Albatros - Ursus

(CD 2011; 45:53 MP 3222)

The tracks:
  1- Ursus(5:41)
  2- El Camino De Swann(4:42)
  3- Loki(5:31)
  4- La Cila Ciénaga(7:25)
  5- Rey Lombriz(3:21)
  6- Icaro(10:34)
  7- Planeta Prohibido(8:36)

Albatros Website       

Albatross is a Spanish five-piece prog band formed in 2000. In 2002 they released their first demo and after many line-up changes the band found stability and now consist of Javi Fernandez (guitar, vocals), Red Perill (keyboards, vocals), Juanito (bass), Marc G. Rosell (guitar, vocals) and Tolo (drums). In 2008 they released their debut album Pentadelia, a blend of hard rock and progressive rock with very interesting psychedelic influences.

The opening title track is a real killer containing dark voices and slowly played modern progressive rock in the vein of Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd and Riverside. I fancy this kind of songs if they are well-played and with a fine balance between the heavy dramatic pieces and the melodic guitar solos. Albatros convinced me right from the start! The lyrics in El Camino De Swann are in Spanish just as in the title track, but that isn't a disadvantage at all. Emotion and drama are the two keywords on this album, but you can enjoy some interesting duels between the guitars and the organ as well. Loki is a roller coaster song going faster and faster. However, the bombastic and aggressive screaming in the middle-part and at the end makes this song less interesting. The first two minutes of the ballad In La Cila Ciénaga are instrumental with a more prominent organ sound. In the background a female singer can be heard, but I couldn't find her name in the information sheet.

Rey Lombriz is a short, but heavy interlude to Icaro. This ten-minute piece contains the same heavy guitar riffs interspersed with the melodic organ sound and the emotional voices. The final part of the song is totally different: a long atmospheric and continuing guitar solo that reminded me of Robin Trower, the lead guitarist of the legendary British band Procol Harum. Planeta Prohibido is the only track sung in English; you can briefly describe it as a typical hard rock song from the eighties in the vein of MSG or Deep Purple. I think Albatros is a promising and interesting Spanish progressive rock band.    

*** Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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