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Tracklist: 1. Lagrima 9:10 (O. Kury) 2. Portoes de Gaza 13:13 (Junior, O. Kury, Francisco Kury, Rafael Gubert) 3. Fim de Floresta 8:00 (Junior, Francisco Nascimento) 4. Algemas de Cristal 1:46 (Junior, Luis Bahia) 5. Guernica ein Nova York 9:05 (Junior, O. Kury, F. Kury) 6. Instantes 7:52 (Junior, R. Gubert) 7. Novella 13:46 (Junior, Jasson Freire) Arranged & produced: by Index. Line-up: Jones Junior - guitars; vocals Otaviano Kury - keyboards; vocals Leonardo Reis - drums; vocals Ronaldo Schenato - bass Guest musicians: Cristina Sachet - backing vocals & vocalizes (on 1) Rafael Reis - harmonica (on 4) Recorded & mixed by Leonardo Nahoum at "Zamba" studios, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Prologue. Until know, I haven't listened to the music of this band. However, I read a few reviews on the band's self-titled debut album that was released in 2000, and all of which were positive.
The Album. Along with Mexico, Brazil is one of the two Latin American countries in which the Progressive Rock movement is really extensive. However, unlike Mexico, most of the Brazilian bands faithfully follow the European school of Classic Progressive, and Index is no exception. Within the framework of the said genre, the music that is featured on "Liber Secundus" is on the whole original, complex and intriguing. However, four tracks on the album are marked with drawbacks, though one of them is not that significant. Closer to the end of Guernica ein Nova York (track 5), there is a short episode, which reminds me of Genesis. This is mainly due to the solo of synthesizer, which was performed there in the vein of Tony Banks. Fortunately, all of the other solos and passages of keyboards on this song, as well as on the album as a whole, are original. So on the whole, I can consider Guernica ein Nova York one of the four best tracks of the album, all of which will be described a bit later. Back to the drawbacks, I'll continue to explain them with the album's opening track. While the first half of Lagrima is on the whole not unlike the best tracks of the album, its second part was 'borrowed' from Pink Floyd. The fluid guitar solos and female vocalizes are not unlike those on Great Gig In the Sky from "The Dark Side of the Moon" album. Musically, both of the song Fim de Floresta and the instrumental piece Novella (tracks 3 & 7) were created within the framework of the band's original stylistics, which, on the whole, is unified on this album. Both of these tracks are good enough, but not excellent. It doesn't much matter that the first of them is mostly based on the vocals. However, despite the fact that the instrumental arrangements flow nonstop throughout the album regardless whether there are the vocals, Fim de Floresta isn't rich in vocal diversity, unlike all of the other songs. As for that longest track on the album, everything is OK here but the lack of changes of tone and mood. As a result, the development of the arrangements of Novella gets predictable already upon first listening to it. All four of the remaining tracks on the album (yes, including even Guernica ein Nova York), are on the whole real masterpieces of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock genre (or, jokingly speaking, the legitimate children of mistress Rock Symphony - in a general sense). So, these are Algemas de Cristal, Portoes de gaza, Instantes, and the aforementioned Guernica ein Nova York (tracks 4, 2, 6, & 5 respectively). The first of them is a short yet very impressive instrumental piece consisting of the amazing and truly 'classical' passages of acoustic guitar and interplay between them and harmonica. Portoes de gaza, Instantes, and Guernica ein Nova York are the Classic Art-Rock songs, all of which contain the large-scaled instrumental parts as well. What is interesting is that only these songs feature the passages of acoustic and semi-acoustic guitar, the presence of which in the works of Classic Progressive is, in my view, essential. The parts of the other instruments that are also present on these songs are typical for the album as a whole. The solos and riffs of electric guitars are mostly harsh and heavy respectively. The passages and solos of piano, organ, and synthesizers are completely of a symphonic character. The bass guitar solos play the same important role in the arrangements as the parts of all of the said soloing instruments. The musicianship of all of the band members (including a drummer, of course) and their joint performance as well, are on the whole excellent throughout the album. Oh, almost forgot - all of the songs that are featured on the album contain parts of both lead and backing vocals. All of them were sung in Portuguese, which doesn't make me nervous, unlike a few of the other specific languages.
Summary. I think it should be obvious that my criticism is directed only to specific faults. It is ridden only by my wish to help a young band to avoid them in the future. Overall, Index is one of the best Brazilian bands that I've heard, and their "Liber Secundus" is the excellent album. So I can highly recommend it to most of the lovers of Classic Symphonic Progressive and to the most adventurous fans of Neo as well.
VM. April 16, 2002
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