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Tucana: Tucana

Tucana are a Swedish progressive rock band who have been around since the late 1980's but have gone through numerous personnel changes over the years which have long delayed the recording and release of their debut album. However, the band finally put the finishing touches on their self-titled debut and released it in December of 2012 on Art Performance Production. Tucana describes themselves as 'a baroque progressive band', and I guess that's a good enough description of their style as they mix classic sounding prog rock with plenty of classical orchestrations and theatrical, often times operatic passages. The band are comprised of Jonas Nitz (piano, string arrangements, backing vocals), Mikael Larsson (guitars), Jari Katila (drums), Niklas Birgersson (vocals), and Johnny Rosengren (bass).

Let me just say that this is pretty bombastic, sweeping stuff from start to finish. Nitz handles all the orchestrations on keyboards, and he especially does a fine job laying down symphonic flute, horn, reed, and string arrangements throughout these 10 tracks. Larsson is a tremendous guitar player, adding some crushing riffs and blazing solos on the heavy yet symphonic "A Dream Within a Dream', with Birgersson's soaring, Bruce Dickinson inspired vocals standing right alongside of him. "Stranded Illusions" is close to power metal thanks to the sizzling riffs and Birgersson's powerful pipes, but hearing all the majestic orchestrations floating over the top makes for a headbanging yet magical listening experience. The highly progressive "Power of Man" is like a cross between Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, and After Crying, and "Seven" wouldn't sound out of place on a Trans Siberian Orchestra CD with it's theatrical vocals and sumptuous orchestrations. Even "At the Gates of War" has that majestic, orchestral, and dare I say 'rock opera' feel to it, with some really lovely melodies and theatrical styled vocals to go along with the enchanting arrangements.

It's been a while since I've heard something this grand and majestic, and while some might scoff at how over the top some of this is and label it as 'pompous', if you have an open mind and enjoy bombastic prog mixed with some metal and classical, there's a lot to enjoy here. Well done!

Track Listing
1) The Signs
2) Rescue Me
3) The Needle of Ended Days
4) A Dream Within a Dream
5) Stranded Illusions
6) Redemption
7) Power of Man
8) Seven
9) At the Gates of War
10) Like Dust

Added: January 23rd 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3279
Language: english

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