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Kotebel - Omphalos CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 96 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is already fourth release by Spanish-Venezuelan Prog band KOTEBEL being initially mainly a project by keyboardist Carlos Plaza helped by guest musicians but grown meanwhile to a real band with regular members. It might be considered their best effort so far, for sure it's their most matured and versatile one combining both pomp and filigree of classical with the power and energy of rock music in a really superb way.

Carlos Plaza's playful and multi-parted compositions are clearly based on classical music and especially a track like the opener "Ra" could be well suitable to be played by a classical ensemble. But fortunately (for us rock fans) there are as well the typical rock instruments guitar, bass and drums as excellent counterparts. What Kotebel is presenting us here can be absolutely called unique or even idiosyncratic and finding similar comparisons is almost impossible (maybe ELP and Renaissance from the classical influence but this band here sounds much more modern and rocking). Casting for the classical and lyrical moments are of course the keys, mainly the piano as well as the flute having strong antagonists with CÚsar Garcia Forero's guitar in particular and the powerful bass played by Jaime Pascual. In fact the interplay between the different instruments works really perfectly in this group and for example the moments when the flute comes more to the foreground duelling with the guitar mark only some of the numerous highlights of this album. Another important part of Kotebel's distinctive sound is of course Carolina Prieto's vocal contribution whose haunting soprano might be appreciated not that easily by those people (including me) who don't like too much opera singing style. But as a comfort for those the instrumental sections are prevailing here anyway. Most of the music has been composed by mastermind Carlos Plaza except the two more rocking tracks "Excellent Meat" and "MetroMenemo" being written by guitarist Forero. All lyrics apart from "Shanti Path" derived from a Hindu Sanskrit mantra are based on poems by Carlos' wife Natalye Engelke. I'd recommend to anyone who's interested in learning more about the concept behind "Omphalos" and the band in general to follow the link to an interview with Carlos Plaza on the band's website.

Finally I can just say that this work goes far beyond your standard symphonic Prog and stands as their previous releases for a brilliant example of well-elaborated modern progressive music (or "art music", a term Carlos Plaza prefers). This album should be considered an essential addition to any Prog collection and a must-have for all fans of Symphonic Prog, 4 1/2 stars really!!

hdfisch | 4/5 |


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