but when you play a guitar driven jazzy track in 5/4, it's not strange that it sounds that way. I'm quite surprised by the fact that I have noticed it only after more than 10 listens to the whole album.

Vespero in another demonstration of how good is the prog movement in Russia and Ontalva demonstrates that he can do RIO, Jazz, psychedelia and even Post-Rock, in brief write and play without potehring about belonging to a specific musical genre.

It's a Bandcamp download, as the 300 printed physical copies are probably sold-out already.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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