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  IBIO : "El Regreso"

I was a bit surprised to notice that Ibio had returned to the progrock world with a new CD entitled El Regreso in 2006, 28 years after their one-shot-effort Cuevas De Altamira (1978), a fine blend of prog and folk. To be honest, I am more impressed with El Regreso because the band sounds more matured and they use a wider range of instruments (from synthesizers and clarinet to bagpipes and sitar), what a variety and what a pleasant, melodic and very harmonic sounding album.

Most of the 11 songs (including 5 instrumentals) are a blend of classical, folk and symphonic rock featuring cheerful climates that contain beautiful interplay between guitar and keyboards, fluent mid-tempo rhythms and wonderful Spanish vocals with strong ethnic undertones. These vocals and the subjects of the songs (often tributes: to the sea, a landscape and singing old fishermen or the abundant local festivities, the battle against the Romans and an imaginary train) add a special flavour to the climates, very distinctive and I am sure that the fans of progressive folk will be very pleased. My highlights are the alternating and inventively composed Romeria (great keyboard sound, raw and propulsive guitar riffs and a beautiful grand finale with moving guitarwork), Mar Cantabrico (intense interplay between guitar and keyboards, wonderful vocals and melancholical violin and an accellaration with subtle play on keyboards and guitar) and the excellent final composition Cuevas de Altamira, to me this new version sounds more lush: than the original titletrack from 1978: first a slow rhythm with sensitive electric guitar and a church organ sound, then a surprising duet between sitar and Hammond organ and finally a splendid, very good build-up guitar solo with howling runs, this is Prog Heaven!


Erik Neuteboom

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