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(62:35, Alejandro Matos)
TRACK LIST: 1. Escindido 2:19 2. Cazadioses 5:24 3. Potestades 4:07 4. Angel 5:50 5. Anclas 9:16 6. Lo Velado 4:08 7. La Construccion del Desierto 6:33 8. Pertenencia 24:58 LINEUP: Alejandro Matos - vocals, guitars, keyboards, samples; Javier Garcia Atencio - drums; Andres Zadunaisky - bass. With: Mariana Gasloli - contrabass; Claudia Kuttenplan - clarinet; Pedro Kiszkurno - bandoneon; Catalina Matos - theremin.
Prolusion. Argentinian composer and musician Alejandro MATOS first appeared as a solo artist back in 2000 with his debut album "Lo Que Qeda", although outside of Argentina he remained a relative unknown until his third album "Persona" appeared back in 2006. He has released a further two solo albums since then, and "La Potestad" from 2015 is the most recent of these, and as the case with all his solo albums so far, at least to my knowledge, this album was self released.
Analysis. Alejandro Matos take on progressive rock is one that appears to thrive in atmospheres of the darker and more brooding kind. Often harder edged and heavy, at least in the case of this album, but also with a deft touch at including occasional details from other musical traditions. On this album, by accident or design, I rather thought I heard a subtle tango presence for instance. But even in the lightest moods of this album we're dealing with landscapes that at the happiest of times creates a melancholic mood, and more often than not tends to end up in landscapes of a more brooding and ominous kind. Dark toned guitar motifs blended in with haunting support instruments of various kinds is something of a specialty for Matos, with dramatic or ghostly sounding organ perhaps the main element of choice on this production. Symphonic arrangements have their dramatic place as well however, and there's also room for some mournful cello elements here and there. Rather than solely relying on majestic, dark and powerful arrangements, Matos also takes care to create passages and arrangements of a more sparse overall nature, where resonating guitar notes and delicate piano are used to good effect to also create moods ranging from the melancholic, frail and brittle to the haunting and unnerving. The use of ambient noisescapes in concluding epic Pertenencia is a stroke of genius, giving these brief pauses a natural nerve and tension that at the same time gives this mammoth creation some breathing space, and also supplies a foundation for the next part of the song to grow into. The manner in which the bandoneon are paired off with a firm guitar motif on title track La Potestad also merits a mention as a successful combination of sounds that aren't overly explored in the rock music universe. While I cannot relate to the lyrical topics explored on this production, language creating a solid barrier there for me, I can at least state that from a musical point of view this is a dark, haunting and at times ominous production. Pink Floyd as explored in a nightmare realm in the darkest phases, but also music that takes quite a few steps away from the massive influence of that band due to the language used and certain subtle and not so subtle instrument and composition details. Still, as far as comparisons go, Matos as of 2015 is arguably closer to that seminal band than any of the other great names out there, although a tiny voice in my head also indicates that I should leave behind a reference to some of the darker toned, classic era Italian progressive rock bands as a possible point of subtle inspiration.
Conclusion. If your taste in progressive rock goes towards artists that conjure moods and atmospheres with qualities that can be described as haunting and ominous is to your liking, where the main contrasting cuts merits a description as melancholic, mournful and even ghostly and chilling on occasion sounds like seasoning that will suit you perfectly, then you should take note of this album and take the time to give it an inspection.
Progmessor: August 17, 2017
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