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(54:39; Viajero Inmovil Records)
Akenathon were formed in Argentina by guitarist Anibal Acuaro back in 2001, inspired by the likes of King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Camel, Aquelarre, Jethro Tull, Crucis, Spinetta, ELP, Yes, Genesis and many more. They released their debut album in 2010 and soon became part of the Platense Progressive Group, (along with Baalbek, Sugar Mice and Big Machine), a group of independent bands that promote progressive rock in Argentina and South America. There have since been seven La Plata Prog Festivals, at which they have appeared all but once. They have had continual line-up changes over the years, but recently Acuaro was joined by drummer Guillermo Rocca and bassist Pablo Olio to turn the group into a trio. This has led to the second album, only ten years after the debut, ‘Como Hormigas’ (which I think translates to ‘Like Ants’). Apparently, the debut album was songs-based, but here we have six instrumentals with just two songs, and all three providing vocals on those. In some ways this is quite an unsettling album, in that the instrumentals in particular are fractured and disquieting, as they take Crimson into some quite extreme areas at times. The press release states “Anguish, loneliness, betrayal, hope, are intertwined sensations in harmony and constant disharmony that seek to keep the listener all the time expectant, alert”, and for once I can understand exactly what they mean by that. It is an album which does really need to be listened to, as one is never quite sure what is going to happen next as they build strands of sound and space and weave them together to create something quite unusual. It is an intense record, and while Acuaro mostly takes the lead with some extremely dynamic (and sometimes very heavy) guitar, the rhythm section are more than up to the task and together they have created an album which has certainly made me intrigued and interested to see what else they may have in store for the future. Looking at the label site it appears the South American progressive scene is far more vibrant than I had imagined, yet something else to look out for.
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