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Atila - Intencion CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 75 ratings

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4 stars Although the Spanish progressive rock scene of the 1970s produced some fine groups and a handful of noteworthy albums, it never scaled the same artistic or commercial heights attained by the respective scenes of fellow European nations France, Germany and Italy. Prog-rock would flourish late-in-the-decade albeit rather briefly during the latter part of Franco's Iron rule, with young groups typically influenced by the leading English groups of the day - Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator etc - whilst also blending in strong elements of flamenco and jazz. The top Spanish outfits of the era included Triana, a now legendary three-piece heavily-influenced by flamenco, and other groups such as Bloque and Crack, who preferred a more experimental, art-rock approach fused with classical motifs. However, in the instance of Atila, classical Spanish influences were more-or-less eschewed in favour a more straightforward, symphonic style that was heavily indebted to the leading British acts of the early-seventies. Formed during this time, Atila would release three full-length studio albums before the usual lack of success, creative differences and touring difficulties colluded to cut short their promising career just as it seemed they were starting to become something rather special. Of these three albums it is perhaps 'Intencion' from 1977 that truly showcased Atila's remarkably non-Spanish style and impressive instrumental abilities, the album's overall sound falling somewhere between Van Der Graaf Generator's experimental curiosity and Pink Floyd's adventurous and melodic space-rock. Featuring four tracks, 'Intencion' starts strongly with the keyboard-dominated symphonic rock of the eight-minute title-track - a piece which careers recklessly from one soundscape to the next, all the while infused with angelic female backing vocals, twittering bird effects and shimmering synthesizers that prove one minute pacey, the next slow and dreamy. The same levels of enthusiastic invention are less prevalent on the more classically-orientated, organ-dominated 'Cucutila' and it's choppy, punchy follow-up 'Dia Perfecto', though happily the album's fifteen- minute closing epic 'El Principio Del Fin' finds Atila back on top form. A rousing, highly-eclectic suite with strong psychedelic overtones, 'El Principio Del Fin' is the album's crowning glory, an epic and adventurous composition featuring a range of emotions and some powerfully-drawn solo's that find keyboardist Benet Nogue and guitarist Eduardo Niebla on almost telepathic form. It's an enthralling finish to an impressive and largely instrumental slice of Iberian prog-rock, and an album that also proves that on their day the Spanish could create original music to rival their fellow Europeans. Alongside Triana's classic 'El Patio', this second release from Atila marks one of the high-points of the small-but-satisfying Spanish scene.


stefro | 4/5 |


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