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Altair - La Eseencia DelTiempo CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.15 | 7 ratings

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3 stars This Spanish band was unknown to me until Juan José Salas, the man behind Azafrán Media said his label had produced an album of theirs, so I got interested and obtained it as soon as possible. And I was positively surprised because what I find in this CD is a bunch of wonderful songs that give peace to my mind and make my imagination fly, it is music very visual that leads you from one story to another, you just have to sit and the music will do the rest. The band released their debut album long time ago (1990) and I am not sure if they are still playing, however, in 2011 decided to make a compilation album entitled "La escencia del tiempo" which I am reviewing now.

This CD contains 9 songs that make a total time of one hour of cool prog rock from Spain, which has nothing to do with classic bands such as Triana, Iceberg or Itoiz; Altair's style is far from them, maybe that's their charm. "Estrella en el camino" opens the album, let me tell you that here you will find instrumental music, closer to symphonic prog, but with an eclectic sound that is not easy to classify, anyway, what we must do is to simply enjoy the music. Nice piano driven track with cool drums and guitars is what we will find here. "Eddy's Prelude" is like a fantastic tale that is being told, with a repetitive introduction with keyboards and drums that all of a sudden calms down and produces a sweet piano sound; later it becomes a piano song of classical music, and honestly loses its prog beauty.

With "Nuevo Horizonte" I remember some old school bands such as ELP , I think the reminiscence is obvious with the keyboards work. "Summer's Triangle" is another bombastic track that bring some 70s memories to my head, however there is something particular in Altair's music that can define their style, they are not copycats at all, the only took some of their influences and roots and shared them with their personal touch. "Visiones" is one of my favorite tracks here, the sound of this band may not be the most original or unique or memorable, however they are truly constant and have a delicate touch that makes me enjoy every single track. This one has a cool structure that little by little is catching your attention, of course keyboards (which is the main instrument in Altair's music) stand out.

"Tiempos difíciles" has a kind of new age flavor, I remember some Vangelis or Oldfield's moments here, maybe due to the rhythm and the work of that repetitive keyboards at the beginning; before reaching the second minute the music changes, turning a bit darker and tense. What I like of this song is that it shares different textures and feelings, there are some calm, dark, nervous passages, all united and disintegrated, but belonging to the same realm. Great song. "Oración del ermitaño" is a sweet short piece, relaxing, peaceful, a nice passage of life.

"El bosque encantado" is the longest composition here, the only one over 10 minutes. It has a slow start, 2 useless introductory minutes until keys appear and begin to create a structure in which bass and drums perfectly join, then the music becomes totally jazzy, a dive to old times can be appreciated here for some minutes, what I like is that later it returns to the symphonic side of prog, so this song is a cool mixture of genres, a challenging track without a doubt. The album finishes with "Plácido paseo" may be the continuation of the previous song, they are linked in some way, it is a nice track to finish the album.

Well, this compilation is good, Altair offer nice music with a personal touch, however most of their songs are not memorable, are cool to listen someday but not to re-listen frequently, I mean, I enjoy them but I can live without listening to them. Anyway, my final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 3/5 |


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