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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Omni - Tras el puente - 2000

After a long time and having seen their material left on the shelf of the forgotten progressive works, the southern Spain group called Omni got at last to release all their musical projects, projects that they have been working on for the last (many) years. Veterans of the south of Spain progressive rock, Omni began with the name of Alquimia in a time when all the big bands from the seventies were heading towards the farewell, they had the hope to take that torch that finally was impossible to carry. The door was closed and never opened again.

From 1984 to the end of the eighties the band did a lot of gigs and they recorded a demo tape. At the beginning of the nineties they changed the name to Omni and they started to develop a strong style based on great instrumental-symphonic passages. From 1990 to 1993 the group dedicated their time to promote their work and they recorded another demo tape that finally seamed to interest the media. But that interest was just a bundle of good ideas with a bad end that lead the band to split up.

Almost a decade after and thanks to the good intentions of their creators, Jose Luis Algaba (bass), Michael D.Starry (guitar, keyboards), Salvador Velez (rhythm guitar), Pepe Torres (wind section) and their collaborators Chano Domínguez (keys), J.M.C. (percussion), A.R. (keys), they finally got to release this "Tras el puente" and expose at last all their value.

All the influences that make this album so rich comes from the very famous names of the Spanish progressive movement of the seventies such as Iman, Cai, Guadalquivir; groups that had a good dose of Jazz and that Omni would mix perfectly well with the sacred mysticism of the masters, Triana, Alameda

The guitar is the most important element in this record and we can think about the Pat Metheny, Steve Hackett or Mike Oldfield's influence when listening to it. They also have connections with bands like Gotic or Iceberg, but personally I think that they sound like Sky. A lot of great and nice influences inside this CD of simplicity, and rich timeless work. A simple production that can wrap the music in a smoggy symphonic flash back.

All the nine pieces of the record are a magnificent exercise guided by excellent guitars and soft keyboards, giving form to a detailed work, not very pompous, generous, just like the first theme "Contracorriente" (9:46) a good example of the music a would like to describe to you. "Amazonas" (10:30) is divided into four parts; "Nacimiento", sweet and delicate combination of Hackett like guitar and keyboards describing the birth of a river that follows with "Rapidos", speeding the song and the roughness of the instruments; "Nostalgia", is between of the two previous ones with a clean guitar play; "Nana del cocodrilo" closes the piece with simple and at the same time strong keys playing. "Vuelo nosturno" (5:56) is a group of good and different musical styles. With a jazzy touch at the beginning that makes to come to our minds the names of Max Sunyer (Iceberg) or Pat Metheny, all this mixed with some smooth moments a la Oldfield. "Viento de levante" (8:04) follows the previous song's style but with a slower rhythm, and as it's tittles says the music of Omni crosses your brain just like if a fresh breeze covers you.

"Con-tacto" (5:24) shows again the great quality of Michel D.Starry and all his different ways of playing, , Santana, Steve Hackett comes together in a perfect union. The tittle track,"Tras el puente" 12:33, is the longest song of the record. It is a compilation of all the band's influences, sweet guitars in combination with deep keyboards giving some room to the bells and flutes, risky changes of direction to the improvisation from the guitar, saxophone, percussion…One of the best songs of the record. "Oasis" (7:13) is hypnotic song where the image of a desert paradise is built with a great describing guitar. "Tribu" (1:37) as its name says is made out of choruses and tribal percussion that gives an ethnic touch at the end of the CD. The last composition is "Solo" (1:44) a short and emotive song played by the keys. A slow melancholic piano that little by little leaves the song to a stronger synth.

A work that I have to recommend you with no doubt, and with this short conclusion, I just would like to say thanks to the members of Omni for their effort to give life to this project. For all this and because there isn't a moment in this record not made with the heart full of bright symphonic light. If you want to contact with them you just have to send an e-mail to pbrobles@teleline.es.

Jordi Costa - May 2002
rating - Luna Negra

 

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