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Bernard & Pörsti: La Tierra

The Samurai Of Prog keep on churning out top flight symphonic progressive rock, this time under the moniker Bernard & Pörsti. So technically this is not a Samurai Of Prog release but the core band is present and accounted for:

Marco Bernard (Shuker bass)
Kimmo Pörsti (drums and percussion)
Steve Unruh (violin on two tracks)

And like their main gig there are plenty of guest musicians including:

Eduardo G. Salueña (piano, organ, Mellotron, synths)
Ariane Valdivié (vocals)
Rubén Álvarez (electric and acoustic guitars)
José Manuel Medina (orchestral arrangements)
Alessandro Di Benedetti (keyboards)
Rafael Pacha (acoustic and electric guitars, soprano recorder flute)
Marc Papeghin (French horn and trumpet)
Octavio Stampalìa (keyboards)
John Hackett (flute)
Oliviero Lacagnina (keyboards)
Marcelo Ezcurra (vocals)
Pablo Robotti (guitars)
Jaime Rosas (keyboards)
Jaime Scalpello (vocals)
Rodrigo Godoy (guitars and backing vocals)
Marek Arnold (sax)

The creativity and consistency this band possesses is off the charts. Like their previous releases, the attention to detail, superb arrangements and consummate musicianship are all at hand. As you might ascertain from the album’s title, La Tierra, the overall theme of the album pertains to the relationship between man and the planet, covering topics such as Artificial Intelligence, man’s destructive influence on the Earth and space travel.

There are six tracks with a running time of around seventy minutes. “Vuelo Sagrado” begins the disc with a catchy piano and feel good groove. The music is up-tempo and melodic, one of those earworms the band has created time and time again. The ensuing ‘70s style synth work and Unruh’s violin is always tasteful and when the band lock in, the results are inspiring. Expertly crafted symphonic prog at its finest. With “El Error” the keyboard and flute melodies are expertly crafted. Towards the middle the tempo slows with delicate vocals and a sparce piano that slowly builds, including more tasty keyboards and guitar. “Voz De Estrella Que Muere” begins with haunting recorder before positively jaunty synth and guitar unfold as the song gains complexity. The gentle soundscape soon turns on a dime with faster playing and a more adventurous arrangement. The guitar solo is quite rocking. Fantastic band interplay and an intriguing mixture of soft and heavy highlight “Ansia De Soñar” complete with ripping synth, guitar and organ solos. The album’s showpiece has to be the monster thirty-minute epic title track ending the album in fine style. Twisting and turning through various moods and song dynamics, the players are at the top of their game. Outstanding drums and bass from Pörsti and Bernard respectively, stunning keyboard work and guitar that soars or offers a more plaintive sound with soothing acoustic strums. The change-ups abound causing the thirty minute running time to seem much shorter than it actually is. The mark of a great epic.

I should also point out all vocals are in Spanish and the vocalists do a fine job. The booklet is also well done with excellent artwork courtesy of Nele Diel.

What can I say? Another excellent progressive rock album from Bernard, Pörsti and company. Absolutely recommended!

Track Listing:
1. Vuelo Sagrado (8:57)
2. El Error (11:11)
3. Voz De Estrella Que Muere (5:34)
4. Ansia De Soñar (10:23)
5. Canción Desde La Caravana (3:30)
6. La Tierra (30:12)

Added: May 19th 2021
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 339
Language: english

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