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(52:30, Lizard Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. La Luna Roja y La Montana Negra 6:52 2. El Humo Delator 4:43 3. Periplo 3:27 4. Lenguaje y Ambar 3:50 5. Torres 6:27 6. Detenido Por El Viento 5:42 7. Las Musgosas Rocas Del Muelle 3:50 8. Desde Una Ventana Del Castillo 3:10 9. Pastores De Renos 9:12 10. Juego De Nina 5:17 LINEUP: Aldo Pinelli guitars, bass; keyboards; vocals Roberto Sambrizzi drums, percussion Paula Dolcera flute
Prolusion. The Argentinean outfit HABITAT has been a band with infrequent spouts of activity ever since the mid 80's, with an elongated period starting in the late 90's that so far has seen the release of four studio albums, of which "Tratando de Respirar en la Furia" is the most recent. This studio effort was issued by the Italian label Lizard Records in 2010.
Analysis. As one might note from the line-up of this act, Habitat in its current incarnation would appear to be more or less a one-man band. Drummer Sambrizzi have been a member during the entire recording career of this act however, so this is somewhat more of a real band effort than what those unfamiliar with this act might surmise. And while the execution of such endeavors often lacks the fluency you will have when all instrumental roles are filled up with individual musicians, this isn't the case for this act. In fact I was rather surprised to see that this wasn't a band with 5 or so members after listening closely to this disc. As such, this album is ample proof of just how much modern day recording techniques can accomplish if you know your way around multiple instruments and have a strong creative spirit that needs an outlet. In terms of style, Habitat would appear to fit somewhere in between Camel and Genesis within the symphonic part of the art rock universe. Compositionally, its not amongst the most challenging listening-wise, with easy to fathom themes consisting of dual guitars and a keyboard motif as the central features. Organ or symphonic backdrops cater for the latter aspect, occasionally with additional textures by way of the tangents or a sparse approach with the piano as the sole keyboard instrument used. The guitars tend to provide contrasting motifs, be it in the shape of acoustic and electric guitars combined, soloing backed by dampened riffs or plucked notes or dual acoustic guitars with one catering for momentum and the other subtle melodic details. Sambrizzi's contributions add a high quality touch from start to finish, an accomplished drummer who knows when and how his skills can add details invigorating the individual composition. A very good example of that can be found towards the end of Torres, with the shift in the song instigated by the drums for the last minute or so of a cinematic eastern inspired theme, adding a neat and inspirational touch to this symphonic workout. And while this band does excel when crafting detailed, melodic symphonic creations with an emphasis on subtle details and dampened, sophisticated contrasts, incorporating occasional cinematic tendencies, Pinelli is a composer with a talent for creations of a more simplistic nature too, as exemplified in the brilliant folk-inspired Lenguaje y Ambar, effectively utilizing vocals and acoustic guitar to craft a truly engaging song, which is probably best described as a singer/songwriter excursion. An approach vastly explored for decades, and as such one demanding a lot from composer and performers alike for the end result to make an impact, but well inside the capabilities of this fine act, much to its credit.
Conclusion. Those fond of symphonic art rock of the kind that emphasizes moods and melodies will find a lot to enjoy on this high-quality example of the genre, and while the distinctly challenging compositional and musical aspects of this approach don't make many appearances, there's a fair degree of subtle details that, at least to some degree, should cater for those craving for material of a more sophisticated nature. A fine release I would guess should find favor amongst those fond of acts such as Camel.
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