sexta-feira, 28 de abril de 2017
ARION Symphonic Prog • Brazil
Arion biography (http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=2609)
ARION is a progressive band from Brazil with strong influences from classic 70's bands like Yes, ELP and Renaissance. With musicians raised on a musical background of classical, jazz and Brazilian music, these elements also were incorporated in their sound as well. Calling themselves initially Magma, the group started in 1993, at the university town of Viçosa. Things started to get in shape when classical trained singer Tania Braz joined them. In 2000, after some touring, they signed with the Progressive Rock Worldwide label. Their self- titled CD was released in July 2001. It was highly praised by all who heard it, and it was subsequently being sold in some European countries as well as in Japan and the USA. In 2002 they opened for Dutch prog legends Focus, when they toured Brazil.
The CD contains six compositions by band members and one by a friend. Keyboard player Sérgio Paolucci is clearly the biggest proghead of them: his "Eyes Of Time" and "Land Of Dreams" are straightforward prog pieces, while Tânia Braz's "True :Love" and "Everyway" have a strong Brazilian influence. Bassist Carlos Linhares's songs "Daybreak Child"and "Cosmic Touch" fall somewhere between his two bandmates' styles. Thyaga's "Natureza Mistica" is the only tune sung in Portuguese by its author, and it's the most distinctive song of the whole album, with its folky structure and New-Ageish lyrics - although the band members do a good prog arrangement by the middle section (Tânia and drummer Rosa providing harmonies).
Musically the first band that comes in mind is Renaissance, not only for the female singer (who often uses her voice as a leading instrument during instrumental breaks, in the same fashion as Annie Haslam), but also because the extensive use of the grand piano for keyboard solos. This is especially clear in "Cosmic Touch", where Paolucci plays a jazzy, very Dave Brubeck-like solo. But there is more in the formula, since drummer Nelson Rosa is more a jazz and Brazilian instrumentalist than a rocker. His rhythm patterns colour most of the songs with his skills, and this is especially clear on Tania's and Linhares's compositions. On the other hand, Luciano Soares is a creative guitarist whose solos are emotional and tasteful, very much in the vein of Steve Rothery and David Gilmour. Carlos Linhares is surely a bassist with a very strong Chris Squire influence, always filling all the blank spots with his fluid playing.