Espiritu - Crisalida (1974)

Great prog rock album from Argentina. "Crisalida" was the debut LP from ESPIRITU, originally released in 1975 (they had a couple singles released as far back as 1973). Cover artwork is by Juan O. Gatti, same guy responsible for the "Crucis" album covers. This album is a wonderful, South American take on the Italian prog sound, especially of groups like PFM, CELESTE, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, SEMIRAMIS, etc. with some nice vocal harmonies that sometimes draw comparisons to Yes. You won't find much in the way of Latin/Spanish/South American or tango influences here, but rather of the Italian scene. It's only the vocals (which are in Spanish) that reveal that they aren't Italian.

The band consisted of Carlos Goler on drums, Claudio Martinez on bass, Osvaldo Favrot on guitar and backing vocals, Fernando Berge on vocals, and Gustavo Fedel on keyboards. The music tends to the more melodic spectrum of prog, with lots of great guitar from Favrot and wonderful analog keyboards from Fedel (like Hammond organ, Mini Moog, Solina string synth, piano).

The music alternates between the most acoustic-end of prog, like PFM and CELESTE, and the more heavy, aggressive end like SEMIRAMIS, when Favrot uses electric. "La Casa de la Mente" starts off rather electronic, with heavy doses of string synths and Moog, before the music kicks in with that PFM-like vibe. "Polijas Virtudes del Olvido" is a short piece with more of that Italian feel. I love how Gustavo Fedel closed the song with the Mini Moog before seguing in to "Sueños Blancos, Ideas Negras". Here is some really amazing, laid-back atmospheric guitar work I never could have imagined coming from a Latin country! Then the music gets heavy in the BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO, SEMIRAMIS, or IL BALLETTO manner, even the vocals tend more to the hard rock spectrum here, not unlike IL BALLETTO. "Sabios de Vida" is a piece alternating between more mellow passages dominated by string synths and rocking passages. "Eterna Evidencia" is an instrumental piece with Moog soloing. "Tiempo de Ideas" continues in that Italian-style of prog complete with more great use of vocals. "Hay un Mundo Cerrado Dentro Tuyo" at times brings to mind YES' "And You and I", especially the bass work. The final cut, "Hay un Mundo Luminoso" is basically two different songs. The first dominated by Hammond organ, with almost a jazzy feel, while the second half is basically a theme repeated, first with piano, then synthesizer.

ESPIRITU proves that prog acts out of Argentina can be up there with many of their European counterparts in terms of quality of music and production. If you didn't know that they were from Argentina, you might think they were from Europe, like Spain (or not paying attention to the vocals, Italy). This album is truly one of the best things I've ever heard from Latin America, proving to everyone there's much more to Argentina than tango. Highly recommended stuff! - Review by Proghead (Ben Miler)

Track Listings

1. La Casa De La Mente (The House Of Mind) (6:58)
2. Prolijas Virtudes Del Olivido(Tedious Virtues Of Olivido) (2:52)
3. Suenos Blancos Ideas Negras(White Dream Black Ideas) (6:10)
4. Sabois De Vida (6:10)
5. Eterna Evidencia (Eternal Evidence) (2:59)
6. Tiempo De Ideas (Idea Of Time) (3:38)
7. Hay Un Mundo Cerrado Dentro Tuyo (Yours Is A Closed World Inside) (4:20)
8. Hay Un Mundo Luminoso (There is A Luminous World) (8:07)

Total Time: 41:14

- Fernando Berge / vocals
- Osvaldo Favrot / guitar
- Gustavo Fedel / keyboards
- Carlos Goler / drums
- Claudio Martinez / bass
Releases information

Lp-Music Hall-MH-10.026-2


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