Cairo - Time of legends - 2001
We have waited too much time to have in our hands the new album of this fantastic Progressive-Rock band. Well, it is true that I was frightened when I saw the cover of the CD, I thought somebody had sent me an Enya´s CD!!. Immediately and starting with the first listening (because it requires a couple of listenings before enjoying the music 100%) I noted, turning the pages of the CD book, that they have recorded without the guitar player that they had before and there is a new appearance: Luis Maldonado, the new guitar player who also does the roll of chorister. As collaborators we can find the appearance of Brian Hutchinson who plays the rhythm guitar and also some solos in a couple of songs we will analyze later. The bass player is John Evans, Mark Robertson on the keyboards (main musician of Cairo), Jeff Brockman on the drums (and also the sound engineer). Finally, the splendid singer, Bret Douglas who goes on with his affected and strange vocal melodies.
Let's go now to analyze (in a second and more meticulous listening) what
Cairo offers us in
"Time of Legends":
The first track is called "Underground" where we can perfectly observe that typical 70´s shade of its music. I can also note that their characteristic psychodelia flows thanks to the analog synthesizers of Robertson (keyboards), but I have also noted that they have lost a special shade that their last guitar player offered before, with his "deep delays" that made Cairo´s music much more interesting and strange. After observing this change in their sound and not impairing the labor of Mr. Maldonado on guitars, let's go to the next track called "The Prophecy", with a keyboard intro, in which Cairo takes us to an atmosphere of pure feeling both in the guitars and the rest of the instruments with a strange and contagious melody plenty of solos. Consecutively, the voice enters telling us a story about the birth of a superior human being that will change the world. In the "solo section" we find the first collaboration in the CD where Brian Hutchinson has a perfect rivalry with Mark Robertson. In my opinion "The Prophecy" is the best song of the CD, and specially because Bret Douglas sings really good on it. The third track (an instrumental one) is called "Scottish Highland" a lullaby-like song where Mark Robertson evokes those green Scottish mountains and hills.
After this, "You Are The One", a song too mainstream and soft song about a frustrated love. Brian Hutchinson also collaborates in this track. Now it is time for a new instrumental song: It's Jeff Brockman turn to show us how he plays drums. "Cosmic Approach" is an experimental song full of effects and speed playing the drums, remaining Dance Music. Be so much careful with this experiments, the Disco isn't calling you!!!
When I listen to "Coming home", I notice this CD is slower than their last one, perhaps calmer and even more symphonic, taking care to the chords and once more, perfect vocal harmonies plus a great "solos section" in that strange atmosphere and accords made by the keyboards. Finally, the last song is another instrumental song called "The Fuse", Mr.Robertson´s time to show us his ability on the keyboards. A lot of Hammond & synthesizers sounds, piano sound in the middle part of the song and final madness in a nine minutes track.
The sound is great and clear, but the guitars are recorded with very low volume, making the keyboards to scare in all the songs. Good technique and skill, a lot of solos and very good lyrics in all the songs.
Finally I have to say that I expected more hard music from this new Cairo's CD but I have noted that the record is too much soft. It's good to release albums like that but I think Cairo has lots of energy inside to show us in the future, isn´t it?