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Redd Land (Argentina) - 1982/2004 - "De Tiempos Pasados"
TRACK LIST: 1. Parto 3:23 2. El loco 4:52 3. Serpentario 3:53 4. Tan lejos esta tarde 4:41 5. Medley Consuelo 3:39 6. Medley Cuerpo 2:03 7. Grito 4:05 8. Sin pena ni gloria 5:40 9. Pobre lago 5:40 10. Proa al infinito 4:48 All tracks: by Redd Land. Produced by Cerioni. Engineered by Vitale. LINE-UP: Esteban Cerioni - bass; vocals; guitars; keyboards Dantel Wirzt - drums & percussion Ernesto Dmitruk - electric guitar With: Lito Vitale - keyboards (3 to 10) Miguel Perez - flute (7, 9)
Prolusion. Redd is regarded as one of the strongest outfits to come out of Argentina at the time of the vintage progressive era. After the band split in 1981, its founder Esteban Cerioni has booked new musicians. Of course, he was then forced to change the band's name, so he did, slightly. The LP "De Tiempos Pasados" was released under the vehicle of REDD LAND in 1982, and here is its first reissue, on CD, remastered from the original master tapes. I heard several classic songs by Redd, too. The band played them during their Re-Union tour in 2003.
Analysis. The first two songs were performed without keyboards, though any resemblances between them are ending by this aspect. Heavy and intensive, the album's opener Parto is a rather traditional Hard Rock number and is the only instantly accessible track here. El Loco presents its exact antithesis. The slow, fluidly flowing, yet, relentless interplay between passages of acoustic guitar and solos of electric guitar with the ethereal vocals soaring over them paint the picture of atmospheric Space Rock whose sonic fragility is perceptible almost on the physical level. The parts of keyboards (mainly piano and synthesizer) appear in the beginning of the third track to become the integral part of all the further musical events. Serpentario differs from the preceding songs as much as they are different among themselves. This is an excellent Jazz-Fusion, genuinely original, though the presence of the vocals with lyrics makes it somewhat kindred with that by Colosseum Mk II. After hearing these three, I inevitably arrived at the thought that the stylistic motley is the attribute of this recording, and yet, everything turned out quite different. On the fourth track the band again changes the style, but for the last time. (Perhaps they just wanted to show how many various music forms are within their grasp, and they have succeeded in this.) The music on the remaining seven songs is submitted to the canons of symphonic Art-Rock, sometimes bordering on quasi-Jazz-Fusion, whose elements, though, are usually part of the former genre, at least in its classic manifestation. The band still shines with original solutions in composition and arrangement, particularly on Grito, which features more acoustic instruments (plus guitar and flute), and also a string ensemble. Nevertheless, the futuristically romantic mood in the music is quite recognizable and indicates that Redd Land had a benefactor, namely: Yes. Maybe they didn't suspect that, but the ideas are in the air, and no one can be fully insured from meeting the informational artifact somewhere in the backyard of the subconscious. Although the influence is latent and very rarely reveals itself in an open form, the resemblance between the bands does exist. The songs that come to my mind by association are The Siberian Khatru, Soon, and most of those from the second half of "Tormato". However, the reminiscences of the legend don't eclipse the band's original ideas, and, as mentioned, there are plenty of them here. Besides, I like the infected songs better than the preceding ones.
Conclusion. Although not a classic, Redd Land's "De Tiempos Pasados" is a solid effort and is actually one of the best albums of 1982, which, in my view, was especially poor in good progressive releases. The actual state of affairs in the band's music does not permit me to call them even the followers of Yes. On the other hand, I feel free to suppose that those in nostalgia for Yes's sound may be much pleased with this CD, too.
VM: December 4, 2004
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