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Nexus - Detrás Del Umbral CD (album) cover

DETRÁS DEL UMBRAL

Nexus

 

Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 123 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I remember that I pre-ordered this album in 1999 and to me it was like a gambling one because I knew nothing about the band yet; it's a debut album from an Argentinian band. I knew nothing about Argentina but Maradonna. I gave it a try. Then I got the signed copy of this album with signatures of all band members. When I received the CD (thru my neo prog colleague, Bowo, who ordered directly from the band) I did not spin the CD right away. I read the sleeve and tried to enjoy and appreciate what our colleague proggers from Argentina was trying to do. It were very nice words penned by the band that overall they were trying to say that NEXUS is the band that would love to be in its own and push any musical boundaries. These are excerpts from the sleeve: "NEXUS was born during the glorious 70's in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as the secret dream of a group of young schoolboys. A dream that brought those boys very Close to the Edge . up to the Gates of Delirium. A dream sometimes Fragile .."

Such wonderful wordings. We can definitely say that this group has been inspired by YES. I was hooked with the introduction thru the CD sleeve. I even tried to understand what lyrics were trying to say in the English translation. When I got enough understanding of the band, then I put the CD in my player. First spin did not give me enough shot on any specific things about their music. For sure, it's a keyboard based music with some classical influence as well as previous prog heroes. After two or more spin, I felt that it was nothing special about the band. Couple weeks ago I started spinning the CD again. And this is my opinion about the band.

Before I come to my opinion, let me share my view about things related to cloning or the "like" (like GENESIS, like MARILLION, like IQ, like this and that .., or reminiscent of . ). In my opinion, music is derivative - it is a sure thing that the PREDECESSORS influenced the SUCCESSORS. Simply put, the origin of music that we nowadays called it as "classical" music was not categorized that way when it was first invented by composers like MOZART, BEETHOVEN, etc. So is the case with rock music especially prog music. Most of us agree that the roots of prog were originated from bands like MOODY BLUES "Days Future Passed" (even though I personally disagree with this album), PINK FLOYD, YES, CAMEL, GENESIS, ELP, KING CRIMSON. By which all of them were influenced by THE BEATLES (the predecessors). So, it's natural if newer bands are influenced by the elders. So, I'm okay if new bands are influenced by previous ones like MARILLION, IQ, PALLAS, PENDRAGON, CITIZEN CAIN, DARIUS, JADIS, THE WATCH, MAGENTA etc. , it's natural. I have also seen that prog music has varied greatly. Take a look at DREAM THEATER, for example. Yes, it's influenced by previous bands but they pioneered the new subgenre of prog music: prog metal. No harm at all. Even they became the trend setter in prog met arena. It's very hard to say that DT music is original but if you listen to their music you would see they have created a music of their own that is unique. I would only make strong comments if a certain piece of musical segments of predecessors are taken with 90% similarities by newer bands.

And, this is my opinion about this album.

The album opens with an instrumental piece "El Despertar" that demonstrates the keyboard and some sound effects to create sufficient ambient intro for the band to move forward with their musical exploration. Having listened to this atmospheric intro, I usually expect the music would move in faster tempo with an uplifting emotion. It's not happening with this album. It moves to 2nd track "Condenados" in a very very slow tempo. It's too slow and it's not uplifting at all. I even keep myself telling "keep it up, boys, keep it up!" while listening to this album. It's recorded already, what can I say? The keyboard and guitar don't help a lot; it's too simple.

Third track "Mas Alla Del Limite" moves the music into a moderate tempo with domination of keyboard and sound effects. Until this track, I've found it very difficult for me to catch any YES influence. Most influence that I can identify is GENESIS especially the keyboard player and band leader, LALO HUBER, that seems to emulate TONY BANK's style. This is a short instrumental track demonstrating how HUBER plays keyboard. The electric guitar is only used to fill in some bars with little solo. The mixing of drum sound seems too dominant here.

The fourth track "Tiempo Sin Razon" opens with spacey keyboard sound and some touch of HACKETTian guitar to accentuate the atmosphere, I think. The music then moves to an uplifting and faster tempo style. It's a very nice opening. Ooops. at minute 1:49 I match a musical segment that is so familiar with me: it's musical segment of MARILLION's "Real to Reel" live album; to exact is in the MARKET SQUARE HEROES track. Yes, it is so obvious! However, I really enjoy this track - it has a powerful energy even though it's too late that this track is positioned at the fourth place while the first three were not dynamic at all.

The fifth track is a very simple and slow track "Utopia" with electric guitar dominates the music. It's not so interesting track to enjoy - again, it's too mellow. It continues seamlessly to "La Espiral" with an energetic opening - a blend of guitar and dazzling keyboard. This time, the electric guitar appears in a daring mood. The keyboard interlude is also interesting even though the drummer has siome obstacles to keep up with the music.

Track 7 "Signos En El Cielo" is a relatively long track with 10:52 duration. The opening part is uplifting until when the drum plays at certain bar and the music changes to a mellow style again. The excellent vocal line then enters the scene. It's a melodious part with excellent keyboard style. There is a GENESIS Foxtrot rhythm style at the part when the vocal line is not included before keyboard solo at the interlude. In my opinion this track is too long as there are some boring stuffs. It then moves to even mellower track 8 "Sueno Infinito" demonstrating the vocal line of MARIELA GONZALES. This is the turning point when I feel that overall the music of this album is so boring; it has a minimum changing tempos and no energy.

Track 9 "Detras Del Umbral" is the album title track; so it's fair that I should expect this must be a masterpiece work. The keyboard intro is definitely influenced by CAST (Mexico) music; even there is a very close proximity. Overall this track is good but it still fails to lift me up. Yes, I have to admit that the solo keyboard is nice but it lacks structural integrity of overall music, composition-wise. I don't intend to demean what the band has worked hard to compose their music, but that's what I feel. The CAST-like melodies appear many times in this track. Hope that this is a coincidence. Am I too naďve? Well, the band should know the answer.

"La Procesion Intérior" is an instrumental piece to welcome an uplifting part of track 11 "Eterno Y Fugaz". I can smell an influence of RICK WAKEMAN and ELP in this track. The keyboard work is excellent. But again, then the music returns to a mellow style with female vocal and piano. Having done with the vocal part the music moves back to the uplifting intro part.

The rest two tracks "La Batalla", "El Ultimo Ritual" share the similar musical style that I don't need to elaborate. Overall, the band is promising; it has an excellent keyboard player. However, it lacks musical composition and song writing as well as musicianship other than keyboard. Again, I don't intend to demean all efforts the band has tried to achieve. But I have to be honest with my position. So, it's a hard work for the band to move forward. A drastic measure must be taken by the band if they want to achieve significant leapfrog in the future. The band should take full contribution of each musician in the band to their fullest. It should not demonstrate only keyboard work. Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Gatot | 3/5 |

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