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Menayeri: Futura Historia

Before sitting down to pen this review, I actually resorted to using a daisy in order to decide if : I like this record, I like this record not... Although this disc has many very strong points, it seems to have an almost equal amount of less-than-stellar elements as well.

I'll begin by introducing the band as this is their debut release. Menayeri is a quartet made up of Enrique Ocasio ( drums, keyboards), Rambert Bastell ( bass), Eduardo Lopez ( guitars) and Sonia Ivelisse ( vocals). A few guest musicians also appear to round out the sound.It may also be note-worthy to mention that Menayeri is Puerto Rico's only active progressive rock outfit. The band's music would have to be described as melodic progressive. The tracks range in length between 4:55 to 10:24, with certain tracks being broken down into 2 or 3 parts. Most numbers are lyric driven, which is usually a turn-off for me. However, the vocals of Sonia Ivelisse are very beautiful. She has great range and demonstrates tons of passion in her delivery. The fact that the band decided to sing in their native Spanish also helps them score a few points with this reviewer. I guess the band's main weakness may be a certain sloppiness I perceive in the transitional phases of some of the longer tracks. On more than one occasion, I honestly thought that the disc might have skipped, such is the awkwardness of certain passages. This tends to be more prevalent in the earlier tracks and the disc gains momentum in the latter numbers. The two instrumental tracks are definitely the stronger pieces on the disc. Apertura demonstrates the band's finest use of dynamics and range as the number goes from heavier passages to softer moments where guest cellist Vanessa Castillo is featured. Both this song and the other instrumental piece Camino del Kodama act as showcase pieces for guitarist Eduardo Lopez who exhibits a good balance between technical chops and more melodic restraint. The latter of the two tracks also demonstrates the axeman's beautiful classical guitar work in the first part of the 2-part song. The track then veers into some of the band's best bombastic moments.

I would have to say that Futura Historia may be weighed down by the fact that most songs seem fairly interchangeable. Although pleasant enough, this one just doesn't jump out and grab you. I know that some people (including a staff writer or two on our site) might actually really fall for this disc, but I'm left kinda shrugging my shoulders. I think the band shows excellent promise and if they don't succumb to a sophomore jinx, may be the talk of the town in upcoming years.

Track Listing

  1. Juego del Futuro (7:26)
  2. Revolucion en El Alma (5:48)
  3. Tiempo de Volver (7:44)
  4. Apertura (4:33)
  5. Futura Historia (6:01)
  6. Hada del Lago (10:24)
  7. Camino del Kodama (5:41)
  8. Hacia Donde (4:55)

Added: August 13th 2004
Reviewer: Yves Dubé
Related Link:
Hits: 4030
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Menayeri: Futura Historia
Posted by Bonrod on 2005-07-26 00:21:17
My Score:

Hey Where's My Copy

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