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Sonus Umbra - Snapshots From Limbo  CD (album) cover


Sonus Umbra

Crossover Prog

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4 stars The melodic neo-progressive and symphonic hard rock band SONUS UMBRA was formed out of the band RADIO SILENCE. They have both female and male vocals. The songs have great melodies with an overall beautiful, calm, dark and melancholic mood. The music is a mix between ALAN PARSONS, CAMEL, FISH, KURGAN'S BANE, MARILLION and PINK FLOYD with a 70's progressive sound with lots of acoustic guitars and some complex moments. Some of the songs are brilliant while some are middle-of-the-road stuff. The highlight are the opening "Ghosts From The Past", the complex instrumental RUSH-influenced "Doppelganger", "Demons", "The Eagle Has Landed", " Homo Homini Lupus" and the instrumental "Erich Zann". Some of the songs are a little bit to calm and uninteresting, but overall this is a nice album with great musicians. The Moonchild label are unfortunately no longer in existence, but the band has been signed to the Musea label so eventually they will get a worldwide distribution.
Report this review (#25156)
Posted Saturday, January 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Sonus Umbra (formerly Radio Silence) is Ricardo Gomez (electric & acoustic guitars), Luis Nasser (bass, Korg 01W, acoustic guitar, vocals), Jeff Laramee (drums, percussion, vocals), Andres Aullet (lead vocals) and special guests Lisa Francis (vocals), John Grant (electric & 12 string acoustic guitars), and Tapabrat Pal (tabla).

This is the kind of music that continually intrigues and challenges you to find more in each song with each listen. The first thing that starts a thought process is the fascinating cover. Many folks may say it is weird; yes it is different...but doesn't it make you wonder what it stands for? Progressive rock has always had colorful artwork on the cover of their recordings (thank you Yes and Roger Dean) with a science fiction or mystical spaced out theme.

All of these songs are filled with the beauty and savagery of the music. To me that is the very essence of prog rock, the ability to combine both of those factors and successfully project images interpreted by each artists through their own thoughts and feelings throughout the music. Sonus Umbra's Snapshots From Limbo is a consistently strong album from start to finish. "Doppleganger" and "Seven Masks" are each over seven minute compositions that are filled with lush and striking magnificence. The guitar is gorgeous and attractive then it changes quickly to a hammer of the gods that shakes and moves you like thunder and lightning, thus the difference between the acoustic and electric guitars. The keyboards of Luis Nasser are what the music is built upon, and the main instrument that thrust the other instruments into a cascade of picturesque musical splendor. Nasser also plays a commanding bass to sync the rhythm section with the odd time signatures that are the norm in prog rock. Wake up and smell the coffee all of you music lovers, progressive rock is in the middle of fabulous growth period that is a complete joy to partake in. Join me now.

Report this review (#25157)
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Sonus Umbra is a Mexican group or should I say that they are of Mexican origin because it seems that they live in the USA nowadays. Their music can be described a mixture of symphonic and neo-progressive. However, it does have this melancholic, almost gothic, feel that is not usually prevalent with groups of the same style. It's a good thing and gives some originality. The overall feel is quite soft despite this dark atmosphere. The music is very accessible, maybe even a little too commercial for my taste.

This debut album is very average. The music isn't bad and it is clearly professional but it just doesn't grab me in any way. It could be that the partial neo-progressive sound prevents my enjoyment of this album. There is quite a few interesting bands coming from Mexico these days but I do not include Sonus Umbra in this group of bands based on this release.

Conclusion: A rather uninteresting album.

Report this review (#38642)
Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Crossover Team
4 stars Apart from knowing that Sonus Umbra used to be called Radio Silence, I know virtually nothing about this band. In the credits, they thank various bands, but the only name I recognise is Illuvatar (if anybody knows anything about Kurgan's Band, Uncle Gut, Chaos Code, Mad Crusade or Kromlech then please let me know). I get the impression that they used to be based in Mexico but am now in the States, but I could be wrong.

The bandleader is bassist Luis Nasser (who also provides keyboards and backing vocals) who wrote or co-wrote all of the material, and he has put together an album that is much more in depth than one that I would normally expect to hear from many American bands. The emphasis is on music and melody, while not going down the neo-prog route favoured by many. There is much more in the way of songs than even Spock's Beard and the result is an album that moves from guitar-based to keyboard-based very fluidly and easily. Andres Aullet has a very warm voice, and he sings in a lower register, which complements the music. Drummer Jeff Laramee and guitarist Ricardo Gomez complete the line-up.

Yet another very enjoyable album from the Moonchild stable

Originally appeared in Feedback #60

Report this review (#966165)
Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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