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Hominido: Alados

Are birds related to human characteristics in some way? That's the concept explored on Alados, the sophomore effort from Chilean progressive rock/fusion band Hominido. I reviewed their first effort Estirpe Litica in 2014 and I liked it very much. Before I get to the music there are some important band changes to note. Taking the place of bassist Francisco Martin is touch guitarist Natán Ide Pizarro and the vocal duties of Eliana Valenzuela are now handled by Javier Briceño Pérez. The rest of the band are Pablo Cárcamo Risso (guitars, keyboards), Rodrigo González Mera (drums, percussion), Christopher Hernández Catipillán (trumpet, corno, duduk) and Benjamín Ruz Guzmán (violins).

Musically speaking this is quite a dynamic release. The vibe is often mellower at the start before building in heaviness with nifty chord progressions and intense guitar crunch. The riffs are often catchy and the musicianship is excellent. The added trumpet is a real nice touch, often used to accentuate or soften the heaviness. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the vocals of Pérez. He has a smooth and thoughtful delivery and a nice laid back tone that is really pleasant on the ears. He tends not to stray too far from this description which is okay as it's a good fit for the music. I cannot comment on the lyrics as they are in Spanish.

The first track "Tenca" is a prime example of what you will hear. A laid back beginning has birds chirping and water effects with a complex yet subtle approach. Some tricky drum patterns and long drawn out trumpet notes lead to a burst of heavy guitar crunch with the trumpet adding a jazzy touch. Throughout the changes the piece remains cohesive. Touch guitar is also very prevalent and an important addition to the band's sound. Razor sharp knife edged riffs and edgy guitar chugs highlight "Queltehue" while "Fio Fio" is a softer affair with gentle singing and mournful trumpet leading the way. A nice mixture of heavy and mellow can also be heard on "Cachudito", a common thread on many of these songs.

As far as the packaging is concerned the digipack looks great as the artwork in the CD booklet depicting various native bird species of Chile is really quite beautiful. The band has certainly taken great care in presenting their product.

Alados is a fine second long player from Hominido. Its softer and heavier elements should appeal to a wide range of prog fans. I have no hesitation giving it four stars.

Track Listing:
1. Tenca
2. Cachudito
3. Queltehue
4. Chercán
5. Fio Fio
6. Vari
7. Pequén
8. Loica
9. Traro
10. Chuncho
11. Garza

Added: April 2nd 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1415
Language: english

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