For those who don´t live in Spain, Los Cantos de Maldoror is a cultural association that have been promoting for many year lots of art exhibitions, creating the great magazine Maldoror, and also promoting Arcana Europa, a yearly festival in ancient and historic places. In the last years, the cream of the medieval, electronic, ritual, martial, dark, etc. scene have played in that festival. Great music enjoyed by a part of progVisions readers.
The last challenge of this association has been joining the most important bands of that scene in order to create a double Cd about the life of Isidore Ducasse, author of "Los cantos de Maldoror", pioneer of surrealism. Firstly, all the tracks included were exclusively recorded for this double album. The first Cd has a more acoustic and classic vein and the second one is more experimental and industrial.
In the first album we´ll find the delicate “Simple mvjer” (5:31) by Luna in Caelo, with beautiful electronic layers; the amazing Ataraxia with “Arcana Eco” (4:58), one of the best song of the band I´ve ever listened to; the romantic piano with crystalline sound that joins the female voice in “Je t´envie Maldoror” (3:14); the experimental sounds of El Luto del Rey Cuervo, one of the most vanguard spanish bands, with “El Sastrecillo” (3:11); another mix of acoustic instruments and electronic music follows with O Paradis and the song “Un canto más” (4:10) –the vocals and the lyrics are not very good-; ritual echoes from dark ages appear with Gor and “Fraternitas” (4:46), a track with delicious percussions and flutes; Sieben plays an amazing “Maldoror” (4:19), as Pfrenz-C surprises me with a beautiful track with acoustic guitars named “Beautifully grotesque” (3:30); Steve Severin plays a stupid experimental track titled “Mal d´Aurore” (2:14) that is followed by the wonderful “On bank of the limpid brook” (6:32), another acoustic and intimate jewel with beautiful flutes and acoustic guitar. The first album ends with the impressive “Oratorium” (5:21), with martial and warfare style, and the spanish band Traje de Saliva with “Las cosas malas” (8:12). This band is really great and original, but their vanguard and surrealist attitude is too much snob for me. The worst moments of the first Cd are the german Hekate with “Erdenwandel” (4:41) – I like this band a lot but the song is not as good as I expected -, a guy named Oscar Martín with the song “Otra absenta sin tí” (4:28), and Ostara with the song “Bavaria” (4:45), a la Joy Division, that doesn´t fit with the style of this first album.
The second Cd (11 tracks) is completely different.. more electronic, vanguard and even industrial, so it´s possible that some (many) progVisions readers don´t like these kind of sounds. I simply recommend that you should open your ears because there are lots of styles with quality beyond progressive boundaries. Of course inside this album there are lots of shit, but there are also great things (I´ve listened “Po” (4:25) by Fang, around 20 times this last weekend). Names like Stereoskop, Not Delicious, or Reutoff have to be followed.
Well, this double album is very good although it has some ups and downs, something usual in a double Cd with 26 artists and different styles. If you like medieval-ritual music, the acoustic beauty, and bands like Ataraxia (I use this example because there are some reviews of this band in progVisions), you´ll enjoy a lot with the first album. The second one.. ehem... it´s up to you because it´s not material for progheads.
Anyway I´d like to welcome this music style that drinks from the fountains of European roots. Congratulations to the people of Los Cantos de Maldoror for their support to all kind of cultural expressions and all the luck in the future. As they state.. thanks to Europe.