Santú, espíritu ... hasta luego ... take it E-Z!!
(Frankie "Dishpan" Santana)
This here's only one album to go on, but these guys could be dope; nice that this was given a polish-over. Espíritu is a very solid quintet, about a notch (if that) below Crucis, and like Crucis, this Argentine fivesome draws from folk ("Toma Un Tiempo") and the Italian prog scene ("Lento Juego De Luces") roughly as much as the British scene (the luscious Banks-derived synth flourish in "Elemental"). Espíritu III originally came out in 1982; pre-digital (at least "down south"), this sounds like a faithful holdover with respect to the Seventies.
Fernando Bergé's voice is pleasantly high-pitched, and when he aims for higher notes, it isn't unpleasant. Keyboardist Angel Mahler liberally bastes this bird (no turkey) with meaty analog textures — check out the instrumental "Guardianes En Pie," the only Mahler-penned piece. Talk about supa Moog melodies (it's alright to gush over the intro & outro), not to mention those tuff solos by guitarist Osvaldo Favrot and bassist Claudio Cicerchia! While the vocal-ized ditties are well-executed, no one song exactly stands up as the flagship. Sure, "Lento…" is a seven-minute number, but it's only a different, longer route along the same countryside.
This reissue comes with three bonus live tracks sourced from the soundboard, way back when. From the outset, these vintage live songs (from previous albums) are more exciting than most of III. "La Casa De La Mente" has some terrific instrumental sections — and Mahler's presence figures in mightily. "Soy La Noche" is a showcase for Bergé, who manifests as quite the emotive, soulful crooner (the audience digs it, too). Lo! Another instrumental in "Imágenes Tenues Y Transparentes"! Oops! Sorry. False alarm. Bergé just happened to keep his trap shut for a whole two minutes. The wordless portions make up for it.
Another closet classic from Argentina, demolded. A new version of Espiritu, helmed by Osvaldo Favrot and including his son, took shape several years ago. Espíritu III will whet the classic prog fan's appetite sufficiently to want to check out earlier works — I know I will.
Flash: Espíritu now has an official website!
1. Antes Tal Vez (Before And Perhaps) 5'16
2. Policolor (Poly-Color) 3'51
3. Nacer (To Be Born) 2'42
4. Lento Juego De Luces (Game Of The Passive Lights) 7'17
5. Toma Un Tiempo (Take The Time) 2'46
6. Elemental 3'49
7. Un Viaje Por Los Recuerdos (A Voyage Through Memories) 6'21
8. Guardianes En Pie (Guardians Afoot) 4'49
— Bonus Tracks —
9. La Casa De La Mente (The House Of The Mind) 5'58
10. Soy La Noche (I Am The Night) 5'19
11. Imágenes Tenues Y Transparentes (Tenuous & Transparent Imagery) 6'35
Total time – 54:43