If there´s a spanish band that shines with own light inside neo progressive style, undoubtedly that band would be Salvadoran OVNI. The band I´ve talked about around two years ago after the release of “Entre seres y sus raíces” now they release a new conceptual album based on an uncertain future where human beings from outer space send a message to our planet. Then they decide to send a woman who will have a relation with a terrestrial man. From that relation, the music of this album will be born: the woman musically expresses in a cold and mechanical way and the man expresses in a passionate and sentimental way. In the same way, the woman uses English language and the man uses Spanish language.
So the result is a compact work with great instrumental skill, nice melodies and very long (around 80 minutes). Like Wakeman´s “The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table” or Colin Bass´ “An Outcast of the Islands” this albums is divided into different sections linked by short interludes. The tracks are as follows:
“The Visitors” (They are coming) (18:16)
a) The journey
b) Arriving at The Earth going through the ring of asteroids
c) Choosing the one
“A Deal” (the Terrestrial approaches the visitor) (4:40)
“It is just me” (The Visitor meets the Terrestrial) (12:26)
a) I’m a human being from the outer space
b) There are different kinds of human terrestrials
c) I make you think, you make me feel
“When she´s here” (What the Terrestrial feels for
the Visitor) (4:58)
“Remembering (The Visitor is remembering feelings she didn’t know she had) (4:04)
“Hybridacion” (La mezcla, the mix) (3:52)
“The Master” (The only way Terrestrials have learned) (4:15)
“The Bittersweet in Terrestrials” (So is Earth) (22:54)
a) Advices and warnings for the Visitor
b) How do you feel here on Earth
“The Times when we were Free” (The farewell) (4:04)
The line up remains almost the same and it´s as follows: Javier Gómez on bass an udu drums on “The times when we were free”, Jorge Lara on keyboards and percussion on “Remembering”, Octavio Salmán on drums and percussion on “The times when we were free”, and Rafael Alfaro on guitars, charango, laud, bandurria, mandolin, flute, mouth organ, percussions, vocals and bass on “Un trato”.
Music naturally flows, and there are instrumental moments full of energy (mainly thanks to Jorge Lara who takes lots os different sounds and textures from his keyboards), and relaxed acoustic moments. In the same way there´s a better conjunction among instruments than in previous album. The weak point, in my opinion, is the use of electronic percussions.
I´d like to highlight the long tracks like the marvelous suite that opens the album, with an overwhelming instrumental richness: the keyboards reminds me of Wakeman, guitars that balance between energy and virtuosity, and a rhythm section very meticulous. So you´ll enjoy the beauty inside “The Journey”, then violence and power inside “Arriving at The Earth going through the ring of asteroids”, with powerful changes of rhythm, and then the calm returns with “Choosing the one”. Something similar happens with “It is just me” or “Lo Agridulce de los Terrestres” with lots of transitions and instrumental displays.
Regarding short tracks, I´d highlight the moving ballads “Un Trato”, “Cuando está cerca” or “El Maestro” with catchy melodies close to pop music but with progressive structures and nice instrumentations.
I really think this is the best OVNI´s album to date and it´s a milestone for spanish neo prog. They know how to give the listener what he asks for. And they use English language but they don´t forget the Spanish roots. With a growing quality and an instrumental power (more than in the previous album), OVNI has turned out to be really leaders. Their music is quite up to the standard of Galleon, Shakary, or even IQ.