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(37:43, Residuos Mentales)
TRACK LIST: 1. Pandora's Box 3:42 2. Alienated 1:34 3. Immersed 2:06 4. The Thorn in Me 5:15 5. My Stories 3:05 6. (A Prospect of) A Blooming Life 2:43 7. Home 2:37 8. It All Becomes Clear 3:46 9. Narrative 4:47 10. On the Borderline 2:10 11. A Promise Unkept / Mental Residuals 5:58 LINEUP Stratos Morianos - piano, strings, synthesizers, programming, percussion Alexandros Mantas - guitars, flute, bass with: Dimitris Radis - guitars, bass, programming Theodoris Tzigourakos - violin Fifi Alexopoulou - cello Stelios Pavlou - drums Vangelis Spanakakis - jen, kazoo, synths, vocals, programming
Prolusion. Greek band RESIDUOS MENTALES can track their history back to 2012, and revolves around the talents of composers and musicians Stratos Morianos and Alexandros Mantas. Following a good handful of years of songwriting and development, they released their debut album "Introspection" in 2018.
Analysis. It is kind of interesting to see the smorgasbord of progressive rock bands that this fine Greek band cites as inspirations and likely influences. The most intriguing aspect of it is thaqt few traces of them actually appear on this album, a production that doesn't really fit well inside a progressive rock context as such, with one notable exception. The title of this album is highly appropriate though, as this is a creation that does indeed invite to introspection. The greater majority of this album is filled with music that exists inside a square where the sides consist of ambient music, film score music, folk music and classical music respectively. As far as that latter aspect is concerned, this is mainly due to the extensive use of wandering piano motifs, many of which strikes me as planned and performed by someone that know a thing or two about classical piano music. The use of orchestral backdrops also adds a touch of classical music to this production of course, especially as it is such a common element throughout. Wandering acoustic guitars and plucked acoustic guitars adds a folk music element to the proceedings, and much the same for the flute when in action, while the use of violin and cello has the dual effect of adding both a classical and a folky touch to the proceedings. The layers of floating keyboards and various electronic effects obviously caters for the ambient dimension. In sum the end result is atmospheric laden and often fairly gentle music, with occasional subtle or not so subtle dramatic flairs and inserts that gives this material the aforementioned movie score feel on quite a few occasions. That the mix and production is impeccable rather strengthens this general impression for me, quite a few of the compositions here could be applied as they are into a big movie production and be right at home there. An impressive album in many ways, but one that for me at least doesn't strike me as the album with all that much of a lasting factor. An album I could play again and again without becoming bored by it, but not an album that I would easily form an emotional attachment either. It is a pleasant and often beautiful affair, and you can easily lose yourself in the mesmerizing beauty of the landscapes and moods conveyed and explored. And for me this album is much more about that and not as much about music as an art form in it's own right. This is music that sends your mind floating with associations, rather than one that you listen to with focus and a great attention to detail. At the very end of this CD, progressive rock fans will get their fill though, on the rather Camel-tinged concluding composition 'A Promise Unkept / Mental Residuals'. Those who adore mid to late 70's Camel will feel right at home with this song.
Conclusion. Residuos Mentales, at least as of 2018, strikes me as a band that at this point have their main expertise in creating material that sends the mind on and into an inner journey, material that inspires the mind to inner associations if you like. Extremely well made in that respect too I should add, this is an album that sounds like it was assembled with a much greater budget that what I suspect is actually the case, but for progressive rock fans in general I suspect the interest will be somewhat limited. Still, those that favor sophisticated ambient music just as much as progressive rock should take note of this album, as they will find it to be a rewarding experience.
Progmessor: March 26th, 2019
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