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Rockaphonica - Fuera de Tiempo   CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 18 ratings

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4 stars Each time I find an Argentinean Symphonic band, I normally expect a band with clear Italian influence, due to the cultural and ethnic inheritance, usually they have soft melodic passages with great lyrics, well if you get "Fuera de Tiempo by ROCKAPHONICA, don't expect all this.

To begin, it's an instrumental album based more in flute rather than in keyboards and with a clear FOCUS influence, even when much more accessible and melodic.

The album starts with the beautiful "Pasión y Crimen" (Passion and Crime) which presents an incredible flute performance of "Ricardo Luna" but this time with a mysterious and delicate piano by Andrés Bonelli marking the tempo, and leading the band, it may get a bit repetitive for people not used to FOCUS, but if you take a careful listen, it's more like variations over a central theme, extremely beautiful with a certain Jazzy atmosphere.

"Fat Dreams" starts again with a sweet flute melody, in this case closer to CAMEL with a Medieval hint, as the song advances, keyboard and drums join the flute to create a more elaborate sound, faster than the previous, but still with that smooth and relaxing quality.

"Fantasmas" (Ghosts) starts as usual with a flute semi-solo with a soft synth company in the background providing an atmospheric and oneiric sound with a bucolic feeling, about the middle of the song you can listen a powerful but moody guitar solo which provides the Rock component, probably the ending is the most spectacular team performance at this point of the album, strong and energetic, excellent track.

"Balada de los Antartes" (Ballad of the Antartes), aparently based in a Sci Fi comic book by Héctor Germán Oesterheld starts as a harder track, with Gustavo Gonzales (Drums), Roberto Encinas (Bass) and the guest guitarist Gustavo Maris taking the lead for the first time, even when the song makes a change towards a softer sound, the spirit of this track is closer to Rock than any previous track. Pay special attention to the Synth solo in the middle of the track which reminds clearly of Thijs Van Leer.

"Cateter" appears to be the central act, starts with a short and mysterious flute solo which is interrupted by a strong drum section and the band joins into a medieval tune with clear Rock sound, much more faster and adding a violin (probably synthesized).

But that isn't all; we have some radical changes and then a Baroque keyboard which leads to a slower section of extreme beauty, just to change again with an impressive bass solo that leads to the medieval tune again. Pure Prog at it's best.

If in the previous tracks there was a strong Focus influence, in "Aceitunas" (Olives), we find a much more clear Flemish sound that reminds me clearly of the Dutch masters, more exactly to side two of "Moving Waves" with some subjacent Moorish influences and a touch of Jazz.

A bit short but it's better to leave the listener with the taste of honey oin the lips than to bore him, another excellent track.

Now it's the moment fot three tributes to CAMEL:

Until now the main influence was FOCUS but in "Supertwister" the atmosphere is much closer to CAMEL, starts almost Classical and suddenly when all the band joins turns into a frantic Rock song, the keyboard solos are fabulous, only interrupted by some flute semi-solos. Even shorter than the previous, would had liked them to explore the possibilities more.

Whithout any rest "Rhayader" makes the appearance, with another frantic Medieval - Symphonic track "a la" CAMEL. The team work is spectacular, not an extra or a missing note; everything fits in its place.

The album ends with "Rhayader Goes to Town" as the conclusion of the previous song, even though it's evident it's a tribute to CAMEL, but IMO is much more, or more exactly how a tribute should be, they start with a reference to the band they dedicate the track but a lot of their own inspiration, strong way to close a strong album.

Very rarely I give 5 stars to a debut album, because I believe a band very rarely reaches their peak in the first release, and this will be no exception, if it was possible I would go with 4.5 stars, but will be conservative and stay with a 4 star rating.

I'm sure they will release more albums and I'm impatient to listen more of this excellent Argentinean band, hope they don't make us wait too much.

A must have for any Symphonic fan, great music inspired in the classic bands but with an evident style that gives them a unique sound.

Somebody said in Prog Archives Forum that the future of Prog Rock may be in South America, after listening this guys, I'm starting to believe it.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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