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Tantra - Holocausto CD (album) cover

HOLOCAUSTO

Tantra

Symphonic Prog


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3 stars It's quite an enjoyable record, but the jamming is often quite uneven, and does not hold your attention long enough. The musicians are godd, especially the drummer. The music reminds me at times of VDGG, but with guitar, of Amon Dull II.
Report this review (#15610)
Posted Sunday, December 7, 2003 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This band almost turned out to be the support act for Peter Gabriel in the early Eighties but sadly for them it became The Simple Minds. What a pity because I have seen Peter Gabriel with The Simple Minds and I'm sure that Tantra would have been embraced by the crowd with their stunning live-act that was a tribute to the early Genesis including masks and pyrotecnics! But their music was also interesting.

1. Om (8:47) : First a soaring keyboard intro, then a fluent rhythm with a lush keyboard sound (synthesizers, strings, piano). The Portuguese vocals sound strong and emotional. Halfway the climate truns into more jazzrock featuring Moog runs and Fender Rhodes electric piano.

2. Holocausto / Ultimo Raio Do Astro Dei (10:53) : This long and alternating piece delivers lots of exciting moments: fiery, jazzrock-like parts, wonderful piano and vocals, flowing electric guitar, an electric guitar/clavinet duel and great soli on the synthesizer and clavinet (Mid-Eastern-inspired).

3. Zephyrus (2:50) : The climate is dreamy with first a sitar and weird sound during the intro.

4. Talisma (8:44) : This was has strong echoes from the symphonic jazzrock from Collosseum II featuring fluent rhythms, howling electric guitar, powerful Fender bass, lush keyboards and a grand finale with fiery electric guitar and great choir-Mellotron waves, EXCELLENT!

5. Ara (4:54) : A very alternating piece, from mellow with emotional vocals to moving with howling electric guitar and up-tempo with a swinging Minimoog solo.

6. Pi (7:29) : The intro features acoustic guitar and piano, then lots of shifting moods with often a jazzrock climate and great keyboard work.

A VERY GOOD ALBUM FROM PORTUGAL!

Report this review (#44257)
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
ProgShine
COLLABORATOR
Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars 01. OM The top 'synthesized' already gives us a hint of what will come! A layer of copper keyboards all 'corners of the sound' (if that is the sound has corners). Ledo mistake! The introduction of the keyboard does not give us the real picture of what was, a high-technical prog (impressive battery of Tó Zé), then the voice of Manuel Cardoso melodicamente perfect enter into the proposal of the band. Excellent instrumental lines ... and if everything breaks again at the piano to take along all the 'sounds floating' possible, start this way, the staff was not kidding. Line bottom and back of sensational voice (which as I said in the release of Jose Cid who is also Portuguese, is wonderful to hear the voice in Portuguese native). The final section is full of broken and soils of keyboards and bass. This track is the guitar 'shy'. 02. Último Raio Do Astro Sol Apocalyptic! Those of creepy. Sparse guitars, drums beating and a lot of vocalization. Totally Yezda Urfa and the disconcerting that follows, I do not know where they took of all the madness. Then a voice pretty well, strange and bottom line of battery, and an almost classical piano in the background. The band has an impressive technical change in the question of time and melody of the songs, that is presented, and much! The keyboards have always timbre and Jasons. A little after the middle of the song guitar and keyboard solos divided almost in a duel, and once again the band radically changes as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Extremely competent and complex the instruments of the guys.

03. Zephyrus Zither and madness, some strange sounds that I have not the slightest idea of where you left! The zither come loose in the middle of the 'noise', battery Gong, and sets up a melody soturna, low solando next to the keyboard, and some background Vocalizations cause everything is even more bleak. And once again highlight the excellent work of Tó Zé Almeida on drums.

04. Talismă The guitar has a nice arpegio with the keyboard, while the band makes a house without walls arpegios pros of both. Here's the track that gives a guinadae turns into a race against time and the wind for a short time, the piano brings back the calm voice Pros (which are sporadic, but excellent!) The arsenal of keyboards for that signal is well used makes an enormous difference. The vocal melody that follows is emotional, at that low among highlights soon after. Peter Luis is the king of keyboards and ... unknown. SPT, SPT, SPT ...

05. Ara Here the guitars and guitars are a bit, just to face the initial voice is very nice. Plus a little dark (but this time with the guitars taking key role), a symphonic session without equal and around the original theme. Suíngue enter into a field, almost dancing with a nice timbre of keyboard and battery solando extremely broken, low? Of course it follows, and well, the battery. And he sung on top of it

06. PI This is the classic guy! Piano, guitar plates and a bow-and if I am not mistaken and suingado low but in a time very different from all the rest (Americo Luis miseries with Precision makes it), the falsetto voice in eternal are very good! Solo guitar and keyboard together! The band has a nice way to compose with two instruments solando in various parts. Here is the total quebradeira and jazz-fusion.

Tantra (and this disc) I drew much attention, because the disc is excellent and quality business. This disk has a face the same mixing several influences. The guys are good.

www.progshine.net

Report this review (#209790)
Posted Thursday, April 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
3 stars This was the second album by Portuguese prog rock band Tantra, and came out in 1979. By this time Tantra were widely regarded as the top prog band in the country, and had toured considerably. A very dramatic band, both in the music and in their live shows, they had also aided their popularity by performing all of their material in their own language, although they did switch to English after 'Holocausto'

It is very much an album of it's time, although given the state of the music scene at the end of the Seventies this would already have sounded very dated by then. They had taken influences from British bands such as King Crimson and Genesis, and brought in even more eclectic styles from Magma and PFM that means that now the music can at times sound self-indulgent and grandiose. But, when it works well this is quite an album. Yes the production and some of the keyboard sounds are very much of their time, and the interplay and solos can last for a fair while, but they weren't afraid to experiment and there is effective use of clarinet and even a sitar.

