We have to go back to the year 1992 to find the first Blezqi Zatsaz album “Rise and fall of passional sanity” which was released on the Progressive Rock Worldwide (PRW) label from Brazil. A good keyboard dominated prog album with a lot of influences from classical music. You could describe Fabio Ribeiro as the South American Rick Wakeman. But after that album it became quite around Fabio. A few years ago I discovered he was still playing music. His name was mentioned on an Angra album. I don’t know if he is still a full member of that famous Brazilian band. Under exclusive license from Blezqi Zatsaz the Italian label Lucretia Records has released this second effort entitled “The tide turns”. The limited version progVisions received is packed in an A5 cardbox with tastefully artwork and full-color booklet. My compliments! Every progfan would love to receive such a (progressive) birthday present.
Fabio Ribeiro – Synthesizers, Acoustic guitar; Kiko Loureiro (known as Angra guitar player) – Electric & Acoustic guitars; Carlos Desenha Gonzales – bass; Eduardo “Fly” Ribeiro - Drums, Percussion; Richard Furck – bass; Hugo Mariutti – Electric & Acoustic guitars; Hugo Hori – Flute, Soprano saxophone; Eduardo Ardanuy – Electric guitars; Ze Renato – Electric & Acoustic guitars; Ale Souza – bass.
The album consists out of twelve tracks, each counting between 3 and 14 minutes. So the album is packed with almost 71 minutes of music. The first thing you notice when you put this album in your CD player is that the album has a fresh and light sound. Maybe a typical one for a Brazilian release. “L’ Ệtre et le néant” (6:49) the openings track shows that typical Brazilian prog style which has always up-tempo parts with temperament but is also melodic and warm. Kiko Loureiro is playing the melodic guitar solo’s in this track. The music is than symphonic like one of my favorite Brazilian bands Tempus Fugit. In the mainly up-tempo piece “The asphaeings are back!” (4:36) the contrast is formed by a melodic electric guitar solo of Kiko. “Afterimage” (5:47) is build around the synths of Fabio which sometimes sounds like those of Rick Wakeman. The flute of Hugo Hori and the guitar solo of Hugo Mariutti give the needed variation. “Parallel paradise” (5:01) is also an up-tempo piece and has those fast Wakeman like synth solos. The saxophone in “Thy fake” (4:20) gives a jazzy atmosphere to the music. Then it is time for Bach. “The well tempered drawbar” (3:19) is an arrangement of “The well tempered clavier” of Johann Sebastian Bach. In “Ways of control” (4:31) the synth solos are combined again with a warm flute solo. Hugo Hori gives it at some point a touch of Jethro Tull.
The album continues with a long suite entitled “Azzivullas’ Suite” (14:39). The suite includes the following parts: I - Fleeting dream, II – Pangs of death, III – Back to our minds, IV – Hereafter. With “Fleeting dream” the suite starts slow and melodic with beautiful flute melodies. But in “Pangs of death” the temperament is back with an up-tempo guitar and synth solos. “Back to our minds” brings back the peace with flute melodies like in the music of Camel. “Hereafter” is the grand finale of the suite. The music is a little bit hectic but is never gets bombastic because of the light and happy atmosphere of Brazilian prog. “Lilith” (3:36) opens with Howe like acoustic guitar. But later on the acoustic guitar gets that real South American touch. In the meantime the light and happy keyboard melodies sounds like a Yanni composition. This is a beautiful warm composition. “Soul mirror” (4:23) starts with an aggressive guitar solo but Fabio follows with a slow and beautiful piano melody. The soprano saxophone played like in the music of IQ and Pink Floyd is also returning in the music. “The gates of Ixtlan” (8:36) is one of the longer pieces and I must say that I like those pieces best because there is time enough to combine the up-tempo parts with a slow melodic opening and melodic intermezzos. Sometimes the short pieces are too hectic for me. In this piece there is enough variation to keep it fascinating. The album closes with “Once and again” (4:58) in style with keyboard and flute solos accompanied by the many keyboards of Fabio Ribeiro.
This limited edition of “The tide turns” is a beautiful product (thanks to Lucretia Records) full of keyboard orientated melodic progmusic. The production sounds light and fresh. An album not only for keyboard lovers. If you like warm and melodic South American progmusic this album is for you. Hopefully we don’t have to wait for another ten years to see Blezqi Zatsaz’s next release. Hopefully The Tide Turns.