Nexus - Insania

(CD 2023, 36:08, Record Runner/Fonocal)

The tracks:
  1- Descenso A Las Tinieblas(2:13)
  2- Insania(4:40)
  3- Resurgiras(5:57)
  4- La Oscuridad(4:54)
  5- La Sentencia(5:27)
  6- Fuera Del Tiempo(3:48)
  7- La Nueva Alianza(4:32)
  8- Iluminación(4:37)

Nexus -
En Concierto / Homenaje A Crucis

(CD 2023, 63:15, Record Runner/Fonocal)

The tracks:
Concierto / Homenaje A Crucis:
  1- El Ultimo Dia(5:28)
  2- La Triste Vision Del Entierro Propio(4:46)
  3- La Espiral(2:56)
  4- Ironico Ser(4:09)
  5- Condenados(8:51)
  6- Todo Tiempo Posible(4:26)
  7- La Tentacion Del Mundo(6:44)
  8- Abismo Terrenal(6:28)
  9- Mas alla Del Limite(4:32)
10- Los Delirios Del Mariscal(7:03)
11- Metanoia(7:52)


NexuS is a highly acclaimed band from Argentina which has its roots in the Seventies when a group of schoolboys from the capital Buenos Aires were impressed by the symphonic rock, especially Crusis (also from Argentina), and soon Nexus was born. Eventually a dream came true but not until the end of the Nineties when Nexus as a five-piece formation released their first album entitled Detras Del Umbral in 1999. Since then Nexus has released 7 studio-albums, 2 live albums (Nearfest 2000 and a Crusis tribute from a 2020 concert) and a box-set (a collection of tracks from Colossus/Musea concept album tracks).

I have followed Nexus almost 25 years, since their first album in 1999 and during the years I even interviewed the band. So I was very curious to this new album, titled Insania, featuring Roxana Truccolo as the new singer/bass player, she was already a guest musician on the previous album En El Comienzo Del Topos Uranos from 2017. To be honest, it surprised me to notice the short running time of both the album (around 36 minutes) as the 8 tracks, between 2 and 6 minutes, no longer compositions between 7 and 12 minutes.

Descenso A Las Tinieblas (2:13) First a short instrumental track with a slow rhythm, sumptuous keyboards and fiery guitar runs, it sounds ominous ('tinieblas' means 'darkness'), welcome to the majestic Nexus sound.

Insania (4:40) Another instrumental, it begins with sparkling Grand piano, then a tight mid-tempo beat, fuelled by a dynamic rhythm-section. The title of this track has been musically translated with biting guitar and hypnotizing piano runs, a dark and compelling sound, topped with Hammond layers and synthesizer flights, what a master on the keyboards.

Resurgiras (5:57) The longest composition on this new album. First a slow rhythm with the distinctive Nexus guitar-synthesizer interplay. Then soaring Hammond and wonderful female vocals (in the native language, always a bonus for me) with tender piano play, gradually the music turns more lush with howling guitar and a flashy Minimoog sound. Back to a mellow atmosphere and again gradually more bombastic, embellished with Hammond extravaganza. In the end a subtle fading away with tender piano, what a dynamic track, wow!

La Oscuridad (4:54) Lots of changing atmospheres, varied keyboards (piano, synthesizer, strings), Roxana really shines with her voice (including the 'Spanish Rolling R'), she has a good range. In the second part moving guitar runs join, then a bombastic climate with an exciting pitchbend driven Minimoog sound (strong Rick Wakeman echoes) and Mellotron choirs, finally tender vocals, and soaring Hammond fading away.

La Sentencia (5:27) This is the most accessible song featuring a tight and powerful mid-tempo beat, and a pleasant colouring with sensitive electric guitar, keyboards (Hammond, Minimoog) and vocals. In the final part the music shifts from melodic rock to pure prog with a strong instrumental break with piano, spacey synthesizers drops, wah-wah guitar and powerful drum beats.

