Two albums from the first batch I received as a fresh reviewer for Background Magazine are from Argentina, one by Habitat, and one by that band's main musician, multi-instrumentalist Aldo Pinelli. On both, he is accompan ied by drummer Roberto Sambrizzi, who also takes care of percussion on the Habitat album. On that album Elizabeth Minervini and Gonzalo Albarracín appear as guest musicians on a few tracks. Habitat has been around as a two man project since their first release in 1998.
According to the band's website, the album is supposed to be a move towards the 'sound of gothic'. I am not sure what they mean by that and after listening to the album a number of times I still don't know. Th e opening of the first track, Las Gárgolas, and later on also on Mujer-Medusa, seem to announce a portion of symphonic rock, headed by massive keyboard sounds, but after a 30 second opening both tracks move away from that into mellow, repetitive tunes, that never seem really able to grab me. Pinelli's slightly emotionless way of singing is only a partial cause of that.
Las Hadas Negras lacks a keyboard intro as described, but does lay down a dark mood that fits the title. Unfortunately, the track is very re petitive and ends very abruptly, leaving the listener with the feeling that it never really started. Something similar applies to Las Runas, which only really becomes interesting after 6 out of 7 minutes. After the chaotic and incoherent Tema para los Camp os Exhaustos and Las Masas De Aqua (again repetitive, although sometimes also bringing to mind the work of ex-Grobschnitt drummer Eroc from the early 1980s) the album gets better. El Hombre Con Navidad En Sus Labios is not very complicated, but the acoustic guitar intro is complemented nicely by an electric guitar, played by Gonzalo Albarracín. That same guitar, accompanied by a driving bass and keyboards, flows into Passaje A La Ciudad con Runas, which brings a three minute solid symphonic rock intro, followed by a more laid back piano and vocal section. Albarracín comes in on guitar again, but the track never goes back to the power of the intro (and maybe it shouldn't). Closing off with the title track Utensilios Y Artilugios, which is a very nicely executed melodic track, with good guitar and keyboard work, I am left with very mixed feelings.
Hábitat is clearly capable of playing good music, and both musicians do know how to play their instruments, but over all the album is very unbalanced and often close to boring. The percussion/drum track Ajr doesn't really add to that, even if it shows what Sambrizzi is capable of.
**+ Angelo Hulshout (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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