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Imán Califato Independiente - Camino del Aguila CD (album) cover


Imán Califato Independiente


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.01 | 51 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars 'Camino del Águila' is Imán Califato Indepenediente's second and final offering, also their most inspired one. Following in the same vein than its predecessor - Flamenco oriented symph prog, with lots of influences from Camel, 76-78 era Genesis and Return to Forever -, the instrumental ensemble works fluidly in a well-oiled manner, and the level of performance is superb and full of ravaging finesse. A new bass player entered the band, Urabno Moraes (from Uruguay), who delivers a prominent sound in his axe, not restricting it to a mere complement to Guerrero's drumming, but also letting it come to the fore sometimes in order to supply additional melodic lines as a counterpoint to the guitar and synth solos. The remaining original members keep loyal to their own stylings: Guerrero and Mantero display theri jazzy sensibilities, while guitarrist Rodriguez recycles his influences (mostly Hackett and Latimer, but also some Frippian textures too) with Flamenco colours. Tracks 1 and 3 are my personal favs, and are also the most representative of ICI's musical offer. 'La Marcha de los Enanitos' kicks off and ends with a beautiful Camelesque motif, initially led by the Mini-Moog and then paired with the lead guitar: what happens in the middle is an amazing texturial section in which Arabic ornaments on guitar and synth are properly enhanced by Moraes' tasteful bass flourishes. At times, the guitar gets somewhat Frippian, which helps to augment the mysterious aura of this portion. The eponymous track 3 lifts off from where track 1 had left, taking the progressive vibe to its most accomplished level... and it should, since its 14-minute duration makes it the longest number in the album. The Camel-meets-RtF stylings remain, and so do the Arabic-Flamenco motifs, bringing that special magic to the band's overall sound. At minute 7, a brief solo guitar interlude brings a sort of hint at Steve Howe's interlude for "Relayer"'s 'Sound Chaser' (only in this case the guitarist is someone actually born in the land of Flamenco). The final climax that arrives throughout minutes 19 to 12 is stunning, and so is the cosmic coda, heavily based on floating, mesmeric synth washes. Track 2 'Maluquinha' takes occasional trips to the realms of latin-jazz, a factor that allows Guerrero to get a bit Santana-esque, while the rhythm section makes an effective excursion into bossanova tempos: apparently, Flamenco and Afro-Brazilian are quite compatible. The album's closing is incarnated by the only sung track of the album, a delicate acoustic ballad entitled 'Niños', a brief meditation on the passage of time: the delicate synth solos shine like sparkles from the last star you see in the sky before the arrival of dawn, and the eerie ambience of this track may remind the listener of Yes at its most intimate - a beautiful song, indeed. I give this record the perfect rating (something I gladly give to Mezquita's "Recuerdos de mi Tierra" and Cai's "Noche Abierta", as well) - I certainly am convinced that this is a must in any good prog collection.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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