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Track List: 1. Tierra 3:53 (Carbone) 2. Fuenteovejuna 6:52 (I. Cortez) 3. Series 5:17 (TRYO) 4. Alma Eterna 4:30 (I. Cortez) 5. Sacrificio 7:19 (=) 6. Eros 6:51 (TRYO) 7. Bolero 3:10 (I. Cortez) 8. Carne 2:44 (F. Cortez) 9. Niebla 8:52 (=) 10. Tonada 3:52 (I. Cortez)* 11. Ofrenda 1:28 (=)* All arrangements by: TRYO. (*: bonus tracks) Line-up: Ismael Cortez - electric guitars; (+ vocals on 4; ac. guitar - 10) Francisco Cortez - bass guitars; (+ growls on 8; cello - 11) Felix Carbone - drums & percussion (+ vibraphone on 11) Produced by TRYO & Gonzalo Herrena. Engineered by G. Herrena at "Sonus" studio. Mastered by Juan-Ramon Aguilar at "Sonus"
Prologue. As far as I know, the discography of Tryo (which is often regarded as the best contemporary band of Chile) consists presently of three CDs, though I was not acquainted with their creation before. The hero of this review is the first album by the band.
The Album. In most of the Tryo related reviews that I've read their authors assert that the band's music is highly influenced by King Crimson, which, in my view, is incorrect. Tryo plays a very original music, which is completely free from any direct influences, so I can only admit that this band is inspired by King Crimson's heaviest works, though only partly. IMHO, these Chilean guys' main source of inspiration was Rush circa 1975-1976 (i.e. before keyboards had appeared in their equipment). Though, on the whole, the music on Tryo's debut album is more heavy, complex, and eclectic than that by Rush of the said period (and not only, of course). In any case, though, I don't find that Tryo is a 'comparable' band. Most of the tracks on the band's eponymous album are about a highly original blend of Prog-Metal and Art-Rock where the first genre has, nevertheless, more shares than the latter, which, in its turn, is here completely free of any symphonic elements. All of these "most" tracks are filled with greatly eclectic arrangements that the continuous and, often, kaleidoscopic changes of theme, tempo, and mood, complex time signatures, intricate and, mostly, contrast interplay between all instruments are very typical for. Here are the titles of those compositions, the contents of which conform to the album's dominant stylistics: Tierra, Fuenteovejuna, Series, Alma Eterna, Eros, Carne, and Niebla (tracks 1 to 4, 6, 8, & 9). Most of the arrangements that are featured on them are both highly dynamic and intricate. As for the atmosphere that prevails here, it is mostly tense and, sometimes, even mysterious. One of these seven tracks, Alma Eterna (4), is the only real song on the album (lyrics are in Spanish). There are not that many vocals on it, though, while the instrumental arrangements are intensive throughout. The Progressive Doom-Metal-like Carne (8) also features some vocals - in the very beginning and at the end of it. In fact, however, these vocals represent nothing else but real 'death' growls, though, thankfully, they're very brief. Finally, Eros (6) features quite a long drum solo in the middle of it. In other words, all three of the first tracks on the album, along with the longest track here, Niebla (9), are more integrally structured than those compositions that I've just depicted especially. Which, though, doesn't much matter, as this album is, overall, outstanding as a whole. Although the contents of all four of the remaining pieces on this CD, including both of the bonus tracks, are completely out of the album's predominant stylistics, almost all of them (the only exception being Bolero) are, on the whole, as remarkable as those of the previously described compositions. Sacrificio (5) is about a fusion of Art- and Space Rock with elements of Prog-Metal. Tonada (10), which is filled with almost continuously developing interplay between passages of acoustic guitar and solos of bass, accompanied only by hollow beats of a big drum, should, in my view, be regarded as a piece of Classical Music. Ofrenda (11), consisting of complex interplay between solos of cello, vibraphone, electric, and bass guitar, can be defined with the same term, as there are no repetitions on it. Finally, Bolero (7) is just quite a subdued melodic instrumental ballad.
Summary. All three of this Trio, guitarist Ismael Cortez, bassist and cellist Francisco Cortez, and drummer / percussionist Felix Carbone, are very skillful composers, arrangers, and musicians. It's clear to me that eight out of the eleven tracks, presented on this CD, were performed and recorded live in a studio. It is really amazing to hear how rapidly guitarist I. Cortez transforms slow and heavy riffs into fast solos and vice versa. His brother is one of those most inventive and virtuosi bassists whose play I've heard for the first time this year. As for the band's debut effort, this is undoubtedly one of the top twenty debut albums that I've heard in the new millennium.
VM. October 22, 2002
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