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(51:21, Viajero Inmovil Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Introito Fieto 1:48 2. Factor Crisalida 5:54 3. Altruista 6:39 4. Erradia Cronica 8:28 5. Imagen 9:22 6. Comela 5:01 7. Panico En Deja Vu 14:09 LINEUP: Tomas Pereda – guitars Federico Esquivel – bass Julian Nocelli – keyboards Facundo Nahuel Negri – drums; vocals
Prolusion. The Argentinean band ALTRUISMOS is a new addition to the music scene in their native Argentina, and with one exception the members were all below the age of 20 when they recorded their debut album "Imagen". They were signed by their native label Viajero Inmovil Records in 2009, which subsequently issued this production.
Analysis. It's always inspiring to meet with young and talented musicians, with stress on the latter part of that description, as these last few years of TV shows, like American Idol and X Factor, give many youngsters a skewed and distorted view of what talent is, as well as what it means to be a musician. Altruismos seems to know what it takes though, and while fame and fortune may not easily come their way in the field of music they explore in this set-up, respect from fellow musicians and music aficionados should come their way as more people get acquainted with this initial effort of theirs. Debut albums by young bands can often be something of a roller-coaster ride, and to some extent that is the case on this disc as well. With the piano featured as a central instrument throughout, Altruismos takes us on a journey into a land of (con)fusion and metal. Following a dark and brooding opening atmospheric piece, post-rock and -jazz are merrily mixed together in the first true composition, Factor Crisalida. Not for long though, as this creation heads off into more traditional fusion territories and then seeks out gentler, atmospheric landscapes, as well as incorporating a motif with darker guitar textures of a more leaden nature with light swirling pianos floating above as a counterpoint. They also find the time to add a fusion and flamenco flirtation before the songs comes to a close – quite a lot of action in the span of just under 6 minutes. This exciting, intriguing and at times wild ride doesn't get replicated though; this is a young band that seems determined to showcase the different aspects of their chosen style on this occasion. The following effort Altruista is more of a technical ability showpiece, with a melodic straightforward jazz-rock motif wedged in between challenging opening and end pieces. Erradia Cronica ventures into more of an experimental territory: the first track to incorporate distinctly metal-inspired facets, but first and foremost a number highlighting the disharmonic parts of their compositional repertoire. The last three efforts on this disc pair fusion and progressive metal in various combinations. Detailing them would be longwinded, but the attentived reader may probably suspect that a great deal of variation is the case. If so assumed, I can easily concur with that notion. Title track Imagen and final number Panico en D?j? vu are the best of these excursions, and the latter arguably the most interesting piece on this CD overall. Partially due to length: 14 minutes provide ample opportunities for experimentation in detail. And the journey from the opening cacophonic sound collage and the following melodic art rock landscape with fusion touches to the final themes, featuring challenging fusion metal, is a fascinating experience, perhaps slightly meandering at times, but never to the extent of being too much so. The sheer enthusiasm that shines through has a lot to say for that. These are young musicians, still finding their way amidst expanding technical abilities and developing compositional skills, and trying to show off as much as possible in the just over 50 minutes at their disposal on this occasion. It's a bit of a bumpy ride at times, but by and large an enjoyable one nonetheless.
Conclusion. If fusion and progressive metal both represent styles you enjoy, you take pleasure in encountering a band taking this blend into slightly unexpected territories, and you don't mind the odd moments where skill proficiency gets the upper hand over theme development, Altruismos is a band that should be able to charm you. In particular if you fancy a strong spirit of adventure and a liberal application of the typical traits of the main genres explored.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: November 6, 2010
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