Originally created to be the musical outlet for guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Cesar Marquez back in 2006, Bauda has now grown from a solo project to a full-fledged band with the recruitment of Nikolas Recabarren (drums), Juan Diaz (bass), and Edgardo Gonzalez (keyboards). Sporelights follows up their sophomore release Euphoria...Of Flesh, Men, and the Great Escape, and for this album they've enlisted Rene Rutten from The Gathering to produce, so it's not surprising that Sporelights has an airy, melodic feel not unlike Rutten's band. Floating somewhere between alternative rock, prog, space rock, and straight pop, Sporelights succeeds when the Chilean act layers on the vocal harmonies and supports them with beds of alluring keyboards & textured guitars, as they do on the soaring title track as well as "Vigil". "War" is like a cross between Anathema, The Gathering, and modern day Marillion, while the more upbeat, all -instrumental "Tectonic Cells" contains some fiery guitar work and nimble rhythms, easily one of the most impressive tracks here. The band opt for a bit of new wave/Brit-pop on the engaging "Asleep in Layers", and the lush ballad "Dawn of Ages" rounds things out, a fine vehicle for Marquez' crooning vocals.
Much of Sporelights is very 'nice', and overall it's a great sounding, lush album, but I was left wanting the band to kick it up a notch on more than a few occasions. If you don't mind a really mellow but tuneful pop album with some prog and alternative rock elements, this is actually a pleasant listen.
5) Tectonic Cells
6) Asleep in Layers
7) Dawn of Ages