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 ALBATROS : "Pentadelia" (2008)

I discovered this Spanish five-piece formation on The Spanish Progressive Rock Page in the New Releases section, like I did with other promising new Spanish bands Zaguan, Neverness, Bijou and the excellent Senogul. I was very curious to Albatros their sound when I read about their psychedelic oriented blend of several styles, from Rock Andalus to prog metal. Well, during my first listening session I got impressed from the very first moment. Although I trace elements from early Led Zeppelin, Seventies Hawkwind, Pink Floyd (Pompeii-era) and Eighties Rush, I notice that Albatros has developped an own musical identity: their trademarks are great dynamics and building up compelling or hypnotizing atmospheres, topped with surprising musical ideas, an adventurous rhythm-section, powerful guitarwork and inventive keyboardplay. The album contains 8 songs, I am delighted about 6 tracks because these showcase Albatros their exciting eclectic musical approach.

* The instrumental 48: it starts with the sound of the sea and birds, blended with powerful saxophone work and then climates that shift from propulsive with prog metal guitar/drums to a slow rhythm with sensitive electric guitar/mellow organ and a dreamy atmosphere with twanging guitar and soaring keyboards, culminating in a very compelling psychedelic mood featuring great interplay, fiery guitar and hypnotizing synthesizers.

* Supernova: a strong and catchy beat in a hypnotizing climate (evoking early Hawkwind) with wah-wah guitar and lots of dynamics, the second part is mellow with Floydian guitar and warm Spanish vocals, culminating in a lush finale featuring a sensitive electric guitar solo and a fluent rhythm-section.

* Santuario: first a mellow climate with twanging acoustic guitar, then an accellaration featuring fluent drums, inspired Spanish vocals and tasteful interplay between guitar and keyboards.

* The instrumental Ensor: tasteful and varied with sensational interplay between a bombastic choir-Mellotron-like sound and wah-wah drenched guitar with obvious psychedelic undertones.

* Waiting For A Sign: first wailing distorted vocals and bluesy Fender Rhodes piano, then more and more dynamic with a slow but exciting psychedelic inspired synthesizer solo, very compelling music.

* And finally the instrumental Mehari: dynamic and varied with excellent work on guitar and keyboards, the climate sounds like Heavy Psychedelic Prog.

The other two songs also deliver good and captivating moments but Hombre Menguante suffers from mediocre English vocals and the final track Las Tripas de Goliat sounds a bit too fragmentic to me (too many ideas in one song in my opinion) and I am not pleased with the theatrical way of singing.

My conclusion: this is a very promising progrock band that will please the fans of psychedelic rock and Heavy Prog, check out their website in order to discover the exciting sound of Albatros!


Erik Neuteboom

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