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Yezda Urfa - Sacred Baboon CD (album) cover

SACRED BABOON

Yezda Urfa

 

Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 188 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars For several years I avoided any YEZDA URFA album, because most of what I heard about them is that they formed a YES clone band with GENTLE GIANT structures, interesting as it may sound for many, I'm not a fan of GENTLE GIANT and find Jon Anderson's vocals annoying to an extreme, but last week I bought a cheap copy of "Sacred Baboon" and honestly don't plan getting their debut album.

Not that they are bad, on the contrary, they are good (not great), but originality is not a word in their dictionary, the vocalist Rick Rodenbaugh tries with all his strength to sound like Jon Anderson and he partially achieves success, because sounds very close but Jon is original and charismatic, this guy not.

The vocal works are complex and elaborate,. but sound as a "B" class GENTLE GIANT, they abuse of the dissonances but aren't able to capture the unique Medieval - troubadouresque atmosphere (in most of the parts), which was the most interesting feature of Derek Shulman and company, in what GG was unique, this guys are bellow average.

The album starts with the interesting "Give 'Em Some Rawhide Chewies" intro, which gives the impression of a Medieval track, but it's a mirage, then the band looses the path and never retakes it, start playing in the vein of YES but suddenly change into the vocal style of GENTLE GIANT to go back to YES, simply unimaginative and boring.

"Cancer of the Band" starts with a soft and contradictory flute section, a hybrid between Medieval and cheesy, but when they are capturing the essence Medieval Folk music, they add a dissonant guitar that sounds empty, despite their later efforts, the band is not able to retake the sound they started with.

"Tota in the Moya" is quite funny, sounds like "In a Glass House" with hits of "Relayer" (To be Over), touches of "Tubular Bells" (The mandolin) and Rick Wakeman's musical jokes.......The big question is ...Where can I find something that sounds like YEZDA URFA, sadly the answer is nowhere. People describe this track as an epic I believe it's a long song with patches of different bands.

When I believed it was enough of cloning bands, comes "Boris and His Three Verses" that sounds like "Tormato" with Medieval hints, but the band fails creating a convincing atmosphere, floating in the middle of two bands who play in a contradictory style, thanks God it only lasts less than 3 minutes.

"Flow Guides Aren't My Bag" could be the only song that sounds remotely original, until those keyboards taken from "The Advent of Panurge" brings us back to reality, but at least some attempts of creating an own sound.

"(My Doc Told Me I Had) Doggie Head" starts Jazzy with few references to any band, even the dissonant sections sound original, but as soon as Rick Rodenbaugh adds his vocals, sounds like Jon Anderson singing in the style of Derek Schulman, no more commentaries.

Just when I was going to stop listening "Sacred Baboon"comes "3, Almost 4, 6, Yea", an excellent track with complex but melodic arrangements, the drumming is outstanding and the bass is completely accurate, fast, vibrant and at last original, the acoustic middle section is delightful and the ending is brilliant (The lack of vocals helps a lot).................If only this guys had realized before they can write outstanding music, the story would had been different.

Now I understand why their material was only released 12 years after it's recording, because almost everything YEZDA URFA played was done before by more famous bands and better.

Because of the obvious musical skills of the band members and the last track, I will rate this album with 2 stars, because I was tempted to give them only one, something that pisses me because they are all outstanding musicians

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |

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