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(60:00, AltrOck Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Hacia la Nada 4:27 2. Necro Sistema 3:02 3. Marejada 7:29 4. Consecuencia Natural 10:26 5. Colapso 11:20 6. Convergencia Caotica 8:01 7. Intangible 7:55 8. Y Ahora Que 7:20 LINEUP: Rodrigo Maccioni – guitars; flute Aime Acuna – keyboards Antonio Arceu – drums Pedro Santander – bass With: Leo Arias – saxophone, clarinet (1, 4, 8)
Prolusion. “Enjambre Sismico”, the third album by the Chilean band ABRETE GANDUL, is my first acquaintance with its work. This 60-minute CD consists of eight compositions with the average track length being precisely 7:30.
Analysis. Like all of the other Altrock Records releases I have reviewed for this, October, update of the site, “Enjambre Sismico” deploys a few different styles to form its overall musical message. On Hacia la Nada and Convergencia Caotica, the music may seem to be lying completely within the RIO realm, but both of the pieces are in fact more stylistically varied, most of the time alternating chamber rock arrangements and sympho-prog ones, some of which are merely reminiscent of the former, due to the frequent use of odd meters and a resourceful, slightly asymmetric drumming in particular. Besides, the first of the compositions suggests angular ‘brass rock’ rather than classic RIO in its finale, while another has also elements of heavy music, and by the way, one of the – thankfully numerous – themes there is more than heavily influenced by Yes, instantly evoking the second movement of Heart of the Sunrise from “Fragile”. The third track Marejada begins as space music, but later on it changes in style both frequently and effectively, developing from Gong-like Space Fusion to Symphonic Progressive to avant-garde Art-Rock with some hints of King Crimson, steadily increasing the power of its sound, as well as accelerating its pace, reaching a culmination within its concluding part. The three described pieces best of all show off the band’s diverse sound and interactive prowess. On the other hand, the musicians work amazingly well together almost throughout the rest of the material as well. (Keep on reading to learn why “almost”.) On Necro Sistema and Intangible the sonic palette is lush and colorful and is very rich in symphonic colorations – of quite a dark shade in both cases. However, not all of it would classify as Art-Rock, since some passages lean towards Jazz-Fusion. Anyhow, the music is highly impressive, with the tasteful fuzz bass along with some truly versatile and inventive drumming providing a firm anchor for melodic as well as quasi-improvisational explorations of the guitar and keyboards. As you can see above, some of the tracks also feature a guest saxophone player (though I’d have been happier if he had played throughout the album). On Consecuencia Natural and Y Ahora Que, both of which are jazz-fusion creations, he gets the biggest share of the spotlight, contributing plenty of strong saxophone and clarinet solos. The latter track is a complete thing of (progressive) beauty, while the former (10:26) really gladdens the ear only within the first five minutes of its total length. That’s not to say that the rest of the piece is uninteresting, as almost all of the musicians solo both ceaselessly and effectively there, but it is basically monothematic, coming across in its overall appearance as a jazzier and, at the same time, somewhat simplified take on early-‘70s Van Der Graaf Generator. On the other hand, the move has a certain hypnotic quality to it, so it is likely that some, if not many, of the other listeners will find the matter to be a virtue rather than a flaw. Personally, however, I’m more into the music that is diverse on all of its levels – the one that typifies most of this album in particular.
Conclusion. “Enjambre Sismico” is a very good effort overall, and, save a couple of episodes (one of which is comparatively long, though), is positively a complex thing. Like most of the other Altrock/Fallen Records releases, it is destined – and comes recommended – mainly to advanced listeners who cover most, or better, all progressive rock genres.
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