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TRACK LIST 1. Quiet Rain 4:43 2. Hills of Variance 6:49 3. Eternal Rhyme 6:08 4. Searching the Flame 4:32 5. Wounded Heart 5:58 6. Echoes 4:19 7. Mould Sand 5:40 8. Blind 4:05 9. Promise of a New World 5:12 10. Shore 4:59 LINEUP: Mikael Larsson - guitars, bass Niklas Birgersson - vocals Jonas Nitz - keyboards Jari Katila - drums
Prolusion. Swedish band TUCANA has a history that goes back 30 years or thereabouts, although the current incarnation of the band didn't get really active until 2008. The band have two albums to their name so far. "Legacy" is the second of those albums, and was self-released in 2018.
Analysis. Tucana prefers to describe their music as Baroque progressive metal, indicating perhaps that their ties to classical music is a bit stronger than in many other progressive metal bands. While there are a few differences in that department to take note of, I suspect most people would describe the music on this album as classic era progressive metal, and then from the Dream Theater school of that genre at that. This band has a lot going for them. They have a powerful vocalist from the Bruce Dickinson school of vocalists for starters, and one that has a good control of his voice at that. Those who enjoy progressive metal with that particular vocal style can safely have a listen to this album on that detail alone. As far as the music itself is concerned, we are delivered compositions that ebb and flow in almost a textbook manner, with liberal use of orchestral overlays in just about all variations and arrangements explored. We get the typical majestic keyboard and guitar combinations as well as the more delicate atmospheric laden passages, and I wouldn't be surprised to know that someone in the band knows a bit about classical music when listening to how some of those overlays develop. It doesn't sound as good as with a real orchestra obviously, but as few bands can afford recording with a real orchestra the digital version does the job quite nicely indeed and can be just about as satisfying to boot. Furthermore, Tucana show some real skill in how they make use of the piano as a contrasting, elegant and delicate presence amidst arrangements that otherwise might become just a bit too bombastic, as well as a careful presence in the band's more delicate interludes. And while I might be mistaken in this, I do think I heard melody lines and instrument details that included a nod or two in the direction of folk music as well, further expanding the canvas explored just a little bit. "Legacy" is a compelling production on many levels, and especially some of the instrumental sections shine strong and bright. The greater totality doesn't make me look for any superlatives however. Pinpointing the exact reasons for this is a difficult task of course, especially as there aren't anything substantially out of order anywhere: It is a good and well made album on all levels.
Conclusion. A few details aside, Tucana doesn't provide us with anything new or novel on their second album "Legacy". Classic era progressive metal from the Dream Theater school is what we get, performed by good musicians with an ear for orchestral arrangements that may well have stronger ties to classical music than some other bands. A good album, but ultimately one I suspect will have it's main audience among those who are die hard fans of early 90's progressive metal.
Progmessor: June 28th 2019
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