[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
Track List: 1. Septima Novena 5:07 2. De aqui a cien mil anos 4:36 3. Brillaras 4:12 4. Cita Clandestina 4:00 5. Al reverso del tejdo 8:16 6. Trusto a la Eternidad 4:28 7. Ciudad sin Tiempo 4:30 8. Heroes sin Medalla 3:02 9. Rigel 6:23 10. Palabras 4:20 All music & lyrics: by Stampalia, except 3 & 8: lyrics by Aynacioglu. Line-up: Octavio Stampalia - synthesizers & piano Santiago Aynacioglu - drums & percussion Daniel Spinelli - fretted bass Alejandra Hamelink - vocals & vocalizes Marinno Battaglin - electric & acoustic guitars With a mixed choir (on 3, 5, & 6): Tatiana Zlatas - mezzo soprano Marta Mazza - soprano Mario Coppola - bass Aleajndro Chopian - tenor And with (both on track 1): Wim - alto saxophone Charly Moreno - electric guitar Produced by Stampalia. Engineered by A. Bidondo at "Cosmos".
Preamble. Originally, the "Anima" album was released on LP in 1989. Most likely, this is the only album by the eponymous Argentinean band led by the keyboard player Octavio Stampalia.
The Album. The 10-track "Anima" features the equal number of instrumental compositions and songs, though the vocal parts of one of the latter: Palabras (10) don't feature lyrics. On Heroes sin Medalla (8), Alejandra Hamelink, who has an excellent operatic voice, sings alone, while on all three of the remaining songs: Brillaras, Al reverso del tejdo, and Trusto a la Eternidad (3, 5, & 6), she sings along with a mixed operatic choir (see line-up above). Now, it's time to go on to the next point, which, as you have certainly guessed, concerns the stylistic and other aspects of "Anima". The predominant stylistics of the album, representing Symphonic Art-Rock with elements of Prog-Metal, is presented on each of the first seven tracks here, four of which are instrumentals: Septima Novena, De aqui a cien mil anos, Cita Clandestina, and Ciudad sin Tiempo (1, 2, 4, & 7). Though there also are the bits of Jazz-Fusion on the first composition on the album, which is certainly due to the presence of the saxophone solos on it. The alternation of harsh and symphonic textures, powerful and soft, lushly orchestrated arrangements, frequent changes of a musical direction, tempo, and mood, the use of complex time signatures, and the other essential progressive features are typical for all of them. The song: Heroes sin Medalla (8) is musically about a pure Symphonic Art-Rock, though most of the compositional and performance characteristics of it blend with those on the first seven tracks on "Anima". What's interesting is that overall the arrangements on the instrumental pieces on the album are for the most part tense and dramatic, while those on songs are mainly of a romantic character. There are two exceptions on this topic though, and both of them concern both of the last tracks on the album. The music on the instrumental piece: Rigel represents an inflammatory blend of Symphonic Art-Rock and Tango with elements of Japanese and medieval music. And Palabras (10), which is about a fusion of a bright Modern Art-Rock and Opera, is filled with a queer hypnotism.
Summary. Everything is highly original on this album, and even though I have to call this music Classic Progressive Rock, it sounds fresh and doesn't remind me of a vintage Symphonic Progressive of the 1970s almost at all. While I am very much pleased with all of the albums of the Argentinean Prog that I've heard up till now (without any exceptions), "Anima" is certainly one of the best works of Symphonic Progressive Rock (indeed, Rock!) released in the 1980s. Some bit of banality? It rocks!
VM: March 1, 2003
[ KEY REVIEWS | SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]