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(48:25, Melodic Revolution Records)
I have a saying I use quite often when discussing reviews with friends, and that is “so much music so little time”. I mention it here as that is the excuse I am going to use for not previously coming across a band who are often stated to be the finest progressive act from Peru, and having heard their eighth studio album (they only released their debut in 2005 – puts plenty of other bands to shame) I can only wonder how I have never come across them before this. Here we have a progressive band who have obviously been influenced heavily by Jethro Tull, yet also bring in South American influences. The team that voted them onto PA as a prog folk act obviously never expected them to hear them blast through “Locomotive Breath” (which here segues from a delicate take on “El Condor Pasa”). They use a traditional quena as opposed to flute, but it is obvious from what I have read that these guys have moved on a long way in terms of style since their early albums. I was very taken with the sound on the album, as the guitar contains a harsh edge not normally found on a prog album, so I looked to see who had been involved in the recording and was amazed to see it had been produced and mixed by none other than Roy Z (Bruce Dickinson, Halford, Judas Priest, Driver, Sebastian Bach, Helloween, W.A.S.P, etc) who also undertook the pre-production so knew exactly what the band were about and how he could drive them. And drive them he did, as while they are never truly prog metal there is certainly a great deal of metal in their approach, mixing the attack of the guitars in with the quena and keyboards to create something that is in your face and also containing a great deal of beauty. If Horslips had been Peruvian instead of Irish (yes, we all know Charles O'Connor was actually from Middlesborough, but if any musician should be counted as Irish it should be him), and had arrived in the 21st century instead of the Seventies, then I am sure they would have sounded like this. The folk elements are front and centre at times, such as on the title song, whereas at others they are a little more subdued, but the overall mix is always a delight. My version contains an additional song, namely a live version of “El Condor Pasa/Locomotive Breath”, which bookends the album nicely. This is a wonderful album, one I have enjoyed playing immensely. Just have to find the time to start on the back catalogue and see what I have been missing!
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