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Petrus Castrus - Tudo isto, tudo mais CD (album) cover

TUDO ISTO, TUDO MAIS

Petrus Castrus

 

Symphonic Prog

4.00 | 2 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars The Second EP

As difficult as it was for Portugal to get into the progressive rock world of the early 70s due to the country existing under the dictatorship of Salazar, it was even harder for the brave few who dared to buck the censors and distribute politically charged progressive rock to put out their music. While PETRUS CASTRUS managed to release a small three track debut titled "Marasmo" which is Portuguese for "stagnation" or "apathy," the band didn't find much luck releasing a full-length album the following year either and resorted to putting out a second three track EP titled TUDO ISTO, TUDO MAIS (All This, Everything More) in 1972. The one constant the band enjoyed on these two early EP releases was a stable lineup until after the recording of their first album "Mestre" when guitarist Júlio Pereira would depart and the band would change up their sound.

On TUDO ISTO, TUDO MAIS, the music pretty much continues the mid-tempo often laid back pastoral symphonic prog heard on the debut EP. In fact, i would bet that all this material was intended to be released on a single album but due to the hardships affecting the Portuguese political realities, probably was plagued with every type of problem imaginable. The title track begins things with a classical piano run that sounds like a jazz lounge club or something but then becomes more pop oriented followed by busy Latin percussion. The melody almost sounds like "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack but just off enough not to cry plagiarism. Weirdly this one appears alone as a video while the other two tracks appear compiled together.

"Familiada" (family) has more of an acoustic guitar and bass groove and sounds like a mix of 60s pop psych mixed with some 70s symphonic prog bombast. Nice guitar tones and vocal harmonics. Once again the classical piano runs pop in and dominate for a while but the 60s groovy bass lines are what give this one a true vibe, man. Somehow and i'm not sure where but "Moscas, Sol e Gente" (Flies, sun and people) seamlessly picks up from the first track. Maybe these are one track with different parts? Another mystery surrounding this. Maybe i'm only hearing one track that is labeled as two?

As i'm writing this, this mini three track Vinyl 7" is going for 179US$, so to say this is an obscurity and in need of a proper re-release is an understatement. There's a whole lot of uncertainty around this one. I'm not even sure what the official times are of the three tracks are so i'm not 100% even positive i listened to all three, however i'm writing this review simply to make more people aware of this band's existence and that their first release was not "Mestre" but rather the two short EPs that came before.

While there is no doubt that PETRUS CASTRUS was not the most talented prog band to have hit the 70s scene, there is a very interesting vibe that they exude most likely due to the hardships endured in their very existence. While this may be more of historical significance than musically speaking so, the musical experience is hardly unpleasant and an interesting blend of the 60s and 70s. Perhaps i'm overrating this but i like it!

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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