Even among progheads this is an album that will only be listened to sparingly, but to those who enjoy experimental trad prog then this is one from the vaults.

Originally appeared in Feedback #67, Apr 02

Report this review (#1078425)
Posted Monday, November 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
VianaProghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Review Nş 302

Tantra is a progressive rock band from Portugal. Together, two Lisbon musicians, the guitarist Manuel Cardoso and the keyboardist Armando Gama, established what would be the basic foundations of Tantra. According with their official site, the name of the group was chosen by Manuel Cardoso after his Raja Yoga meditation experiences and contact with the Indian culture. They were joined by two other musicians, the bassist Américo Luis and the drummer Tó Zé Almeida. Soon the band was established as the main rock progressive group, in Portugal. With this line up, Tantra released their debut studio album "Mistérios E Maravilhas", in 1977. After a while Armando Gama left the band and was replaced by their new keyboardist Pedro Luis. Finally, in 1979, Tantra was able to release their second studio album "Holocausto".

"Holocausto" was a very successful album for critics and fans and received the best record of the year award. With this album, Tantra is often compared with Ange, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso or Premiata Forneria Marconi. The impressive musical quality of "Holocausto" confirms this assessment. Tantra used the classic ingredients, like high vocal notes, sometimes reminiscent of Peter Gabriel, extensive instrumental excursions with many keyboard and complicated sounds, nice bass lines and driving drums. In addition, they added enough individuality to the sound of the Portuguese language with inspired lyrics, far Eastern influences and a little of jazz rock. The music is complex, yet it seems fluent, magical and dreamy. It's often reminiscent of Yes (vocals and guitar) and Genesis (keyboards), without copying them.

The line up on the album is Manuel Cardoso, aka "Frodo" (lead vocals, acoustic, semi-acoustic and electric guitars, Top Gear guitar synth and sitar), Pedro Luis (grand piano, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, Mellotron, Polymoog and Minimoog), Américo Luis (bass guitar) and Tó Zé Almeida (drums, tubular bells, marimba, percussion and clarinet). The album had also the participation of Tony Moura (lead vocals and electric guitar) and Pedro Mestre (keyboards and chorus).

"Holocausto" has six tracks. The first track "Om" opens the album with two minutes' worth of tasty spacey synth textures. A superb full band section follows, with vocals briefly materializing three minutes in. The track experiences an abrupt shift at close to four minutes, bringing the uppity cadence to a complete halt. Juicy filter sweeps and somber piano carry the track for a bit before the other instruments gradually reenter the mix. The vocals of Moura prove to be rather good and he quickly makes up for his limited range. With less than a minute to go, Pedro Mestre fires off a volley of notes from his keyboard units, Moogs, Rhodes and Clavinet. This is a characteristic of the entire album. So, it wasn't a surprise that the band wanted him. In fact, they waited for Pedro Mestre to finish touring with his own band so he could join the album in progress. The second track is the title track "Holocausto". The track is divided into two parts, which goes through with more than 10 minutes of length, which is the lengthiest piece on the album. A cacophonic swell, punchy Moog bass, and Mellotron choir, courtesy of the guest Pedro Mestre of Petrus Castrus, kick off "Holocausto/Ultimo Raio Do Astro Rei". Pedro Mestre uses his Clavinet's distinctive attack to great effect for rhythm and soloing. The third track is the interlude "Zephirus". It's determined by a grooving bass and keyboard wall, over which the syllables Ze-Phy-Rus are repeatedly whispered. It's a wonderful piece with its wicked-sounding, wordless whispered vocals. Manuel Cardoso plays sitar on this track. The fourth track "Talismă" was treated with nice keyboard Moog work. The middle of this track even sounds a tad of fusion, but the band charges feet-first back into the symphonic mold on the extended outro. This is classic prog at the highest level. The fifth track "Ara" is a very beautiful piece with mellow and emotional vocals. Here, we have some of the best vocals on the all album, surprisingly. The electric guitar work and the up-tempo with a swinging Minimoog solo are great too. The sixth track "Ji" was dedicated to their mentor, a certain Guru, Maharaj Ji Kijai, as the name of the track indicates. This is another great track with some jazz rock feeling that features nice acoustic guitar and great keyboard work. It closes the album in a very nice way.

Conclusion: "Holocausto" is another great release of Tantra and represents another excellent showcase for this Portuguese progressive rock band. Friends of the classic prog can't go wrong with this album, which is more on the margins of the mainstream both temporally and locally. Musically, it's an absolute hit and the comparison with the great classics of Yes and Genesis doesn't spoil the album. Tantra with "Holocausto", as happened with their debut, don't fear with those comparisons, because their music, despite those influences, has a very own Portuguese feeling. One of the best qualities of "Holocausto" isn't just its cool and fairly murky 70's production, but the fact that the individual players don't get in each other's way. Alright, sometimes the keyboards overpower the guitars, but in general all the players have their role all over the album. It's also the closest that Tantra gets to he fusion prog. Just listen to it, for yourself.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#2287328)
Posted Saturday, December 14, 2019 | Review Permalink

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