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TRACK LIST: 1. Simun 6:04 2. Ciudades de Piedra 5:21 3. Insano Devenir 4:58 4. Desde las Cumbres al Mar 5:00 5. Shalagram Shila 7:16 6. Eterno Retorno 8:43 7. Cabeza de Piedra 4:30 8. Mi Roca Interna 3:57 9. Adoquines Queretanos 5:12 10. Estirpe Litica 6:34 11. Salar 3:31 12. Magma 8:26 LINEUP: Pablo Carcamo guitars; keyboards Rodrigo Mera drums, percussion Eliana Valenzuela vocals Francisco Martin bass With: Benjamin Ruz violin Cristopher Hernandez trumpet
Prolusion. The Chilean band HOMINIDO was formed a few years back by Francisco Martin and Rodrigo Gonzalez Mera, formerly of La Desooorden. By 2013 they had finalized the line-up of this new venture, and in 2014 they self-released their debut album "Estirpe Litica".
Analysis. Hominido is a band that easily merits a description as both eclectic and adventurous, also within the context of a progressive rock album. This is a band that doesn't adhere to any specific stylistic directions or hones in on a particular sound or atmosphere, and their scope and range covers a wide array of different aspects within progressive rock and a few in progressive metal as well when it comes to that. Rather quirky at times, challenging for sure, but not to the extent of becoming an alienating experience either. If one might state a specialty for this band, it is in the manner that they manage to balance the challenging and the compelling elements of their material, I think. One of the most prominent recurring features on this album is the use of folk music oriented details. Acoustic and plucked guitars, violin and especially rhythms and percussion cater for this aspect of the styles explored quite nicely, adding both a distinct Latin character to the compositions as well as world music inspired details, depending on construction and intensity. Another recurring, but not quite as prominent, aspect of this production is details with more of a jazz-oriented character, frequently tied in with the more folk-tinged aspect of their sound, and at times we're treated to compositions that blend aspects of both those orientations into a fairly equal mix. That Hominido may also add subtle psychedelic details to the proceedings on occasion should also be mentioned, and then most frequently tied in with any of the aforementioned style variations. But the arguably most prominent aspect of this album is the frequent use of hard rock and metal oriented sequences, where the compositions pair of the more delicate features earlier described with firm, hard guitar riff dominated passages, and fairly often with trumpet details added to these metal-tinged sequences, giving the band a rather distinct sound when exploring these territories. Some of these compositions sport alternating gentle and harder-edged passages, others may open as a more tranquil creation exploring more delicate territories before introducing the guitar riff dominated passages later on. There are pieces here that don't feature this metal-oriented aspect as well, of course, but as it is a fairly frequently occurring element, it does have a striking impact, and will for many be the most striking one at that. I should further add that some of the gentler escapades, tucked in to this album, gave rise to strong associations to the late 70s Argentinian band Redd. The manner in which the plucked guitar motifs sound and develop in particular, but to some extent also the manner in which the bass guitar is used in those sequences. Most likely an accidental aspect of the album, presumably of the kind that can be traced back to a similar origin in South American music, but a detail worth mentioning nonetheless.
Conclusion. Challenging and adventurous progressive rock is what Hominido plays on their debut album "Estirpe Litica", exploring a palette that includes elements from folk and world music, Latin music, jazz and progressive metal into a vital, challenging, but also compelling end result, with a strong and distinct female lead vocalist as the proverbial icing on the cake. An album that merits a check by those who tend to be fascinated by progressive rock of the kind where the word progressive is given a certain emphasis.
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