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Govea - Raíces CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.58 | 17 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Just before I made a trip outside Lima, my good friend Salvador Govea sent me the second album of the excellent Mexican Power Trio GOVEA called "Raíces" (Roots), so I didn't had the chance to review it immediately, but looking at the bright side, I had the opportunity to listen it several times and capture better the essence of the release in order to write a more informed review.

In first place I must say that unexpectedly the retirement of the ICONOCLASTA legend Victor Baldovinos from the drums, hasn't affected the sound of the band, because Pedro Galindo has managed in a short period of time to be one with the band, specially being both extremely talented percussionists.

The album is opened by "En Busca de la Raiz" (In Search of the Root), a perfect name for a fantastic musical piece, because that's exactly what the band is making. Even when they keep the clear ELP influence, the addition of Mexican ethnic roots is more evident than in the previous album, creating a more original and unique sound. The use of violin (synthesized I guess) gives a special flavor to the music.

The second track "Intersecciones" (Intersections) is an extended version of the track that appeared in their first album DANZA URBANA. If there was something that didn't convinced me of this piece in their debut album was the lack of Rock, and now with the addition of the frenetic drums by Pedro Galindo, it's a different situation. It's great to see a band not afraid to re-visit old works and try to make them even better.

"Retablo Medieval" (Medieval Altar Ornament) originally from the master of Mexican Baroque Miguel Bernal Jimenez, is what any proghead could expect. After a vibrant rhythm section intro where Luis Arturo Guerrero really proves us he's a bass virtuoso, the weight of the track falls mostly in Salvador Govea, who creates some sort of encounter between the sacred and the pagan, mixing religious music with Mexican native touches and a bit of Keith Emerson inspired Moog, the Church organ sections give me goosebumps.

"Formas Primordiales" (Primordial Forms), is mostly a keyboard track, but again Gustavo Galindo creates a very Rock oriented sound to blend with the almost classical organ, again a delightful blend of sounds, styles and moods. Then comes "Neocórtex" that took me by surprise, for the first time in GOVEA history, the band starts to flirt with Electronic Prog, playing at a speed I never heard before. Not my favorite title, but the drumming is outstanding.

"Ciclo de Vida y Muerte" (Life and Death Cycle) shows us that the bad is becoming more and more versatile as they advance in their career, the sound is a nice fusion between Melodic Moog and organ with a jazzy bass and drums that connects two universes that normally exist on different planes without contact, again a wonderful work.

"Raíces" ends with "Duelo" (Mourning) a mini-epic about the stages of pain, and it's divided in three parts "Pérdida" (Loss), Defresión y Furia (Depression and Fury) and Evocación (Evocation), probably the strongest track on the album, where the band demonstrates all their capacity and skills, touching a sensitive issue without the needed of words.

It's obvious that GOVEA has progressed since their debut, from a power trio with strong ELP reminiscences, to a band with a unique sound that blends several styles and genres. I don't know what's coming next, but I'm impatient to listen whatever they decide to give us their following release.

Getting closer to the status of masterpiece, if it was possible I'd give them 4.5 stars, but our system doesn't allow fractions, so I have to go with 4 solid stars,.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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