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Vangelis - Mythodea CD (album) cover




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2.75 | 81 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Many years after Mask, Vangelis releases another album divided into "movements". It's dedicated to the Pathfinder's NASA mission to Mars, and the "Introduction", the only track that's not a movement, is promising of spacey things.

"Movement 1" is orchestral with strings and choir. It seems a reprise of Conquest of Paradise, and this makes sense. There's a direct line between Columbus' travel and the space exploration.

"Movement 2" is opened by low volume percussions, then the choir sings with no music else than a little keyboard background. The choir arrangement is the most remarkable thing of this track that doesn't give the idea of travels into space. Looking for "travellers", this is more reminding to Ulysses and Odyssey, specially in the second part of the track when it becomes more "solar" and "Mediterranean".

"Movement 3" starts with harp (I don't know if it's a real harp or a keyboard. It seems more the second). A soprano sings over it, then enters a second soprano. The melody is dark and spacey, and when the choir enters we are transported to the starship.

"Movement 4" is the longest track. The first orchestral notes have something of Rimsky- Korsakov's Sheherazade, but that's a suite. Here we have the two sopranos who make the transition to the orchestral part. Looking at the definition of post-rock on PA I think this could be called post-classical. The melodies and the ambience are typically Vangelis' stuff but the orchestra, the choir and the two soprano make it sound like symphonic music. Try to imagine the sopranos replaced by a subtle keyboard and you'll have a space-rock composition.

"Movement 5" is unfortunately not too different from what we have heard until now. Here, if you are not a fan of classical music or opera it can start to be a bit boring. This is a kind of music that is better appreciated live, when the music is wrapped around the listener. One can't be bored in that situation. However, this track is a little darker than the previous.

"Movement 6" is a slow piece of opera, likely inspired by Italian authors of end 19th century with the instrumental part on the chords of Mahler or Schubert, just as reference.

"Movement 7" sees the return of electronics, but the story doesn't change. At this point I can't see a reference to Mars, also because I can't understand what the sopranos say (if they say anything). This part is more symphonic and a bit more rhythmated. One of the best tracks.

"Movement 8" partially looses the classical mood. The soprano and the choir here sing on a "normal" Vangelis composition on which the keyboard is initially in the foreground respect to the orchestra.

"Movement 9" is a song. In the sense that the melody and the structure are more regular and only the instruments used and the sopranos maintain the classical mood. 1492 again.

"Movement 10" reprises the initial theme. Now it's clear what's the problem with this album. It's too long. The tracks from Movement 4 to Movement 8 are almost the same track. This one with percussions and keyboards is between 1492 and Heave and Hell, plus with the last minute occupied by spacey sounds.

"Movement 11" is just another run of Movement 1 and Movement 10. Only for closure.

It's a pity that Vangelis has indulged so much with some parts of this "opera". It had the possibilities to be a great album, but it's weak in the middle part and sometimes too repetitive. The classical and operistic mood doesn't make it suitable for prog-metallers, so at the end I think the correct rating is three stars.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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