Although I think that this independent debut album from the Brazilian progressive rock band Sinagoga Zen has been supported by a local cultural organization in financial aspect, the band found for the distribution of their album a home at the Brazilian label Masque Records. This self titled album is an album for the open minded (prog) music lover. The music is a mix between progressive rock, jazz fusion and has some classical influences. You have to take your time to listen to the music. Only after several spins in your CD player it will show it's beauty to you.
Alison Seben - drums, tabla & percussion; Felipe C. Taborda - guitar, bass, viola; Guilia F. Dall'oglio - vocals; Rafael Vignatti - keyboards; Wilian M. Baldasso - bass, guitar, viola, violin
You can find the following five tracks on this debut album; “Mudanca dos tempos”, “2014”, “Presenca”, “Abdu Pensante” and “Instante de velejar.”
The album opens with the long epic “Mudanca dos tempos” (20:15). After a short intro with Mellotron strings and organ the full band joins with a jazz fusion part full of up tempo and complex rhythm changes. Then the first vocal harmonies follow. After this you can enjoy a classical piano part before the band bursts into complex prog rock with a jazzy atmosphere. This diverse track has it all; prog, jazz, vocal parts and classical melodies. The use of the violin and viola gives this piece some classical atmospheres and there are some beautiful vocal parts. But you also hear complex rhythms and heavy prog guitars. The music has a South American Temperament and is sometimes a little bit hectic.
First of the shorter tracks is called “2014”. The year 2014 was a special one for the band. It was the year of their reunion, the rediscovering of their music and the year of the release of their debut album. This up tempo piece has also a lot of jazz and classical influences. In the piano parts you can hear that jazzy feeling. In the composition “Presenca” the band is swinging. Also this piece has jazz and classical influences. Especially in the vocal parts of Giulia you can hear those classical influences. In the last short track “Abdi Pensante” you can hear some nice guitar solos and piano parts. The vocals are giving this composition a Brazilian flavor. The closing part of this track has some beautiful melodies. The closing section of this track is great and full of emotion.
The album closes with another long (10:39) track entitled “Instante de velejar”. The composition has an intro with tabla and acoustic guitars. Then follows a beautiful vocal part and I even hear some Arabic influences. Then the melodic vocals are returning and we can enjoy a nice organ part. In the second part the acoustic guitars are back and slowly the tension of the music builds up again with a jazzy guitar, organ and vocals. Like the opener this is a very diverse composition.
The long pieces and in particular the opener “Mudanca dos tempos” are the highlights of this album in my opinion. Because of the jazzy and classical atmosphere of the music I can imagine this album is not everyone's cup of tea. The music is sometimes hectic but it has great diversity. The Brazilian band Sinagoga Zen made an interesting and good debut album. I'm curious how the band will develop in the near future. Recommended for the open minded music lover and prog fans who like their music with a lot of jazz (fusion) and classical influences.