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Chac Mool - Nadie en Especial  CD (album) cover


Chac Mool


Prog Folk

3.15 | 28 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Mexican progressive rock band Chac Mool delivered their Spanish-language debut album in 1980, `Nadie en Especial', a mix of atmospheric rock songs, sometimes enhanced with ethnic and exotic qualities, symphonic reaches and light folk elements, and it's proven to be an interesting if somewhat frustrating work! Sadly what holds the album back are Mauricio Bieletto's just serviceable vocals that are frequently a bit dreary, and there's barely a truly memorable tune to be found on the majority of the disc. The band, however, at least dowsed the entire disc in thick Mellotron and spacey synths ala bands like Eloy and Pulsar that at least make everything sound more exciting and colourful, even if it's a kind of superficial surface gloss, but they still achieve a few moments of real greatness throughout.

The wisps of fizzing electronics and machine noise around middle-eastern flavours that begins the seven minute opener `Un Mundo Feliz' almost remind of Agitation Free's first few albums, but the piece reveals itself to be a softly grooving but slightly unengaging rocker not far away from German band Jane with a touch of the Alan Parsons Project. Carlos Alvarado's plentiful swirling synths make the unremarkable song of ` En Visitante' and its unlovable group-chorus vocal that little bit more bearable, but thankfully the grander title-track `Nadie en Enspecial' offers a warmer and more urgent lead vocal, Jorge Reyes' electric guitar that broods with danger and dramatic Mellotron passages over Armando Suarez's thick bass that reminds of Eloy at their best. The intense `Salamandra' closes the first side with a droning vocal, regal Mellotron choirs and shimmering Pink Floyd-like guitar reaches, and there's a lovely passage of Jorge's drifting flute over bubbling panning spacey synth drifts.

Eastern flavours mix with airy electronics throughout Side 2's `Aymara', sounding like a mix of Kitaro and his early Far East Family Band in parts, and it includes everything from Vocoder-treated spoken word passages, reflective meditative flutes that carry a spirited folk Deuter-like quality, eerie Mellotron veils, weeping cello and even effusive Klaus Schulze-flavoured backgrounds. `El Dia en Que Murio el Rey Camaleon' has lengthy instrumental stretches across a range of tempos with plenty of extended spacey passages of wavering synths, Carlos Castro's punchy drumming, a mysterious flute interlude and even a psych-era Beatles-like chorus, wrapping on a scorching burst of Mellotron majesty. `Bienvenidos al fin del Mundo' is a sterling symphonic closer with frequent reprises of big booming Mellotron themes, although some tormented screeching in the middle is extremely intrusive and off-putting, and a bizarre fade back in after a perfect closing moment with a further abrupt cut-off is equally jarring.

Thankfully the positives far outweigh the earlier-mentioned cons on this disc, and if you're not worried too much about slightly forgettable tunes (it could be worse, there's nothing that actually screams too overly commercial or insultingly radio- aimed), then `Nadie en Especial' has much to offer, and it's one that the Mellotron freaks should especially enjoy!

Three and a half stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |


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