rc2 comes from Venezuela and plays a kind of Neo-prog you could describe as “Marillion School” with a heavier guitar sound. I don’t know anything of this band. But they have made four albums in the period 1988 – 1994. Their fifth album is simply called “rc2” and is released by Musea.
Rafael Paz – Piano and Keyboards; Pedro Misle – Bass; Eduardo Benatar – Drums, percussion; Félix Duque – Vocals; Demian Mejicana – Electric and Acoustic guitar.
Special guest: Francisco Diaz – Cuatro and Percussion.
This Neo-prog CD starts with the instrumental “Obertura” which is mainly based on delicate piano work on top of orchestral keyboards. For me a promising opening, but the second track “Joroprog” shows us the real rc2 sound. Neo-Prog in the style of the old Marillion. The keyboard solos of Rafael Paz can be compared with the style of Mark Kelly. Demian Mejicana gets next to his acoustic guitar work also the room to play an up-tempo electric guitar solo. Maybe it has to do with my personal taste, but I can’t appreciate the forced and high pitched vocals of Félix Duque. When he sings “normal” it is OK with me, but when he tries to sing with more power he sounds like a Japanese Prog singer. In the slow opening of the next track “Nada” he proofs that the problem is not his voice but the way of singing in the up-tempo parts. Rafael Paz is playing some beautiful atmospheric keyboards and Demian Mejicana has put some aggressive guitar work in this track. “Sombras” is also a solid up-tempo Neo-Prog piece with some Marillion (the keyboard solo’s) influences. The slow parts have a typical warm South-American atmosphere. The next track “RM” is mainly based on classical acoustic guitar combined with delicate bass playing of Pedro Misle. A little rest point before the next up-tempo opening of “Fria”. This long track (more than 14 minutes) is in fact one of the two highlights of the album. I like the delicate and romantic piano playing of Rafael Paz in the second part of this composition. Throughout the whole album the guitar sound is often distorted. “Gira la Tierra” reminds me sometimes of the American band Enchant. But the Moog solo reminds again of Mark Kelly. In “Soledad” the band is using a drumcomputer and electronic synths. But it is only used as a contrast. Next is “Voz de tempestad” a short piece with melodic guitar. The last track of the album is called “Se pierde el sol” and this is not only the second long track of the album, but also the other highlight. Like in “Fria” the band has fourteen minutes to show us they can write a piece with variation. This includes several atmospheric themes and up-tempo guitar/keyboard solos.
rc2 is playing passionate South American Neo-Prog. The two big highlights of the album are the two long tracks which both last more than 14 minutes. Those compositions proof that the band has the potential to leave the path of the short “Marillion” compositions. It is nice to hear some moogsolo’s ala Mark Kelly, but I think Rafael Paz has the potential to develop an own warm South American keyboard style. I like his romantic piano playing. In short, this is an album for Neo-prog lovers. Fans of more progressive and adventurous music, probably find this album to “simple”. But now we are talking about personal taste. It’s up to you which style you prefer.