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Asturias - Brilliant Streams CD (album) cover





3.61 | 34 ratings

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4 stars Even if "Brilliant Streams" is lacking the brilliant theme of "Circle in the Forest", it marks an improvement in the ASTURIAS sound on several levels. While software continues to provide much of the substrate for the group's explorations, the effect here is that of plunging into a chrystalline mountain stream - yes it's cold but it's also invigorating.

Overall, strong melodies are in greater abundance here, with the main hook of "Nostalgia" being most reminiscent of "Circle". "Highland" ameliorates the strongest achievements of MIKE OLDFIELD's "Incantations" by focusing less on driving home the same point and more on letting listeners make their own. Still, the high point for electric ASTURIAS is the 100% scrumptious new age hard rock of "Rogus". I just don't even want to bother finding a point of comparison - you simply have to hear the piano and fuzzy lead guitar mix. One friend described it as a good motivator whether at work or driving in the car.

Like in their debut album, the title cut is an extended affair with strong and weak moments. This one isn't quite as impressive but does include some ethereal tunes and vocals by Yoko Ueno. Some of the themes sound so familar, like they could have been used on the original Star Trek, which of course adds to the nostalgic effect of ASTURIAS.

Hats off to a group that can make technology sparkle as brilliantly as the meltwaters from Mount Fuji, such that it can be enjoyed without sense of shame or guilt by anyone with a still beating heart.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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