Sunday, September 30, 2007

Crucis-S.t.,1976+Los Delirios del Mariscal ,1977


Crucis was formed in 1974 by Gustavo Montesano (guitar,vocals), José Luis Fernández (bass), Daniel Frenkel (drums) and Daniel Oil (keyboards). When Fernández left the band, Montesano became the new bass player. Later on Marrone and Kerpel joined the band.In 1975 Daniel Frenkel left the band and Farrugia replaced him.They released two albums, Crucis in 1976 (produced by Charly García who was very famous in Argentina at the time after the demise of folk rock band Sui Generis) and Los Delirios del Mariscal in 1977. The band dissolved shortly after.
From Wikipedia
here are the reviews of Proghead72 for Rate your music:
Crucis is my first try at Argentina's prog rock scene and I am not disappointed. Let's say this is my first try at Argentina's prog scene, I am aware of several other acts worth trying, like Invisible, Espiritu, Ave Rock, and Pablo "El Enterrador" (sp?). Crucis only managed two albums, but I am actually surprised how well produced their music is compared to many other Latin American prog acts (like Mexico's Iconoclasta who gave us great music, but suck-ass production). With the exception of vocals in Spanish, Crucis actually have a lot more in common with Dutch acts like Focus and Finch than I could ever imagine. Although the vocals are in Spanish, I am really surprised there really isn't any Spanish/Latin/South American influences or vibe in the music. When listening to the music, expect lots of Akkerman/van Nimwegen-style guitar work from Pino Marrone and various keyboards (Hammond organ, Moog, clavinet, string synth) from Anibal Kerpel, with complex passages and the occasional jazzy/fusion-influenced passages. The rest of the band consisted of Gustavo Montesano on bass and Gonzalo Farrugia (who was born in Uruguay) on drums. Both Montesano and Marrone handle the vocal duties. On their debut, you might notice a little hard rock influences in the Deep Purple or Atomic Rooster vein (especially on "Mes" where Anibal Kerpal played organ in the Vincent Crane/Jon Lord vein, but in a more progressive setting), and the occasional heavy progressive passage that bring to mind certain Italian prog bands. Each of these cuts demonstrate what the band could be capable of, but because none of the cuts are over seven minutes long, it really doesn't give the band the chance to really soar (exception given to "Determinados Espejos"), but they obviously solved that problem when their following album, Los Delirios del Mariscal featured only four cuts, two of them over 10 minutes. Regardless of the faults of their debut, it still proves that Crucis is one of the best Latin American prog bands I've heard so far.
As excellent as their debut is, that album proved the band needed lengthier compositions to allow the band to stretch out, and with Los Delirios del Mariscal, this band out of Argentina delivers just that. This time around, Anibal Kerpel purchased a Fender Rhodes electric piano, giving the band a bit more of a fusion slant than their previous offering. What little Deep Purple/Atomic Rooster influences had been thrown out the window here, instead a stronger Focus/Finch sound is more present, with more of a Pink Floyd or Camel feel. The vocals are now confined to only one cut, "No Me Separen de Mí", probably realizing vocals aren't their strong point, and it allows them to do what they do best: concentrate on instrumentals. And contrary to what some might say, I think this is an improvement over their debut. The production, for one thing, is even better (although recorded at RCA Studios, presumably in Buenos Aires, it was mixed in Criteria Studios in Miami, yes the same studio well known acts like the Bee Gees and the Eagles had recorded at). The opening cut, as mention, the only one with vocals, has more than a passing resemblance to Italian prog acts, like Corte dei Miracoli or New Trolls. The vocal style reminds me a bit of PFM. The next cut is the title track, dominated by guitar and string synths, played in that Finch (circa Beyond Expression) and Camel manner. For some reason I am also reminded of Eloy's Power of the Passion (specifically "The Bells of Notre Dame"). The next two are the album's climax, that is "Pollo Frito" and "Abismo Terrenal". The former tends to be more fusion oriented, with Anabel Kerpel's electric piano dominating, and Pino Marrone playing guitar in a more fusion manner, but instead of a boring wankfest that I often level at fusion (I'm not big on fusion), it turns out to be an intense piece. And if that's not enough, the last piece harkens to the most intense moments of Finch's Glory of the Inner Force. Pino Marrone just goes overboard on his guitar, almost like if he never plays another note again... When the music calms down, it's more in that Pink Floyd, Camel, and Focus manner. "Abismo Terranal" is without a doubt the greatest piece of music I've heard from a Latin American country. And there is no Spanish/Latin/South American influences to be found in their music. If it wasn't for the vocals (in Spanish) on one cut, you'd might think they were a Dutch band. The band broke up after this album (probably realizing they couldn't top Los Delirios del Mariscal), but apparently their bassist Gustavo Montesano released a solo album with Crucis members helping.
I think there's nothing more to add.Two of the best examples of latin prog rock with much use of keyboards and great atmosphere.

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2 comments:

Santiago said...

Man, if you need something from Argentine progresive rock, let me know. Maybe i cant help you. Is a opportunity to give you at least 1 percent that you give to me¡¡¡¡. Send me a mail to sjvil22@yahoo.com.ar.
Thnaks¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
Santiago

Brent said...

For some reason, some of the songs cut off early. Is it just on my end, or does anyone else have this problem?