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Symphonic Prog

3.54 | 25 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Index from Brazil play an impressive symphonic instrumental blend of prog rock, with a good mix of warm acoustic playing and soaring electric guitars. Their debut album is very much in a medieval/baroque sound, and somewhat reminiscent of early Genesis and Camel, with many classical and folk elements. It is grand and majestic without ever sounding too loud or bombastic. All of the tracks are well arranged and highly melodic, with occasional moments of real brilliance. There's also quite a joyful and upbeat sound to much of the album that is very pleasant to hear.

The album contains many wondrous piano and guitar sections, frequently the tracks will begin with an acoustic section before the electric guitars and keyboards properly kick in. There's often quite a regal flavour to the arrangements, with a real snap to much of the playing, giving it a lot of spark and energy. Endless fast paced keyboard runs provided by female keyboard player Eliane Pisetta really dominates much of the album, with her endless variety of hammond, moog and synth sounds throughout. Occasionally a few keyboards sound a little thin, especially the electric piano in a few sections that would have sounded incredible on the real thing. But she proves to be something of a virtuoso, taking control of a lot of the album. Sad that this appears to be the only album she played on with the band. She performs a very grand symphonic synth solo at the beginning of track four `Ciclos Das Mares' that's wonderful.

Keep a listen out for Fabricio Santalucia's very prominent grumbling bass playing throughout, but especially on the third track `Serenata', truly relentless and infectious! Jones Junior's guitar playing all over the the album is so tight and energetic, but I especially love his classical playing, so beautiful and fluid. His warm acoustic section also in `Ciclos Das Mares' reminds me of some Anthony Phillips solo moments. Otaviano Kury gets to try out endless ideas on drums and percussion, and is consistently great throughout the entire album, but especially tight in the faster moments.

While it reminds you of moments of, amongst others, early Camel and Genesis, the album never comes across as derivative or a blatant rip-off. The fact that it's also entirely instrumental is not a bad thing. Some of my absolute favourite progressive albums are totally free of vocals, and I've certainly grumbled over the years about occasional prog albums severely let down by weak or inappropriate vocals (more so on 70's albums).

There is also a nice illustration on the front cover that would have looked wonderful on vinyl. An interesting cover is always a great way to begin a prog album ' bit of a pre-requisite!

I bought this CD with a bunch of other instrumental prog albums at the same time, and although it didn't grab me straight away, it has become a very enjoyable album that is very easy to put on in the background and thoroughly enjoy. Never overly demanding or challenging, but an exceptionally well played and memorable collection of symphonic progressive rock all the same that would please many listeners.

Four stars from me!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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