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TRACK LIST: 1. Negro 2:52 2. Madre Tierra 7:01 3. Pqtq 4:52 4. Suite Urdalia 10:03 5. Cinco Mindos 1:57 6. Viaje en Re 2:57 7. Bajo el Oceano del Sueno 7:53 8. Discotropia 5:24 9. Oigo Voices 8:38 10. Delicada Sal Titanica 4:35 All music & lyrics: by Psicotropia. Produced & engineered by Psycotropia. LINE-UP: Pablo Tato - guitars, bass; vocals Jaime Mariscal - bass; keyboards Juan Llull - drums With: Nacho Cuevas - vocals; flute Ivan Carames - violoncello
Prolusion. Of course, the eponymous Psicotropia album is the debut of the Spanish band of the same name.
Synopsis. Although the source of inspiration of these young musicians is definitely King Crimson, direct traces of influences of the legend are evident only on the two songs: Madre Tierra and Bajo el Oceano del Sueno (2 & 7) and only in places, while most of the tracks on the album sound completely original. Stylistically, "Psicotropia" is rather a diverse album. Both of its 'boundary' tracks: the instrumentals Negro and Oigo Voices (1 & 10) are respectively out and almost out of the album's predominant stylistics. The first of them is a short piece of symphonic Space music consisting of slow passages of a few synthesizers, and another represents a mostly piano-driven Classical Music, which unexpectedly transforms into Symphonic Art-Rock closer to the end of composition. Four out of the eight of the album's core tracks are also instrumental pieces: Pqtq, Cinco Mindos, Viaje en Re, and Discotropia (3, 5, 6, & 8) and are about an original, dense, and complex guitar Art-Rock where the number of elements of the other genres is too small to be mentioned. And quite right you are! The remaining four tracks contain vocal parts, one of which: Madre Tierra is however with lyrics in English, and not in Spanish, unlike the others. Both of the aforementioned songs containing some influences of one of the most influential bands in the history of our beloved genre are done in the style reminding of theirs on "Starless & Bible Black" and "Red", which is certainly a blend of guitar Art-Rock and Prog-Metal (or progressive Hard Rock, if you will) with elements of Symphonic Art-Rock and some of those of Jazz-Fusion. Though here we have the parts of flute instead of those of violin giving some symphonic feel to these harsh compositions, and the vocals, surprisingly, remind me of those of Adrian Belew rather than John Wetton's. A violoncello is among the main soloing instruments on the other two songs: Suite Urdalia and Oigo VoicesM (4 & 9), both of which represent a fully original, very fresh sounding guitar Art-Rock with elements of Symphonic Art-Rock and Prog-Metal. All the music on the album is distinctly dramatic in character and remains complex, diverse, and very intriguing throughout.
Conclusion. Psicotropia has presented a very strong album that sounds so mature that I've even forgotten that this is their debut. Unlike those by most of the Japanese bands I've recently reviewed, this masterpiece will please all the lovers of Classic Progressive Rock without exception.
VM: December 5, 2003
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