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Amagrama - Ciclotimia CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.94 | 72 ratings

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4 stars There is something magnificent happening in Argentina. What a great album! This album has quickly become a favourite. What beautiful melodies, excellent musicianship, clever compositions, good production. They have two guitar sounds, one crunchy and one slightly "yelling", they have excellent keyboards and they all intertwine together to create stunning music. The first song kicks in with a joyful tune and you can immediately tell who these guys love - Crucis and ELP and the likes. But this is no clone, not at all. They take their influences and mold their own sound. Moving from joyful parts to more melancholic soundscapes, they create a voyage in this track, while maintaining the basic melody all the time and playing around it and developing it all the time. There is not a single boring moment in here. I consider tracks 2 to 6 as one continuous track, since they blend in with each other. It starts off with a nice short instrumental in track 2 that flows so nicely into track 3 that begins with a sudden alarm like keyboards and then guitars and drums, abruptly stopped by a telephone ring. And then the guitar and keyboards start their dance, setting the scene for what is to come. I can't really describe this. It is simply a great piece of slightly dissonant and mostly harmonic piece of music. It ends softly going in to track 4 Tu Eternidad that starts with a piano and the soft vocals of Agustin Amaya. This track then gets more dynamic both vocally and instrumental-wise. Sanabria on guitars and Amaya on the keys do an excellent job here, elevating this song to higher levels thanks to their performance. Then it ends quite suddenly. Begins track 5 that goes back to continue track 3. And again we receive a masterful performance of keyboards and guitars, backed up very good by the bass and drums. It ends in a falling scale back to track 6- Todo lo que pueda ser that continues track 4. This interplay between the songs and the breaking and resuming of songs is what gives these 2 to 6 tracks the feel of one lengthy opus. Even when it resumes the original song, there are variations of the original tune, so you can still be interested to hear what is being played. Track 7 Fabulas de un Titere is my favourite song/track here. There is the basic repetitive keyboard part played at first with the bass giving a strong tone to it. This basic part is then played over a few times over the track with variations and developed more and more. The end of this track is simply amazing - there is a change of scale to a more melancholic sounding key, which contradicts the whole overall cheerful and full of life sound of this album. I can't get enough of this part. This track exemplifies the great trait of this band - their ability to create a rather simple tune, improvise and then dance around it, developing it more and more making it so much more good and beautiful, complex. This track alone predicts a great future for them. Desierto humedo is a welcome break from the dynamic predecessors. Calm with an acoustic guitar, and the mellow voice of Agustin Amaya and the backing voice of Juan Amaya. Then in 4:20 comes the rest of the band with guitars, drums and keys and give this song a dynamic assistance, but not fast, only to give it a powerful ending. La luz y el crystal starts off with a bell chiming and then the short bass line intro and the songs starts. This is a more heavy song, with the bass being brought more forward to amplify the effect. There are also some symph prog buts in it to keep things interesting making it a song with mixed styles in it. Dislalia is too a heavy sounding song, not metallic, but more inclined towards hard rock. And then it suddenly changes mood to something light, which you do not anticipate. This is one of the things that make this band so great. They keep changing things, they develop everything they create, they do not stagnate, they do not just fill an album with senseless music. They obviously have an enormous passion for what they do, and I can hear it very well in all of their songs. Recluso artista is a Crucis cover. Listening to it, you can get a clue as to how they influences them. This track is in the same high standard of the other tracks on this album.

I strongly recommend this album to everyone. Not only symphonic prog fans, or Crucis fans.

I have struggled hard about how many stars to give this - 4 or 5. This was really hard, since as much as I love this album, I can't say this is a pure masterpiece. Apart from that, I strongly feel this is an album that should be in every prog fan's collection. It is why I decided eventually to give it 4 stars. A very hard choice for me. Go get it!

avestin | 4/5 |


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