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Alux Nahual - Hermanos De Sentimiento CD (album) cover


Alux Nahual


Crossover Prog

3.75 | 8 ratings

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4 stars Since jampa17 is reviewing Alux, I'm going to resume my reviewing of them.

"Hermanos de Sentimiento" is probably the album form Alux Nahual that I've played the most. Why? Because it's very diverse and has 3 of my top 5 Alux songs. This album can be considered their most experimental and proggy, but it also has some low points. The first major change in Alux's sound is in this album, becuase the violin/cello duets are gone and replaced by extensive use of synthesizers and sax. This change on the arrangments gives the overall sound a more 80's vibe. Although for some proggers this can mean disaster, this is not the case in "Hermanos". Let's go song through song.

Dime que Has Olvidado: The opener is love ballad, much in the vein of Mujer, from the previous album. The difference is that this ballad is driven by electric piano and the whole band performs it. I like it very much, I've always liked love songs by Alux, I think they are very well executed and get to the point. Plus the lyrics are always a plus.

Aquí Está Tu Tierra: This is a rock song about migration, something that is very prevalent in central american countries. The song driven by acoustic guitar and Alvaro's vocals. A fun song with meaningful lyrics that applied to then and today. I also like it very much.

Juego Nuclear: The much maligned reggae song is the debut of Oscar Conde in vocals and composing in the context of Alux. It's very 80's sounding with synthesizers and that "white reggae" sound, like The Police. I don't mind the song very much, it can be fun sometimes, but it's clear that is a very silly song.

Lejos De La Ciudad: Where did this thing come from? It's the first and only composition by the drummer, Orlando Aguilar, and Alux's song that aligns the most with prog canons. The song begins with a synthesizer intro, and then the first theme is played with acoustic guitar, and some instrument like electric violin. The theme is reprised by the flute with the backing of cello and bass. The drums and bass come in for the second theme with a nice groove. Then the electric guitar plays a very rocking, almost metal, riff. The riff is repeated several times. After every repetition a variaton comes, with flute, sax, or more guitar. Then we get an acoustic guitar solo. After that, there's an atmospheric part, that reminds me of "Posada", from their first album. The third theme is played with electric guitar and percussion. Then comes a denser jam with many instruments. The finale is a reprise of a previous theme. This is surely one of my favorite songs by Alux.

Mira El Sol Brillar: After the behemoth that was "Lejos De La Ciudad", comes a song that used to be my favorite from the "Aluxes" for a long time. It's very 80's sounding, being driven by synths, but what makes it stand out are the arrangements. Piano, sax, violin, bass and all the drum fills give this song another dimension. Ranferí's singing is fits the song quite well. Dynamics are great in this song. Sadly, the violin is only in the background, and we can only feel how Jack Schuster is spending less and less time in the spotlight.

Hermanos de Sentimiento: This is supposed to be a team effort, with very good instrumental sections. Even so, the vocal parts and the guitar tone sound too much like generic 80's latin hard rock for my taste. The subject of the song is also very trivial, which is the preparing for a concert. Only the ending redeems this dull song, because it's a very intense interplay of all the intstruments

Al Diablo El Diablo: Excellent intro with a good bass solo and then a nice guitar/bass interplay. And that's it! The song then transforms in to more of generic 80's hard rock with awful, awful lyrics. The lyrics are about the devil speaking through the amplifiers of a perfomer and the performer responding: "go to hell, devil! I love god!"

El Mensaje: This is just 19 seconds of backwards talking, that's supposed to be a pun on those who used to play their vinyls backwards to try to find "hidden messages" in songs. I've never actually heard what the message is, because I've got the CD version, and I can't play it backwards. I suppose it somehow works after the "diabolical" message of "Al Diablo El Diablo".

El Espíritu Del Duende: This is the most mystical song from the repertoire of Alux, courtesy of Paulo Alvarado. Helped by reverb, folky instrumentation and references and mayan references in the lyrics this song makes is to the one of the greatest acomplishments by Alux. The song starts with cello, and acoustic guitar playing in 3/4. The flute handles the melodic theme beautifully. Percussion is sparse, just some cymbals. Then we are treated with an excellent cello solo. After that there's a small part in 5/4 with something that sounds like a clock for percussion, acoustic guitar and synths. A folkish flute backed by e-guitar comes in. After that, Álvaro and Paulo sing a capella the concept of the song. The counterpoint is extremely beautiful A vocal part is then led by electric piano and folkish percussion. Álvaro and Paulo reprise the concept of the song wiht different lyrics. Then comes an electric piano jam, that I wish were longer. I just wish they would have done something more in this style in their later albums.

Juego Nuclear (Extra): WTF? It's the exact same song as "Juego Nuclear", there's nothing extra at all! Silly songs can be tolerated and even enjoyed once, but twice? This time the song becomes annoying and makes the album fall to its lowest point

The sillyness of "Al Diablo El Diablo" and the repetition of "Juego Nuclar", plus the dullnes of hermanos keep this album from being a masterpiece. Even so, I think this is overall my favorite album by Alux Nahual, having excellent songs and exploring new ground without ever losing the Alux ethos. They would try to reprise the formula and sound for the next album, but it wouldn't work as well.

RaúlGuate | 4/5 |


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