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Fughu - 2010 - "Absence"

(55:40, ‘Fughu’)

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Ashes 6:31
2.  Dead End Start 5:15
3.  Storm 6:56
4.  Tilt 7:31
5.  Slow 0:30
6.  Absence 6:14
7.  Snow 0:45
8.  Solitude 3:13
9.  Sun 0:56
10. Red V 3:27
11. Get Me Inside 4:15
12. Pain-Craving-Broken-Stop 10:03


Ariel Bellizzio – guitars 
Santiago Burgi – vocals 
Alejandro Lopez – drums 
Juan Manuel Lopez – bass 
Marcelo Malmierca – keyboards 

Prolusion. The Argentinian band FUGHU was formed back towards the end of the 1990s, but it would take them a good few years, several line-up changes and a couple of demo tapes before they were ready to issue their debut album. "Absence" was made available in May 2009 and came hot on the heels of the band opening for Dream Theater in Argentina – an event, I assume, that is among the highlights of this aspiring band's career so far.

Analysis. That this act was chosen to open for Dream Theater isn't at all surprising, as its musical foundations appear to be influenced by progressive metal in general and that band in particular. If you like your progressive metal to include powerful lead vocals, riffs and riff constructions with an emphasis on the darker notes in the register alondside majestic synths and organs crafting majestic backdrops which combine neatly with the guitars, then Fughu is a band you'll want to check out. What separates the outfit slightly is a tendency to incorporate gentler themes in most songs, be it passages of a more ballad-oriented nature, dream-laden interludes or sequences incorporating details of a more distinctly jazz-inspired nature. There's also room for a purebred ballad on this production that comes in the shape of Solitude (which only features pianos and vocals), a solid example of how effective simplicity can be on such endeavors. Most of the breadth and scope of their repertoire have been assembled in the only epic-length creation on this disc, the curiously named last track Pain-Craving-Broken-Stop. From the gentle and laidback to the dramatic and majestic, featuring dream-laden as well as energetic and hard-hitting parts, crafted neatly into a massive conclusion on a solid initial effort by a talented band well worth keeping track of.

Conclusion. Progressive metal fans with a soft spot for music made in vein a comparable to Dream Theater are rather spoiled for choiced, as they have been for the last couple of decades. The Argentinean act Fughu is amongst the better and most interesting bands to explore this stylistic territory, and is another band worth the effort investigating if you generally enjoy such endeavors..

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: March 10, 2011
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