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2112 - Glory Lies Ahead CD (album) cover

GLORY LIES AHEAD

2112

 

Heavy Prog

3.58 | 15 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Glory Lies Ahead" is the album in which 2112 make their artsy mixture of hard rock and prog come to its fruition, providing a variety of ideas well integrated into their nuclear sound. This album took some time for completion until its 2000 release, which explains the fact that two men alternated the bass duties in this repertoire, but stylistically speaking, this album is pretty cohesive. The material's dynamics makes it somewhat closer to average hard rock at times, but up to this point, 2112 prove capable of managing their 90s Rush influences, sometimes leaning toward the catchier side of things, other times applying for real complexity and deep melodic sensitiveness, and other times, just doing both at once. Tracks don't tend to be too long, really, usually being framed within the 3.30-4.30 mark. The first two pieces are energetic and punchy, showing some of the most recurrent assets of the album. 'To Other Lands' is a weird mixture of romantic Black Crows and tango atmospheres (there's even a guest on bandoneon!), which works nice as an exercise on melancholy-driven art rock. Pieces 4 and 11 are instrumental acoustic guitar solos in which Juan Tambussi (the band's most prolific writer) displays his taste for melodic subtleties. On the other hand, 'Mr. Funny Shoes' finds the band elaborating a solid rocker with bigger dose of sophistication than on the first two tracks. This provides a proper anticipation of the album's most ambitious number, the multi-part suite 'Deep Blue Experience'. After a brief chorale, the initial frontal rocker establishes the suite's first section, which is followed by an atmospheric keyboard-based orchestration: then comes an alternation between sung rockers in various tempos, all of them linked by instrumental sections. All of this makes it an excellent 15-minute number. Most of the remaining tracks are usually set on the standards of catchy hard rock with incidental prog-related arrangements, but still there's room for unhidden technical brilliance. For example, there's the exciting instrumental 'Monkey Cargo' and, with a more constrained display, 'Amazing Wheel of Despair'. The closure is constructed on an ethnic basic motif, with lots of exotic percussions and occasional female chanting, while the band comes to the fore not for the sake of force but to add energetic colors. I wish this piece had been longer, since in that case, the band could have experimented further with this fusionesque trend in order to make it more magnificent. Anyway, no essential complaints from me regarding 'Mgahinga' since it stands as an excellent closure. Personally, I think this album could have benefited from the presence of less tracks and developing some of them, instead; however, "Glory Lies Ahead" is well-crafted, and as such, the album and the band that created it deserve to be labeled as excellent.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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