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Anima (Argentina) - 1989/2003 - "Anima"
(50 min, Viajero Inmovil)

Track List:

1. Septima Novena 5:07
2. De aqui a cien mil anos 4:36
3. Brillaras 4:12
4. Cita Clandestina 4:00
5. Al reverso del tejdo 8:16
6. Trusto a la Eternidad 4:28
7. Ciudad sin Tiempo 4:30
8. Heroes sin Medalla 3:02
9. Rigel 6:23
10. Palabras 4:20

All music & lyrics: by Stampalia, except
3 & 8: lyrics by Aynacioglu.


Octavio Stampalia - synthesizers & piano
Santiago Aynacioglu - drums & percussion
Daniel Spinelli - fretted bass
Alejandra Hamelink - vocals & vocalizes
Marinno Battaglin - electric & acoustic guitars

With a mixed choir (on 3, 5, & 6):

Tatiana Zlatas - mezzo soprano 
Marta Mazza - soprano 
Mario Coppola - bass 
Aleajndro Chopian - tenor 

And with (both on track 1):

Wim - alto saxophone 
Charly Moreno - electric guitar 

Produced by Stampalia.
Engineered by A. Bidondo at "Cosmos".

Preamble. Originally, the "Anima" album was released on LP in 1989. Most likely, this is the only album by the eponymous Argentinean band led by the keyboard player Octavio Stampalia.

The Album. The 10-track "Anima" features the equal number of instrumental compositions and songs, though the vocal parts of one of the latter: Palabras (10) don't feature lyrics. On Heroes sin Medalla (8), Alejandra Hamelink, who has an excellent operatic voice, sings alone, while on all three of the remaining songs: Brillaras, Al reverso del tejdo, and Trusto a la Eternidad (3, 5, & 6), she sings along with a mixed operatic choir (see line-up above). Now, it's time to go on to the next point, which, as you have certainly guessed, concerns the stylistic and other aspects of "Anima". The predominant stylistics of the album, representing Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Prog-Metal, is presented on each of the first seven tracks here, four of which are instrumentals: Septima Novena, De aqui a cien mil anos, Cita Clandestina, and Ciudad sin Tiempo (1, 2, 4, & 7). Though there also are the bits of Jazz-Fusion on the first composition on the album, which is certainly due to the presence of the saxophone solos on it. The alternation of harsh and symphonic textures, powerful and soft, lushly orchestrated arrangements, frequent changes of a musical direction, tempo, and mood, the use of complex time signatures, and the other essential progressive features are typical for all of them. The song: Heroes sin Medalla (8) is musically about a pure Symphonic Art-Rock, though most of the compositional and performance characteristics of it blend with those on the first seven tracks on "Anima". What's interesting is that overall the arrangements on the instrumental pieces on the album are for the most part tense and dramatic, while those on songs are mainly of a romantic character. There are two exceptions on this topic though, and both of them concern both of the last tracks on the album. The music on the instrumental piece: Rigel represents an inflammatory blend of Symphonic Art-Rock and Tango with elements of Japanese and medieval music. And Palabras (10), which is about a fusion of a bright Modern Art-Rock and Opera, is filled with a queer hypnotism.

Summary. Everything is highly original on this album, and even though I have to call this music Classic Progressive Rock, it sounds fresh and doesn't remind me of a vintage Symphonic Progressive of the 1970s almost at all. While I am very much pleased with all of the albums of the Argentinean Prog that I've heard up till now (without any exceptions), "Anima" is certainly one of the best works of Symphonic Progressive Rock (indeed, Rock!) released in the 1980s. Some bit of banality? It rocks!

VM: March 1, 2003

Related Links:

Viajero Inmovil Records


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