Retsam Suriv - Danger

(CD 2014, 54:15, Azafran Media AP1416 Musea FGBG4732)

The tracks:
  1- Alto Voltaje(7:24)
  2- Nuevos Tiempos(4:43)
  3- 09:15(11:58)
  4- Siento(9:55)
  5- Amenazas De Un Final(8:07)
  6- Un Mondo Differente(9:15)
  7- Transicion Final (Danger)(2:51)

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Retsam Suriv is progressive metal band from Buenos Aires, Argentina which was formed in 2002 by keyboard player Christian Del Giorgio and female vocalist Vilma Del Grigorio. In 2009 a first album was recorded; Exégesys. This debut album saw a line-up which had, besides the aforementioned duo, the regular line up of a guitarist, bass player and drummer. Additional to this traditional setting was a sax/flute player. Musically Retsam Suriv walked the path of symphonic progressive rock with Spanish vocals and occasional sidesteps towards the metal side of progressive music. Now we see the successor called Danger and a brand new line-up. Both founders remain and new members: Miguel Carrasco (guitar), Charly Palermo (bass) and Javier Fraccione (drums) complete the new line up. Musically, the addition of guitar player Miguel Carrasco also give the band an additional song writer, which results in a musical shift from more traditional progressive rock to heavier progressive metal with extensive instrumental parts.

As the album starts, Alto Voltaje takes you through an instrumental opening, where keyboard oriented music is mixed with heavier guitar sounds, acoustic parts and solid drumming. It sounds as if Dream Theater has caught up with a more neo-prog keyboard player; one song down in the pocket. When Nuevos Tiempos continues, the base of the music is nice and prog metal based. When vocalist Vilma joins, the,..typical, as I may refer to it that way, South American vocals take the music in a slightly different direction. But when listening to these vocals, the continuation of the intense guitar riff works perfect with Vilma's vocals, adding some nice bass lines, another well performed composition is good for some more points. 9:15 sees references to Dream Theater again, musically speaking, but the addition of the Spanish lyrics just let the music flow towards a style of their own. As a strong point the band adds a sensitive piano/vocal part in the mid-section which is followed by, first a powerful guitar solo, followed by a cool flamenco sounding acoustic part. Several individual keyboard parts complete this stunning song, which I hope sets the bar for compositions to come. Different from the other compositions is Siento; a smooth piece, where blues and jazz influences are embedded in a progressive rock based foundation-a song filled with impressive keyboard parts and cool guitar solos. Like the next Amenazas De Un Final, all compositions find long solo spots for both guitar and keyboards. Vilma's vocals peak during this more orchestrated composition as she uses her voice to produce a sensual as well as a very clear high pitched, almost scream. Musically, I really enjoy the Jordan Rudess orientated keyboard solos with strong metallic guitar riffs in the background. Un Mundo Diferente starts smooth and relaxed again, but this composition gently grows, like the true epic, to a powerful battle of the instruments. Miguel Carrasco absolutely peaks during this composition with his nice and heavy guitar sound. Too bad we have arrived at the final song of the album; Transición Final which is a sort of soundscape that lasts about two and a half minutes and has second world war passages over soft keyboards. Personally I would have preferred to end with a bang, now it's like the album just fades away.

Retsam Suriv is a band which came as a nice surprise. The music is keyboard orientated on one side, but on the other side the progressive metal guitar takes as much of the attention, which brings the music perfectly in balance. The first spin, I had to get used to the Spanish vocals, which are not common for the music I regularly listen to. But at some point these vocals grabbed me and proved to be a fine addition to the music.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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