Senogul – III

Spanish proggers Senogul come to me at a point in my musical life when I have largely tired of modern prog music. Although the musical virtuosity is generally top notch and the compositional complexity with some of these new bands would make the old legends blush, there really isn’t too much freshness to it. Perhaps I have just had some bad luck with it, but many of the bands that are calling themselves ‘prog’ nowadays that I’ve heard usually amount to fairly upbeat melodic rock, with a intage flair chucked in to warrant the label. The fact that Senogul is able to make such a refreshing escape from many of these conventions instantly draws me to them.

An instrumental act, Senogul deliver some pretty unpredictable material with ‘III’, their fourth album. I will say that I have heard plenty of instrumental prog acts that have my socks flying from a technical perspective, but there is not much that usually stires me. Senogul’s distinction made itself clear to me from the beginning of this record. There is a much darker sound to Senogul than on many progressive rock albums, although as the rest of the album is sure to justify, this band goes everywhere with their sound. I think that if this album was not instrumental, the entire thing would sound scattered and even messy. The hodge-podge of tone that ‘III’ offers keeps the listener on their toes.

Jazz is a driving force for Senogul, although their Spanish origins are made evident in the Latin/Flamenco flair that moments on the album have. King Crimson may be a good drawing point for this band’s more rocking elements, and a fine comparison in regards to this band’s darker moments. The highlight ‘Pijamas’ is filled with jarring notes and dissonance, and its hard to believe that this almost disturbing music would share the same disc as the upbeat flamenco fusion found later on in the album. Senogul is a highly underrated act, and while they aren’t necessarily toppling the prog genre with this statement, there is inventiveness here that draws me to this band unlike many out there.

Tracklist:

1. The Nightstalker (0:37)
2. Pijamas (8:01)
3. La Serpiente de Jade (5:14)
4. Parana (6:06)
5. The Black Cat (9:09)
6. Tales From Buanga (3:47)
7. Gameland (2:02)
8. Sopa Colora (13:41)

Line-up:

* Pablo Canalís – bass, percussion, voice
* Eduardo Gª Salueña – piano, keyboard, minimoog
* Pedro A. Menchaca – electric and acoustic guitars
* Israel Sánchez – electric and acoustic guitars
* Eva D. Toca – drums

Guest musicians :
John Falcone – fagot
Alejandro M. Ares – accordion
Iris Cárcaba – violin
Juan Antonio Martínez – baritone and alto sax
Rafael Yugueros – drums
Chema Fombona – drums and percussion
Marcos Mantero – synthesizers
Theodosii Spassov – kaval
Luis Cobo “Manglis” – electric and acoustic guitars
Pedro Ontiveros – soprano sax, flute
Abelardo Freitas – Abotronics

Links:

http://www.senogul.tk/

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