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TRACK LIST: 1. Croma 5:42 2. Black Hole 8:50 3. The Bird 4:32 4. Magic Tour 6:10 5. In the Name of God 14:52 All music: by Vazquez & Unoma. Lyrics: by Warner. Produced by Costa. Engineered by J. Sirvent. LINE-UP: Fidel Vazquez - electric & acoustic guitars Pito Costa - keyboards, bass, programming Lluis Ribalta - drums Alex Warner - vocals
Prolusion. "Croma" is the debut album by Unoma, the Spanish band, which was formed by the young guitarist Fidel Vazquez about two years ago.
Synopsis. As you can see above, the album consists of five tracks. The first four of them are instrumental compositions, and the only song here is with lyrics in English. Overall, the music is mellow and romantic rather than tense and dramatic, though it is completely original and doesn't arouse associations with anything. The level of complexity of it ranges from moderate to high, and the alternation of eclectic and intricate arrangements with the parts of piano and synthesizer at the helm and those with strongly pronounced melodic lines, provided mainly by guitar solos, is typical for each track on the album. The stylistics of the first three pieces: the album's title track, Black Hole, and The Bird is a guitar Art-Rock with elements of Symphonic Progressive. The second of them is simultaneously the second longest and the second best track here. On these three, keyboards were used mostly as a background for varied interplay between solos of electric and bass guitars and passages of semi-acoustic guitar. Although these compositions are not of a high complexity, all of them are rich in essential progressive ingredients, including frequent changes of theme and tone, etc. A blend of both of the guitar and symphonic kinds of Art-Rock with elements on Prog-Metal is what Magic Tour and the 15-minute In the Name of God (4 & 5) are about. The latter however, contains also some parts of piano and acoustic guitar performed out of the context of the band's joint arrangements, and these have something in common with Classical Music. There aren't many vocal parts on this epic, while the instrumental arrangements here are more diverse and complex than those on the other tracks and feature all the hallmarks typical for Classic Progressive.
Conclusion. In my honest opinion, all of the compositions Unoma presented on their first official CD are excellent, though, of course, such intricate arrangements as those on the epic last track on the album might be especially attractive to the lovers of complicated Progressive Rock. Recommended with one reservation: Neo fans should avoid this.
VM: December 3, 2003
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