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Terreno Baldio - Terreno Baldio CD (album) cover

TERRENO BALDIO

Terreno Baldio

 

Eclectic Prog

4.00 | 63 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Early Seventies band Terreno Baldio released an unpredictable and eclectic prog album with their self-titled debut `Terreno Baldio' in 1976, and while they're often referred to as the `Brazilian Gentle Giant', the group were not quite as easy to pigeon-hole as that, therefore dismissing them as an outright clone band would be doing them a complete disservice. While they share many of the quirkier elements, crafty direction changes and rich vocal arrangements of that band, they also had some rougher qualities so weren't quite as fancy, and many other moments on their debut calls to mind the warm symphonic synth and guitar soloing of Camel, jazz/fusion fire and even the romance of some of the Italian prog groups of the time.

Briefly touching on some of the highlights (mentioning the frequent Gentle Giant-esque passages that pop up throughout most of the tracks would become redundant very quickly!), `Passaro Azul' is a warm and pleasant opener with a sweetly crooning falsetto vocal over piano and nimble fiery electric guitar licks emerging around bristles of Hammond organ. `Loucuras de Amor' is a dignified and mellow tune with frequent Camel-like chiming lead guitar, restrained wisps of synths in the background and a stirring vocal finale, and the jazz-fusion/funk-tinged `Despertas' is full of slinking subtle grooves woven into twisting-turning rollicking guitar lines, buoyant bass and peppy drumming. Joao Kurk `Fusa's vocals move between early Jon Anderson-like gentle innocence and hearty RPI-throated theatrical bellowing, as loopy Moog spirals dash over runaway piano and rough guitar grinding alongside.

`Agua Que Corre' mixes droning electronics, early A.M-hours piano coolness, strolling bass ruminations that grow mud-thick and almost Zeuhl-like jazzy flights. `A Volta' holds jazzy smoothness with organ-fuelled symphonic bursts, `Quando as Coiasas Ganham Vida' is a spirited multi-part vocal interlude, and `Este e o Lugar' has plenty of keyboard dazzle. But it's closer `Grite' that turns out to be one of the absolute standout moments of the LP, a melancholic and powerful tune with a weary wailing vocal that almost reminds of Italian band Banco del Mutuo Soccorsso.

If you're looking into this album, be sure you're getting the new 2015 reissue of the original version, as a complete re-recording of the album in English was released back in 1993. Although that likely has its own merits, the original is the one you really want, as `Terreno Baldio' remains one of the standout Brazilian prog albums alongside Casa das Marquinas' `Lar de Maravilhas'. While it's easy to enjoy the Gentle Giant-inspired parts, there's really so much more going for the album than that, and it makes for another fine addition for anyone with a large progressive music collection looking to add more of those obscure titles and bands.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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