Flor De Loto from Peru is in Western Europe and North America a rather unknown progressive rock act. The band operates since 1998 and has already released five studio album. So you might say one of those releases in one way or another would have reached me. But strangely enough I never had the chance to hear anything from them. Well that comes now to an end with the release of Nuevo Mesias (New Messiah). This album managed to reach our office!
Maybe it isn't so strange at all that this band never reached me music wise. On all of the earlier released albums no keyboard player was in the line-up of the band. As for myself a band without somebody behind the keyboards is less interesting for me. That the band sings in the Spanish language isn't an obstacle for me as long as the compositions are interesting enough. Also the addition of Latin influences didn't bother me at all. But I guess now with Daniel López Gutiérrez on board to touch the keyboards the band certainly has more chances to reach more lovers of progressive rock music. Throughout the entire album he can be heard all the way through. That he was inspired by the great players coming from Western Europe is very obvious when you hear his virtuoso way of playing the keys. So you might expect with the addition of keys the sound of the band moves towards a more European style of music. However this is not the case at all. The band never loses their own identity and reveals all the time that they are coming from South America. Most of all thanks to the singing in the Spanish languages they hardly come near any European influences. Those vocals are very well done by Alonso Herrera Zelaya who also plays on the electric and acoustic guitars next to Ignacio Flores Zelaya. Both have a very strong Latin style of playing on their instruments. However the person who is most of all responsible for the Inca sound on most of the tracks is Junior Pacora Valdivia. The way he performs on the flutes, Andean woodwinds, charango and tenor sax is something which a Western musician almost never can do. The three remaining members Alejandro Jarrín Motte on bass, new drummer-percussionist Álvaro Escobar Picasso and the only female in the band Agustina González García on backing vocals seem to have less influences in the total sound of the band.
The nine compositions on Nuevo Mesias are of a rather high level. Although their original Inca sounds remains notable on most compositions come from time to time influences to the surface from well know bands as well. They show most of all influences taken from Jethro Tull. The way the flute is played is goes many times into the direction of their front man Ian Anderson. Also the keyboards tend to go into the direction which you can hear on albums made by the early line-up of Marillion. Occasionally the more heavy guitar sound done by the well know progmetal acts shines through as well.
It has to be said that I consider the four instrumental tracks La Tabla Esmeralda, Cumbemayo, Caleidoscopio and Creados Del Fuego as my favourite compositions next to the final piece Rumbo A La Eternidad. Here are the progressive rock influences most notable. But don't get me wrong. The songs which includes vocals and have a more South American flavour did I dig all the way!
There is a special edition of this release besides the usual single version. Fortunately I got it and I can tell you that it includes a bonus DVD, whose main content is a documentary of the "making of" the album in question. The details of the recording process are succeeded by images of the performances that gave the band in Argentina and Chile. It is already noticeable from the pre-production and recording the group had a clear idea about the deployment of sonic splendor that would manifest itself in the repertoire of Nuevo Mesias. Promotional video clips of songs from previous albums are included as well. You can enjoy the tracks Sombras En La Oscuridad, Amnesia, Desapareciendo, Hasta El Final, Mosoj Pacha and Volver A Nacer. The last two titles show footage of their live performances where the group convincingly demonstrates its colorful and power levels. Finally is included a gallery of photos of the band taken during their stay in Argentina and Chile.
Nuevo Mesias is a very original sounding album with refined progressive rock mixed with elements taken from progmetal and Latin influences. No doubt that this release is one of the most magnificent albums that have come from South American the last couple of years! Long live Inca rock!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2015