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Albatros - Ursus CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.87 | 94 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent album!

"Ursus" is the name of the second full-length album released by Spanish band Albatros, who back in 2008 had shared the wonderful "Pentadelia". With this return, three years later, they have created a strong album with wise compositions, complex tracks and an ambitious sound overall in which a mixture of elements can be appreciated. Here they put together seven songs that make a total time of 46 minutes. Be prepared for this great experience.

The album kicks off with "Ursus", it is great to have lyrics in Spanish, I always prefer bands singing in their native language, it adds a more personal touch where the cultural phonetics play a crucial role. The music is excellent, sometimes soft and mostly with that heavy prog sound with an emotional tune included. The guitar work is excellent, and I love how in the last minute we can listen to both, male and female vocals in the chorus. Great opener track.

"El camino de Swann" starts with a delicate sound, piano, guitars and a soft voice for the first minute. Later it makes a considerable change, becoming faster, heavier and with a great symphonic sound made by keyboards. The song perfectly flows, in these four minutes it takes us to a journey where different nuances and textures are shared by these talented musicians. Another thing I would like to remark, is that the lyrical passages are actually short, but they distribute them very well so in the whole track we can appreciate them.

Since the first second of "Loki" we can listen to a powerful sound where keyboards, guitars, bass and drums put together a sensational structure. A minute later the voice enters with the same energy and power. A wonderful intercalation between the instrumental passages and the ones with vocals can be appreciated here; after three minutes there is a crazy moment where the music is a complete trip, with that symphonic sound, complemented by heavy rock and of course a psychedelic touch. This is without a doubt a track that I would like to highlight, excellent composition.

"La ciénaga" is one of the longer tracks here. In these seven and a half minutes we will have different passages, firstly we will listen to two introductory instrumental minutes where guitars create a great melody, later the music slows down a little bit and the voice appears (with the female chorus included) and create a delicious softer passage with a charming atmosphere that takes with itself a psychedelic touch. After five minutes where the voice returns, the music becomes more emotional and makes you want to sing "necesito otra ración, algo que me de calor, que me acompañe hasta ti, porque eres tú mi eternal fe, necesito otra ración"; this particular moment is one of my favorites of the whole album.

"Rey Lombriz" is, on the other hand, the shortest song here. However, the intensity is high in the three minutes, so in spite it is short, we can easily enjoy this particular energy they share almost every moment. It finishes with some cool keyboards, and then, all of a sudden when guitars and drums appear again, we are actually listening now to "Ícaro". This track is excellent, and sums up what Albatros' sound is about, great heavy prog with symphonic tendencies created by keyboards, powerful vocals that put emotional atmospheres, cool instrumental moments with psychedelic nuances, and of course, great lyrics. After six minutes the music slows down, sharing a calm, relaxing atmospheric passage that contrasts with the inherent energy of the band, which is something really cool actually, because they show they can easily build up structures with some changes but without losing their essence, I mean, all the moments are little jigsaws that are necessary to complete the puzzle.

The album finishes with "Planeta prohibido" which will surely remind us to some older bands due to the great keyboard style that create a kind of retro-prog sound (though Albatros is not a retro-prog band). After a bombastic two-minute introduction, the music slows down a little bit and seconds later the vocals appear, here, with English lyrics that I honestly don't know why they decide to use. The keyboard work is fantastic here, as well as the dynamic and always constant drums. A psychedelic sound is now what dominates here, and perfectly finishes this extraordinary album.

What a great work by Albatros, I liked a lot "Pentadelia" but now I think I enjoyed even more Ursus, it is solid album that any progressive rock fan should appreciate. And though I would not consider it a true masterpiece, it deserves at least four stars without a doubt (4.5 would be better). So get it if you can, you will not regret.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |


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