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Bacamarte - Depois do Fim CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 901 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Bacamarte: Depois Do Fim [1983]

Rating: 9/10

EDIT 7/8//12: I bumped this up to five stars, but decided to leave the original review unchanged.

While all symphonic progressive rock is tied together by many stylistic constants, an experienced listener of the genre will find that there are several types - disciplines, if you will - of this style of music. These sub-sub-genres are not clearly defined, but I've found that many symph prog bands often fall into one of two categories: Yes/Genesis/ELP-inspired grandiosity focused mainly upon a keyboard/guitar/bass/drums/vocals lineup, and slightly more subtle pastoral prog that relies on more eclectic instrumentation (a la PFM). Bacamarte's unearthed gem Depois Do Fim is one of the greatest examples of the latter category. This Brazilian seven-piece is considered to be one of the greatest prog bands to come out of South America. I've heard very little South American prog, but this album makes me want to look more into it. Depois Do Fim is an absolutely sublime collection of artfully crafted compositions in the school of many of the Italian greats. A large lineup of musicians give the music a rich and full sound, with flute and auxiliary percussion backing up the standard instrumentation. What really makes this album shine, however, is Mario Neto's guitar work. This man plays both electric and classical guitar with passion and precision, and his work here provides a few jaw-dropping moments. Combined, all of these factors create an album that falls only a tiny hair short of being a masterpiece.

"UFO" begins with some tasteful classical guitar and flute. The pace soon picks up, and the song transitions into absolutely superb interplay between the guitar, flute, and keys. The last two minutes of this track are nothing short of enthralling. "Smog Alado" begins with an infectious flute hook, and there are some legendary guitar licks to be found here. The excellent female vocals make this another standout song. "Miragem" contrasts fiery sections of electric guitar with pastoral flute sections. The flute work here is nothing short of gorgeous. "Passaro De Luz" is a short folk interlude with some great vocals and classical guitar. "Cano" is another short one. The bass is quite impressive here, and something that sounds vaguely like an accordion shows up as well. The nine-minute "Ultimo Entardecer" features Neto's most soulful guitar work. The middle-section features more crisp classical guitar. The short and jazzy "Controversia" serves as a nice follow-up to the longest track on the album. The title track is dominated by lush synths and even more phenomenal guitar. The closer "Mirante Das Estrelas" contains some the best guitar playing on the album, which is saying something. The drums sound like they're programmed; I normally detest this, but somehow it works here.

There are almost no concrete criticisms I can apply to Depois Do Fim. The compositions are inspired and diverse, the musicianship and instrumentation is superb, and the pieces are performed with finesse and passion. Thus, the only substantial reason that I don't consider this to be a full-on masterpiece is the simple fact that it doesn't connect with me on quite a deep enough level. I suppose this discipline of symphonic prog simply doesn't appeal to me quite as much as the other one. That's not to say that this album doesn't gel with me, though; this is always something I enjoy listening to. I thank sites like PA for resurrecting albums like these that would have otherwise become lost gems. Despite my admittedly limited exposure, I can say with a degree of confidence that Depois Do Fim is the crowning achievement of South American progressive rock.

Anthony H. | 5/5 |


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