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Haizea - Hontz Gaua CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.97 | 50 ratings

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4 stars Excellent prog from the Basque region!

Spain is a country whose progressive rock scene has always caught my attention; they have had lots of great bands through the years, names like Triana, Iceberg or Gotic entered to my ears some years ago and never left my musical collection. But there is a special kind of progressive rock from Spain, which comes from the Basque region (country?), and whose sound is very particular, besides the language, most of those bands blends delicate symphonic sound with hints of jazz, but the main element is the folk, so go figure, here with bands like Itoiz or Haizea, you will have great music, believe me.

Haizea´s second album entitled "Hontz Gaua" saw the light in 1976 and sadly it was their last record. Since I discover it, I felt pleased and thankful to the people who recommended it. Despite the album is relatively short (five tracks - 33 minutes) it is rich in sounds and musical elements. The first track is "Anderea", beautiful female vocals and charming music, great guitars and a wonderful bass sound, the mood is quite mellow and happy, though I don't know Basque so I cannot tell you about the lyrics.

"Egunarn Hastapena" starts with soft wind instruments here and there, then it makes a one- second stop and flutes begin to sound, the folk reminiscence is evident here. This composition is very vast and interesting, the mixture of colors and textures helps the listener enjoying this music. At half the song, acoustic guitars appear and change the music's direction, though the essence, is still the same.

"Argizagi Ederra" starts with that great female voice, but this time the music as background creates a dark atmosphere. Actually, the whole song follows the same path, the thing here is the addition of different elements through the minutes, so despite that dark atmosphere you can focus on other sounds.

"Arnaki" is an excellent track which opens with flute and acoustic guitar, later bass joins and that symphonic-folk sound begins, producing a gentle sound, that seconds later turns more interesting with the addition of drums. Then the music is faster and challenging, the musician's skills are evident here, also worth mentioning that here an electric guitar gives a different flavor to the music. A highlight on this album without a doubt!

The last and longest composition is "Hontz Gaua" which starts with some chanting, and after a minute and a half a beautiful flute sound, accompanied by acoustic guitar appears and begins to build up the song, later percussion appears in order to complement the already exquisite sound, if you are familiar with some of those Basque bands, then you will notice here that peculiar sound of theirs. The song has some stops and changes, after six minutes electric guitar, female chants as background and some percussion appear. The final part is pretty cool, it reminds me to the very first song of this album.

Well, I highly recommend this album to all of those who want to know about Basque folk prog, and actually for those who like folk, jazz and symphonic, give this record a chance. My final grade is four stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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