Re-release of the first album from the, at least for me, unknown band from Venezuela Equilibrio Vital. This record was originally released under the title “Equilibrio Vital” in 1983. Unfortunately the change of the title is because of the demise of lead guitarist, vocalist and composer Marcos Chacón on December 9th 2001 (it´s curious but this review has been written on December 29th 2003, two years after).
The line up is completed with Guillermo González (bass, flute, vocals, sax), Carlos Serga (guitars, backing vocals), Laureano Rangel (drums), Arnoldo Serga (bass, percussion), and Elena Prieto (vocals, backing vocals). In “Madre” along with Marcos the musicians are Jacinto González and Jorge Luis Ayala (acoustic guitar), and in “A mis amigos” drums are played by Jorge Luis and keyboards are played by Alberto Rodríguez.
I didn´t know the band as I stated, but it seems that the whole discography is as follows: “Equilibrio Vital” (83), “Kazmor el prisionero” (84), “Calor Humano” (87), and “1990”. After Carlos´ pass the band kept on playing but in acoustic format.
The album opens with “Guerra” (“War”) (10:56), the longest and the best track of the whole record. A very epic sympho rock with some urban elements that reminds me of other latin american bands as well as spanish bands like Asfalto or Topo. Even the lyrics, a song against war and politicians, are close to spanish urban bands. After the fourth minute, the band throws into an amazing instrumental development where frantic bass and drums support a great guitar solo. There are lots of different references: Queen, Marillion´s “Market Square Heroes”, Kansas or Pink Floyd. Tempo slows down and becomes hypnotic. After six instrumental minutes, the first lyrics returns and the song finishes. Great track, indeed.
But don´t think that the following tracks are worse only because are shorter. “El emigrante” (“The Emigrant”) (4:38) is a very up-tempo composition with a great guitar solo, a pity it sounds too low. “Aliento & esperanza” (“Breath and Hope”) (6:53) is another great moment, a very lyrical and Camel-like track in the beginning and more energetic later, with good bass and guitars along with a Tullesque flute. Tull´s spirit lives on in “A mi padre” (“To my father”) (4:56) although the language and the hard-rock approach makes me think about spanish band Ñu. Again an amazing guitar solo and a speedy end. The bass and, in general, the whole track “Armonías con el infinito” (“Armonies with Infinity”) (4:39) reminds a lot of Yes. There´s a flute, but all those vocals (those la-la-las) brings me Jon Anderson to mind. After this part an amazing guitar solo comes and finishes this showcase of musicians skills.
This re-release is completed with three bonus tracks with more interest than quality; “Madre” (“Mother”) (4:17), a nice but insignificant track; “Momentos” (“Moments”) (3:54), saved only by Chacón´s guitar; and “A mis amigos” (“To my friends”) (6:21), an instrumental track better than the previous ones, but with a 80´s aroma (perhaps the sax, perhaps the mood). Fortunately Chacón repairs the situation and makes a mediocre track something interesting.
Thanks to this album we can discover an unknown band with lots of quality, at least this album, that could be compared to the big names of spanish progressive bands. Unfortunately we won´t have Marcos Chacón´s talent again, a great guitar player.