Fuera Del Tiempo (3:48) Another more accessible track in the realm of melodic rock, the focus is on the excellent vocals, topped with a fine duet between guitar and keyboards.

La Nueva Alianza (4:32) This instrumental track is built around a tight beat with catchy electric work, embellished with strong soli on synthesizer, Hammond and guitar.

Iluminación (4:37) The final composition is also an instrumental and turns out to be a wonderful conclusion of this new album. First a dreamy climate with tender piano and soaring strings, then a slow rhythm featuring sensitive electric guitar work and synthesizer flights, choirs join, wow. Halfway the music shifts to more bombastic with powerful guitar and lush keyboards, and finally slowly fading away, in the end voices of a crowd.

A short but tastefully arranged new album, very melodic and harmonic, and varied, from bombastic symphonic rock to melodic rock. New singer and bass player Roxana Truccolo turns out to be a huge bonus on this new Nexus album.

En Concierto / Homenaje A Crucis
During concerts Nexus already played songs from Argentinian prog legend Crusis, a band that I discovered in the early Nineties in Greg Walker's Syn-Phonic prog mailorder-service catalogue. In 2020 the band decided to pay tribute to Crusis in a more extensive way and named the concert En Concierto : Homenaje A Crusis. Crusis recorded two studio-albums, an eponymous one in 1976 and Los Delirios Del Mariscal in 1977. This live in the studio' album features six Nexus songs (the 'uneven' numbers) and five tracks (the 'even' numbers) from these two Crusis studio-albums.

New member Roxana Truccolo is clearly a huge asset to the band, both on bass as with the vocals, in the native language. She does a good job with her voice in the Crusis songs, I am also very impressed with the Crusis renditions by Nexus, how inspired and skilled.

Dynamic, tasteful keyboard work, and beautiful native vocals in La Triste Vision Del Entierro Propio (4:46).

Propulsive and bombastic with swirling Hammond, rock guitar with wah-wah, strong interplay and powerful drum beats in the excellent Ironico Ser (4:09).

A Hammond-guitar duet and awesome interplay in Todo Tiempo Posible (4:26).

An exciting wah-wah sound with soaring Hammond, a sensational pitchbend driven Minimoog solo and a moving guitar solo in Abismo Terrenal (6:28).

And finally a dreamy strings sound, then a beautiful blend of an intense guitar solo and soaring Hammond (evoking early Focus) in the compelling track Los Delirios Del Mariscal (7:03). Wow!

And then the Nexus songs, to me this band sounds as one of the best Latin-American prog formations, it is a tight and experienced unit and Lalo Huber sounds as the Argentinian answer to Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, I love his awesome vintage keyboard sound, with his digital Hammond organ, and his Korg synthesizers that sound often mighty close to the legendary Minimoog.
El Ultimo Dia (5:28) : This track alternates between slow rhythms, mid-tempo beats and sumptuous outbursts, embellished with fiery and moving guitar, flashy synthesizers and Mellotron choirs, the rhythm-section is impressive.

La Espiral (2:56) : To me this composition sounds as 'early ELP with guitar', in a tight mid-tempo.

Condenados (8:51) : What a tension between the mellow and bombastic parts, topped with wonderful vocals.

La Tentacion Del Mundo (6:44) : From a slow rhythm to bombastic eruptions, with fat synthesizer flights, volume pedal guitar, dreamy piano and vocals.

Mas Alla Del Limite (4:32) : I am blown away by the awesome Hammond sound and fiery guitar leads, in a slow rhythm, how compelling!

And finally the ultra-bombastic instrumental Metanoia (7:52), my absolute highlight on this live session: sparkling Emersonian Hammond work, intense howling guitar (like early IQ), spectacular breaks, a heavy guitar solo and a fat Minimoog sound, topped with excellent interplay, how exciting!

If you listen to this live session you get the best of two different Argentinian eras, from Crusis and Nexus, you cannot beg for more, wow!

Both **** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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