Fughu - Lost Connection

(CD 2020, 55:36, Independent Release)

The tracks:
  1- Peggy(5:30)
  2- Pixel Hero(5:49)
  3- Call Now!(5:02)
  4- Stay(5:25)
  5- The Goat(5:30)
  6- Told You(7:51)
  7- Right From The Bone(3:22)
  8- Martian (Dedicated D. Bowie)(4:50)
  9- What If(7:42)
10- Vexed Flower (Dedicated C. Cornell)(4:35)

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It has been a while since I heard of the Argentinian band Fughu. Their previous release Human (see review) hails from 2013 and was issued as a double CD. I remember I appreciated their music, but sometimes had some difficulties listening to their vocalist. In 2020 Fughu has a slightly changed line-up, where the instrumentalists have remained, but introduce a new name at the microphone. The 2020 line up consists of initiators guitarist Ariel Bellizio and drummer Alejandro Lopez, keyboard player Marcelo Malmierca and bass player Juan Manuel Lopez. Their new vocalist is called Renzo Favaro.

Where on Human musicians like Damian Wilson, Dario Schmuck and Jeff Kollman guested, c sees Yngwie Malmsteen and Karmacanic's Göran Edman and guitarist Marcelo Tano Marciello guesting among others.

Listening to Lost Connection, the compositions are slightly different than I am used to. Probably the Argentinian style of progressive metal adds lots of drama, creating intense compositions you have to listen to more often to really appreciate. Take the opener Peggy, a powerful track with heavy guitar parts and a bombastic arrangement. I guess it's due to the mix and production, the song sometimes sounds a bit messy. It could also be that I have to get used to the lower bass parts that react to the guitars, during the solo spot. Like his predecessor, you have to get used to Renzo, but my first impression, he does fit better to the present music of the band. During the following Pixel Hero, the bass dominates the song. Certainly giving the track an alternative touch, but overall, the song has a bit of a chaotic feel. The midsection with drum, bass and spoken words parts is sublime, but the continuing guitar parts and solo are almost drowned in a cacophony of background choirs and an overly present bass. Although a heavy progressive track, Call Now! Also sees theatrical parts, a furious guitar solo by guest Tano and a very strange twist in the composition. Half way the song changes into a keyboard driven part, just to return to the previous power again. Ending with another brilliant guitar solo. Stay can be seen as a kind of power ballad, nicely accompanied by the piano, both vocals and bass are dominating this very pleasant song, where the vocal style of Renz perfectly fits. Where Stay had a nice open structure, The Goat starts as an atmospheric, but very bombastic part that sometimes refers to the mechanical parts of Tool. Towards the end, an again unexpected twist lead the song to a cinematic windup. Told You sees Göran Edman as guest vocalist, who immediately sets his mark on the song. The outcome is less bombastic and more straight forward, making this my personal favourite of the album. The straight forwardness of the previous song also presents Right From The Bone, after a nice retro opening the song evolves as a solid, straight from the bone rocker, without pretentions. A song I was looking forward to was Martian (Dedicated D. Bowie), just because of the reference “dedicated to”. Strangely, except for some electronics and effects, I don't hear a reference that should hail the chosen artist. What If? sounds better to me, like the Göran sung track, this composition is nicely balanced and therefore stands out from the other compositions, including a wonderful guitar solo. As someone who highly regards the vocal capacities of Chris Cornell, Vexed Flower (Dedicated C. Cornell) was another one I was looking forward to. For me, this dedication works out better than the other one. Here the calmness of Cornell, during certain songs is emphasized, which make this a more successful effort.

Overall, Lost Connection gives me mixed feelings, during some parts the chaotic bombastic elements are a bit too much, while other songs and parts of them are nicely structured and accessible. On the other hand the, sometimes weird/strange twists in the songs give me big smile and make me appreciate the choice to do so. I am not completely happy with the album's mix and production, the bass is rather dominant and basically so, are the whole low parts of the album. If this is due to the wav files I got, because of the crack in the unplayable CD, please forgive my criticism about the album's sound.

***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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