"A kind of mellow symphonic rock out of Uruguay"
This is not the French band Drama who
released two albums on the Musea label, but a band from Uruguay. The progscene
is maybe small but it is certainly spread worldwide!
Members Fernando Kronos and Flavio González have formed the band in 1996. They are the only two members of the musicians that recorded "Inspiracion" who are still in the band. Nowadays Javier Benich plays the guitars and the new drummer is Mike Hinkediker. In fact the band worked from 1998 till 2000 to record this album, which has now been picked up by the South American, record label Rock Symphony who released it in 2002.
Fernando Kronos – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Bass; Flavio González – Keyboards; Andrés Fernández – Guitars; Martin López – Drums.
The album opens with the track "Tu imagen" [your image] (5:07). The keyboards are creating a mellow symphonic atmosphere. There are some moments that the tempo of the piece increases but the atmospheric keyboards every time slows down the rhythm. Symphonic keyboards and melodic guitar are the basis of the sound Drama creates here. If I have to compare Drama with another band, the Brazilian band Tempus Fugit comes into my mind.
The title track "Inspiración" (5:55) is a beautiful ballad with a piano opening. Bass player Fernando Kronos is also responsible for all the vocals on the album. He has a nice voice and sings luckily all the vocals in Spanish. Flavio González plays his keyboards like André Mello does, mainly based on melody. Together with the melodic guitar parts of Andrés Fernández this again reminds me of Tempus Fugit.
"Sansón y dalila" [Samson and Delilah] (8:13) starts more up-tempo and it has more variation than the opener. Again we can enjoy a lot of symphonic keyboards and melodic guitar solos. This is one of the best compositions of the album. The band has more power in the up tempo parts. This combines very well with the somewhat mellow music of the band.
"Madre tierra" (4:49) is a slow ballad with acoustic guitars, which fits nicely after the "Samson and Delilah" track. Beautiful track with a little Steve Howe homage in the end.
"Como danza sin fin" [as Dance without End] (5:15) is the next mellow track with beautiful melodies and vocal lines. There are also some nice guitar pieces in this track.
"Designio divino" (8:18) is more in the style of "Sansón y dalila". Those pieces have the variation to keep it interesting and give the musicians the opportunity to show their skills in the solos. The best thing about Drama is that the music is heavily based on melody.
With "Encerrado en una historia de abril" (3:55) the band slows down a little in the melodies of the vocals refrains.
The last track of this album is the mini suite "Valle
de gloria" [Glory valley] (8:30) and it exists out of the
a) sueño y ? (2:06)
b) presagio [I foretell] (1:15)
c) fuego ! [Fire] (0:15)
d) brumas - camino al valle [Mists - Road to the Valley] (1:51)
e) el valle [The valley] (1:07)
f) nuevo orden [New Order] (1:36)
This suite has also the variation this type of music needs. In "Road to the valley" the band sounds a little bit more experimental. In "New order" the guitar has a sound, which reminds me of King Crimson.
Drama is a young band from Uruguay who
plays melodic symphonic rock with a mellow touch. It sounds very South
American to me. Those bands often make music highly based on melodies.
I like this kind of music. The only sad thing is that the mayor South
American label Rock Symphony wasn't able to give the recording a better
sound quality. With a good mastering the album could be sounding much
better I think. But Drama has potential
and I am looking forward to hear their next effort.