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Atmosphera - Fogo E Ar  CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.64 | 21 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars This largely instrumental Brazilian one-shot alternates between classic symphonic prog and symphonic fusion if you will. It has been compared to Eris Pluvia, and not without reason. Flutes abound, and the album is decidedly gentle for the most part. The sparse vocal appearances in Portuguese are extremely mellow and dramatic, but not melodramatic.

The first three tracks are all very accessible, with lovely tunes sometimes bordering on hypnotic. While they are all great, "A Todos os Seres" is worth highlighting as a nearly 6 minute lush piece that ends with a brief minute of vocals, and they have all the more impact as a result.

Then the album shifts gear, with the next 3 tracks being much more fusion oriented, featuring lengthy more frenetic lead guitar parts and even some latin sounding acoustic guitar in the title cut. It is a marked shift from the beginnings of the disk. While this more free form material is interesting and has some potential to grow on the listener, I find there is just too much of it. One or two cuts distributed among the tracks might have produced a better effect, but the album just goes off the rails a bit here, and it's hard to figure out what Atmosphera's goal was in releasing 2 "albums" on one CD.

Then it's back to the more structured compositions for "Chamada" and "Cristal", the latter possessing perhaps the most beautiful melody of all, and well communicated by vocalist Cale Luis. In its later stages the Luis engages in wordless voiceplay as the band members rally around him to a sensuous climax. The longest piece is "Suite Dracula" which re-introduces the more meandering spirit again. The main theme reminds me of some other band and when I remember I will edit this review. The sudden shifts do not fit with the approach of the more traditionally symphonic pieces, and the tunes are more esoteric. Nonetheless this is probably the highlight of the fusion oriented axis of Atmosphera.

Everything is at least good here, with the symphonic parts being great, worth 4.5 stars, and the jazzier parts being worth 3 stars. The resulting schism means that I have to truncate rather than round the average. Still, with the program function available, you can choose which Atmosphera you would like to breathe on a given night.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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