A great and ambitious album by Argentinean talent!
His name is Rodrigo San Martin, a young musician who despite his short age has a vast experience. Besides his (so far) two solo records which were released last year (2010), he has been composing and collaborating with other progressive rock acts, such as the band “De Rien”. He is an artist who is willing to let people know about their music, and what a better way to do it than creating high quality albums.
His second solo effort, entitled “There’s No Way Out” was released only some months after his debut. It is a very ambitious project in which we can appreciate San Martín’s talent and skills, he is a multi-instrumentalist, and of course, the composer. We may be witnessing the rise of a south-American prog icon.
This album features three compositions that make a total time of 42 minutes, so as you can imagine you will find long songs here. It kicks off with a fifteen-minute epic entitled “4378th Day”, which is a very interesting, well-composed and challenging track full of atmospheres and emotions. It starts with a beautiful and calm sound, a delicate guitar and colorful keyboards, it follows like this for three minutes until the sweet voice of Jelena Perisic (a guest singer) appears (the lyrics are in English); drums also enter and create a charming sound. At half the song, a new passage begins with keyboards making a symphonic sound, the bass and drums are very well played and placed, and the quantity of images and emotions that a single passage can create is what makes music so great.
There are moments where you are listening to heavier guitar and drums, but at the same time beautiful flutes and orchestral arrangements, in this time is where I say wow, he really is a talented man. A parenthesis I must do, denying the prog content of this work, is simply ridiculous, so before judging, listen complete to the album, or at least, to the song, because it is a truly progressive rock record, believe me. Well, the song ends with a beautiful and charming mood, it softly fades out.
The second track is “No”, it is the shortest one with almost six minutes, and this time the guest singer is a man named Craig kerley. The song begins with nice bass notes, cool drums and a kind of tense and dramatic keyboard sound as background, a minute later vocals appear and start to build up a structure. The sound is heavier than the previous song at least for the first half of this one, because later Jelena’s voice appears, and with it the music calms down and creates a very different atmosphere. The last minute returns with great heavier guitar sound and male voice. It explodes and creates a sense of power which is very cool.
Now, the song that closes the album is a 21-minute composition entitled “War, Act 2″, a challenging song that sounds really mature for someone that young. This track has the heaviest moments of the whole album, the introduction is very powerful, leaving aside the symphonic and delicate sound, in order to open the gates to a heavy, even metal-oriented sound. After a couple of minutes it drastically changes, calms down as Jelena’s voice appears; great keyboard atmospheres and a lovely acoustic guitar playing.
After six minutes the song takes another rhythm, the bass sound is really great, drums always accurate and the keyboards creating different textures and nuances, later the electric guitar adds its disarming sound, and all together creates a strong composition, which once again shows Rodrigo San Martín’s huge skills and capacity to create intelligent and complex music. Well, the song changes several times, I may say the track is divided in several passages, each and every one of them well-crafted and interesting. After eleven minutes, there is a moment I love that reminds me to Hatfield and the North, I don’t know if he is aware of that, he might have done that as a tribute, I don’t know.
I love how it changes from an aggressive and powerful sound, to a gently and charming one, not anyone has the capacity of doing such a thing, and success. Well, with this giant track, this excellent album finishes. Worth mentioning that the two voices were correctly chosen, both are great singers. Please go to San Martín’s site and download the album, you will have a great time, and a proof that progressive rock is alive with fresh musicians who want to add their grain of sand.
1. 4378th Day (15:41)
2. No (5:59)
3. War, Act 2 (21:06)
*Rodrigo San Martín -electric and acoustic guitars, bass, mellotron, hammond organ, moog synthesizer, piano, keyboards, orchestra arragements, synthesized glockenspiel, drum programming
* Jelena Perisic – vocals
* Craig Kerley – vocals