Fughu: Human (The Tales) and Human (The Facts)
South America has had a strong presence on the progressive music scene over the last few years. Fughu formed in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1998 but did not release their debut Absence until 2009. 2013 was a much busier year in the recording studio as the band simultaneously released two albums; Human (The Tales) and Human (The Facts). This is a review of both albums.
The band includes Ariel Bellizio (electric guitars), Santiago Bürgi (lead and backing vocals), Alejandro López (bass) and Marcelo Malmierca (keyboards).
The band play their own version of progressive metal made unique by Bürgi's operatic tenor vocals and some of the unique chord structures the band employs. Human (The Tales) is a moody album and made all the more atmospheric with Malmierca's keyboards. The concept tackles the 'human condition' so the darker tones come as no surprise.
"The Human Way" opens the disc with a talking narrative laid over a moody soundscape. The rhythms build quickly with layers of background keys eventually leading to chugging guitar riffs. The dark tone of the music does well to match the song's morose subject matter. "Inertia" is another dark hued tune with percolating synth lines and dramatic sections with orchestral embellishments while "Dry Fountain" is more mellower and languid with nice guitar throughout. "Goodbye" mixes softer pastoral sections with heavier riffs whereas "Evil Eyes" is a more straight forward metal track.
Human (The Facts) is perhaps even more darker than The Tales. The symphonic embellishments make this disc more dramatic and atmospheric. Damian Wilson (Threshold, Headspace) provides guest vocals on the symphonic gothic metal tune "Quirk Of Fate". His vocals are up to his usual high standards, combining a riveting narrative as well. The opening track "Void" has a stark beginning of piano and talking vocals before the riffs build and take the song into a very dark place. The vocal arrangement is quite dynamic with shouts from the 'people' adding to the heightened drama. "The Play" is a peaceful track featuring beautiful piano and vocal harmonies. Argentinian opera singer Dario Schmunck also guests on a few tracks including the dynamic "Vater" beginning with Bürgi's fragile vocals almost breaking apart amidst creepy sound effects and a stark piano motif. As the song picks up momentum Schmunck adds vocals in German no less. On some of the tracks electronic elements are incorporated adding an almost techno flavouring as in the album ending title track.
Fughu have made quite a splash with these albums which really should be listened to back to back to get the full mood and effect. It's music that demands your full attention as background listening will not do it justice. You will be rewarded for your effort.
*The picture above is the album cover of Human (The Tales)*
Human (The Tales)
1. The Human Way
3. Dry Fountain
4. Twisted Mind
6. Evil Eyes
Human (The Facts)
2. Quirk Of Fate
3. The Play
7. Till The Day I Die
8. The Facts
Added: January 29th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
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