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TRACK LIST: 1. Guerra 10:56 2. El Emigrante 4:38 3. Aliento y Esperanza 6:53 4. Mi Padre 4:56 5. Armonias con el Infinito 4:39 6. Madre 4:17 7. Momentos 3:54 8. A Mis Amigos 6:21 All tracks: by Equlibrio Vital. Recorded in 1983, 2001, & 2003. LINE-UP: Marcos Chacon - lead electric guitars; lead vocals Carlos Serga - rhythm electric guitar; backing vocals Guillermo Gonzalez - bass; wind instruments; vocals Arnoldo Serga - percussion Laureano Rangel - drums With: Elena Prieto - backing vocals (on a few tracks) Jorge Luis Ayala - drums (on a few tracks) Jacinto Gonzalez - acoustic guitar (6) Alberto Rodriguez - keyboards (8)
Prolusion. I haven't heard Equilibrio Vital until now, but I know that "Tributo a Marcos Chacon" is the fifth album by this Venezuelan band and their first release on Musea Records. Approximately half-and-half, the CD consists of unreleased tracks, all from 1983, and new recordings as well. The album is dedicated to the former member Marcos Chacon, who died in December of 2001 of a serious disease.
Synopsis. The overall sound of the CD is so well balanced that, with the exception of the last track: A Mis Amigos (8), it is by no means easy to recognize which tracks were recorded twenty years ago, and which in 2001. What's central, however, the album features some of the best heavy guitar Art-Rock that I've heard in quite some time. In pure form, though often bordering Prog-Metal, it is presented on Guerra and Momentos (1 & 7), and being intermixed with symphonic textures, created by the excellent flute solos, on Aliento y Esperanza and Armonias con el Infinito (3 & 5). Two more songs: El Emigrante and Mi Padre (2 & 4) are, overall, in the same vein, but contain the much larger quantity of soft sounding arrangements. In any case, it's clear that the band has played extensively together, as there is a strong sense of unity in their music - at least on the said tracks, all featuring Marcos Chacon's distinctive performance. With the exception of El Emigrante, each of those contains large-scaled instrumental arrangements, which are above all notable for speedy and fantastically virtuosi solos of electric guitar, as well as varied interplay between them and those of bass and flute. Madre (6), where there are present only rhythms, passages, and solos of acoustic guitar and vocals, is an outstanding, very touching dramatic song a bit reminding me of Kansas's eternal classic Dust in the Wind. Well, I am almost sure that A Mis Amigos (My Friends, of course) is the only track on the CD, which was recorded last year. Compositionally, stylistically and structurally, either, it has almost nothing to do with the rest of the album. Only distinguishing heavy guitar riffs are still here, while the main soloing instruments are saxophone, piano, and varied synthesizers. The music is a unique, complex Jazz-Fusion with elements of Prog-Metal and is excellent by all means, despite the obvious lack of guitar solos. In short, I wouldn't say that the band's new musical direction is less original and impressive than their classic sound.
Conclusion. Most of the contents of the CD clearly show that none other than Marcos Chacon was the captain of the team before he died. In other words, a tribute to him turned out really well, but this is not all. The last track on the album proves that Equilibrio Vital still has everything vital to continue walking the path of Prog in the future as successful as before, at least from a creative standpoint. I only fear that most the band's old adherents will be disappointed with their new music. On the other hand, I am not a prophet to be certain in anything else. In any case, the hero of this review gets my sincere recommendations.
VM: February 23, 2004
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