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Sagrado Coração da Terra - Sagrado Coração Da Terra CD (album) cover


Sagrado Coração da Terra


Symphonic Prog

3.05 | 47 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Nine countries speak portuguese, and except for Portugal, all of them are on the South part of the globe. This geographic element brings a lot of political, historical and social consequences. But this is a site about music, not about these topics, so I'll only let this indication that this has a huge influence on our ears and understanding of the music we love; and the ones we hate.

About the album, its lyrics and track titles are crucial to comprehend its proposals. Well, I'm native on portuguese. But if you're not interested to know the titles and part of the lyrics, the next 3 paragraphs are only about the music. Further on, its very illuminating that I present a brief curriculum about the head of the band, Marcus Vianna. And finally I will make a more detailed appreciation of this opus.

All of the album has a pastoral, mild mood. Even though the band is classified as symphonic prog, this album's style approaches new-age prog. Does it remind Mike Oldfield? Sure no. The executions neither the compositions present anything close to folk guitar or that "crying" guitar notes from the english multi-instrumentist. The violin is by far the most proeminent instrument, and it can perform some Bach-alike notes, but also some fast Vivaldi stuff (never as a cover, only borrowing the idea and structure).

Some harmonies are really memorable and presents a good amount of complexity. The instrumental middle part of the first song seems like there are two violins doing different things, along with the piano and drums; but the booklet points only one violinist. This richness can also be found on the middle-close-to-the-beginning and the end of the 9th track. On this kind of style, new-age prog, track 4 is one of the best I've ever heard on the universe of music. About 6th track, it was quite original for its time and place because of the fast keys and the dynamic interplay.

The vocalists, specially male, aren't memorable, musically speaking. They're only fine, even though Vanessa is great on the low notes. Both of them get a little cheesy, once in a while. The instrumental efforts of this album deserves a 3.8 (maybe to someone fond to new-age prog, it could even reach 4.5).

There can be some discussion about the best brazilian prog rock musicians, but certainly Marcus Viana will feature among the top five of most lists. His solo works generate a lot of discussion about its contribution to prog rock; however, this kind of debate is innocuous when the listener realizes that his solo carreer transitates between new age, classical and pop, with practically no (or VERY LITTLE) dialogue with prog rock.

The label he created, called Sonhos e Sons (Dreams and Sounds), with more than 400 products, is mostly composed of new age and MPB releases. There is also classical music, world music, songs for children, minimalistic music. And a tiny bit of prog rock.

Henceforth, my analysis will be dedicated to the music plus lyrics. Primarily I think it's important to give a glimpse on the titles.

1. Wings. 2. Lessons of History 3. Art of the Sun 4. Glory of the Mornings 5. Happy 6. Dancing God 7. Memory of The Woods 8. Sailboat Body 9. Sacred 10. Life is Tender* * A tricky use of portuguese on this title makes it possible to have another translation, Eternal Life.

A considerable part of Wings' potential is on its lyrics. I'll translate part of it. "Nothing to hold us; Or to limit; Nothing that chains our dream to the ground; Nothing that enslaves our thoughts; 'Cause love gives wings; And we're born to fly; ... The universe is waiting; And the future is now".

Both Viana and Falabella are singing very well on this song, considering there limitations on consistency, reach and/or variety. They made a wise choice of giving a bit more space to Viana's chant than to Falabela, because he has a more sober tone. She reaches high notes too often, becoming excessive some times. An additional advantage regarding the participation of both as vocalists is the possibility to make an association with the opposite poles of human nature: yin/yang, cold/hot, female/male.

The dark beginning of Lessons of History is befitting with the lyrics, because they speak about fear and sadness we've caused one to another through times. The use of arp avatar to create ocean sounds is very congruous with that, because this element of nature has the aspect which links it to long ages, but also to renewal. Once again, and this will happen other times on the album, they use the contrast between the female and male vocals to reinforce and/or add some symbolisms. Male representing force and power, female more likely to remind renovation and fertility.

Viana sings: "Power of Sound Light of Justice; Fire of Love Art of the Sun; Chop off from the Earth The ignorance that blinds Men for the lessons of History".

Vanessa sings the last stanza: "On the exact moment when seasons change And beasts become men by the power of the songs; I return to harvest all good fruit Remember the art/science of Love"

Art of the Sun is a celebration of many symbols linked to the kingdom of this star. The way they gradually elevate the tones reminds me some religious traditions that associate singing with ecstasy. Specially on the end, when they keep repeating "sun, sun, sun,...". My highlight in the lyrics goes to the beatiful image they create with "softly dawns the morning of the future in the rosy fingers of dawn".

The choice of beginning Glory of the Mornings with birds singing immediately transports me to the woods and how the winged fauna gently wakes us with its symphony, brilliantly complemented here with the bamboo flute. The harmony created with the violin and synth is one of the most incredible I've heard on this style. But they don't hurry on the composition; by the contrary, the keys and notes are almost lazy at least until the half of the track. When the acoustic guitar stands out more, other instruments gather, and the execution goes toward na ecstatic finale.

Next track (very short) seems to be part of a bigger composition. Before it starts going to somewhere, suddenly ends. Awkward. IMO, expendable.

Dancing God soon and for a long time became a prog hymn on Sagrado's live performances. Fast, dynamic, majestically and strongly explores Vivaldi's traditions on violin. I wouldn't be surprised if I knew that Viana was inspired by Saint-Saens piano techniques on this composition.

The option of singing the next track using an indigenous native language called tupi-guarani would be much more suitable if the lyrics didn't use writings of ancient greek philosopher Hermes Trismegisto. These writings are completely deslocated and unintelligible. I don't know tupi-guarani, but the translation to portuguese is included in the booklet. The mere fact of using this language to comunicate an aspect of greek philosophy doesn't fit in any way, not even considering the possibility that they wanted to unite two antique and different expressions of humanity. It would've been really better not to use tupi-guarani, or use it with an indigenous old story (MANY were documented and written by folklorist researchers, anthropologists, throughout the centuries), or even upon lyrics created by Viana.

Sailboat Body is a weak track, and the lyrics are just fine. Definitely don't reach the inspiration developed by the lyrics on the other tracks. It talks about yearning, in a mixture of melancholy and love, a good theme, but they didn't explore it well. At the end of the track there is this good harmony between the synths and violin, and that's all.

Next two tracks are the last ones of the album, and for me, can be considered as one unique composition. "Sacred" would be, in this case, the dynamic and outgoing part of it, and "Life is Tender" the smooth and introvert part. The lyrics are, again, wonderful. I'll reproduce two stanzas from Sacred.

"Burning flame of love, Wake up the bonfire Of the embers that resist Between the ashes of our dreams

Holy chalice of the heart Promise overflows the wine of life On the land of Men"

It was an interesting and challenging choice to reverse roles on these two songs. Vanessa sings Sacred, which speaks of what could be well represented by the mythology of Phoenix ? in this particular case, connected with the powerful and outrageous side of love and hope. On the other side, Viana develops the chant on Life is Tender, which has a much more delicate and soft mood.

The first half of the last track can be undoubtedly credited as a lullaby, by the way they explore the keys and the bamboo flute. And the second half, that begins exactly when he sings "turn on all the lights of the inner universe", is a fantastic harmony with harp, violin and synth. Musically perfect; it's a pity that the last stanza looses a lot of its kindness and beauty when translated to english, because it makes some tricky uses of semantics and symbols. I prefer to let this task to a more prepared translator than me.

In this review I already scored the instrumental part of the album ? 3.8. My score to the lyrics is 4.6. That makes kind of a 4.2 for this debut.

arymenezes | 4/5 |


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