Bacamarte - Depois do Fim (1983)

I approached this album with skepticism after discovering it on the website I was, when I found this album, madly in love with Genesis (still am), but didn't quite appreciate the other big name in symphonic prog, namely, Yes. And the lyrics aren't in English. So, all in all, I wasn't too thrilled with the prospect of getting this album. I felt a need to get something, though, and I settled on Bacamarte's Depois do Fim, based on several well written reviews that praised it effusely.

Well, I could not have been more wrong in my expectations. Sure the lyrics aren't in English (they're in Portugese), but I can live with that. And before you say, "well, who cares about the lyrics, anyway," I'd like you to know that I care. Deeply. I am somewhat a poet, and, as a result, I am very picky when it comes to lyrics. On, I have given an album three stars because of the lyrics, when the music itself earned four to four point five stars.

But anyway, on the album itself. It is very progressive, changing tempo/time signatures (I don't know enough about music to tell the difference) constantly, meaning that it is always refreshing. Ever musician is at top form here, and there are no weak tracks. The highlights here are the keyboards and the often tull-esque flute. I've never been a fan of female vocals, but here, they shine. The vocalist's voice is absolutely beautiful, and a joy to hear. And did I mention the amazingly beautiful and top notch music?

I will now discuss each song in relative detail, so if that doesn't interest you, feel free to skip to the last paragraph or two. The album opens with UFO, which opens with some soft guitar that is simple and beautiful, and gives no hint of what is to come. Other instruments start to come in, creating a beautiful soundscape, until the song picks up about a minute and a half in. The flute is amazing (though I've heard it might be recorder flute). And even then, it doesn't hit top gear until two minutes in. But when it does... Heaven. The drums are great, the keyboards/moog/whichever are lush, the guitar excellent, and whatever instruments there are there, they all come together perfectly, creating an excellent opening instrumental. It goes through several changes from this point to the end, but never loses the intensity or beauty it has had from the beginning.

Somehow, however, the album manages to get even better. If you remember me talking about tull-esque flute, here is where it really comes in. You can almost imagine Ian Anderson (my favorite flautist) playing behind the vocals here (of course, if he were on the album, he'd lend his amazing voice...). This one takes no time to build, just getting started right away with some fast guitar and excellent rock flute. The song is called Smog Alado, but it might as well be called Ode to Tull. The vocals here are top notch, the music is beautiful while almost but not quite hard rock, and it's simply pure prog, and pure heaven. This may be my favorite track on the album, but it would be hard to call any other song on the album "worse." Because worse implies badness.

Which leads to the next song, another instrumental, and another favorite of mine off this album of favorites. Miragem opens with a drum guitar collaboration in a classic buildup. The guitar is the star here, but everything is in its place, creating a joy to listen to. And, like any prog track, it does change, as, about 1: 30 in, it mellows out a bit, putting more emphasis on beauty (the flute is incredible here, as always), until, with about 1:45 left in the song, it gets back into some excellent guitar, closing the track majestically.

Passaro de Luz is my least favorite track here, a short, vocals dominated track that is beautiful, but doesn't leave a lasting impression on my mind, as the other tracks here do. It's not bad by any means, but neither is it stellar. Not one to skip in context of the album, but not one to listen to out of context, either.

Cano opens with some soft percussion, then immediately breaks out into the full track, a short one that serves as a segue (albeit a great one) into the main track on the album. About 30 seconds in, Cano picks up in intesity, and though I wouldn't see myself liking this even one year ago, it now seems spectacular to me. If you want to call this filler, it's some of the best filler you'll ever hear.

Ultimo Entardecer is the album's (mini) epic, clocking in at just over nine and a half minutes. It opens with some beautiful (and do I mean it!) keyboards, and then some beautiful (and do I mean it!) guitar, and just generally creating a beautiful track. I'm no expert, but it sounds like both electric and acoustic guitar are going, and they're going majestically. The vocals are, as always, beautiful, and the first four minutes of this track are pure gold. After this, however, the track takes a turn for the worse (without ever being bad, just less amazingly good). There is a short piano solo that just doesn't grab me, and some vocals that are beautiful, but sort of sound the same as the rest of the vocals on the album. It's softer and seems to lack intensity, until... with about 1:20 left in the song, it returns to what made the beginning so spectacular, and closes amazingly. A great track, if inconsistent.

Controversia opens with some nice drum work, with piano (or keyboards) coming in over it, and then something that I think is either moog or synthesizers, and it all comes together to create a very good short track, another "filler" track that seems too good to be filler. Not the highlight of the album, but in no way bad.

Depois Do Fim is up with Smog Alado as one of the best tracks on this amazing album. It opens with some howling winds, over which comes the main theme of the song, bombastic but not over the top, and very good as a whole. This continues for the first minute, when some deep bass comes in, and some very nice vocals. It builds, and creates a great track, and an excellent closer. What a magnificent end to a magnificent album.

Note: my version contains a bonus track, the instrumental Mirante Des Estrelas from their following album. It's not nearly as good as the main parts of Depois Do Fim, but it's not bad. It did not factor into my rating of the album.

To conclude, this is a fantastic album that everyone ought to own. And that's not something I throw about lightly. The ONLY problem here are the vocals. Yes, they are beautiful and a joy to listen to, but they all seem to sound the same on each track. BUT!, as I said, they are beautiful, and the sameness doesn't detract much from this album, and I feel able to give this album a solid four star rating. An excellent addition to any prog music collection. - Review by inpraiseoffolly

Track Listings

1. UFO (6:26)
2. Smog Alado (4:11)
3. Miragem (4:54)
4. Pássaro De Luz (2:28)
5. Caño (1:59)
6. Último Entardecer (9:29)
7. Controvérsia (1:57)
8. Depois Do Fim (6:31)
9. Mirante Das Estrelas (6:11)

Total Time: 44:03

- Jane Duboc / vocals
- Márcus Moura / flute, accordion
- Mario Neto / acoustic & electric guitars
- Mr. Paul / percussion
- Delto Simas / acoustic & electric basses
- Marco Verissimo / drums
- Sergio Villarim / keyboards
Releases information

CD Som-Arte Discos (1996)


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