Bad Dreams from Argentina played alongside Steve Rothery and his band during the South American leg of their world tour. Rothery plays a solo on the title track of this new album Déjà Vu. The band opened for Steve Hackett during his South American tour. That gives you an idea of the direction the music of Bad Dreams goes. No, they are not a copy of these artists. Bad Dreams is a magnificent force of their own.
The album Déjà Vu is a showpiece of what this band is capable of. Brilliant melodies in a classic prog setting with instrumentalists that have total control over their instruments. And then there is singer Gabriel Agudo. What a voice this man has. Besides Gabriel Agudo (lead vocals and guitars) the band members are Jorge Tenesini (keyboards, synthesizers and programming), Alex Calvera (bass and Moog bass pedals), Ariel Trifunoff (lead guitars and backing vocals) and Fernando Cornejo (drums and backing vocals. Agudo and Tenesini are the main composers.
This is a band that thinks in melodies. They are not the 1000 notes per second type of prog. Dynamics, emotion and beautiful lyrics. Jorge Tenesini is one of those keyboard wizards that still believes in a huge amount of gear. Watch him on YouTube surrounded by keyboards. His sounds are warm, and that is a word that stays with me while listening to this album. The sound of this band is warm. A beautiful round bass tone, the tasteful guitar parts and the voice of Gabriel Agudo. I know there were a lot of emotional things happening before the album was written. And you can hear it in their music.
The album opens with Samurai Of The Rising Sun. After a long instrumental intro Agudo brings it all to a new level. As mentioned before Steve Rothery plays a magnificent solo on Déjà Vu. You can hear he feels at home with this band. Fallen follows and Agudo shows the range and expression of his voice. Every time I listen to Song For Augusto I get goosebumps. The way Gabriel Agudo sings this song brings me to tears. He wrote the lyrics for the song that is dedicated to (as is the album) Jorge Tenesini's late son. Fabulous keyboards and a guitar solo by Ariel Trifunoff that are absolutely stunning. The band gives it their all. Amazing and deeply moving.
The acoustic guitar piece Moonlight brings a bit of rest and A Trick Of The Wind gives a wonderful early Genesis feeling. In the last song Frida Agudo shows once more what a fantastic singer he is. Lots of sincere emotions.
With Déjà Vu Bad Dreams delivered a fantastic album that is on nr 3 in my year list. These guys deserve a big audience for their extremely well crafted, warm and emotional music. If this was a European band they would be huge! If you'll be on Cruise to the Edge 2017 you can see them. Say hi from me :-) And yes, they have to be on a stage in Europe!
***** Arne van Os van den Abeelen (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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