This new live release from longtime Peruvian prog band Fragil is a symphonic and lush take on classic South American progressive rock. Recorded in Lima in front of an appreciative audience, the band runs through fourteen short songs, in a style that can best be described as Marillion meets IQ, with strong Spanish vocals and a full orchestra backing the group. The Marillion influence is quite apparent, and one look at the CD cover shows singer Andres Dulude in full Fish (or early Peter Gabriel for that matter) makeup.
The inclusion of the orchestra adds a nice symphonic and classical touch to this live setting. As with most of the music from South America, there is a strong romantic flair to Fragil's neo-prog style. The songs are more flowing and pop flavored, rather than a more technical or heavy style. Keyboards and guitars are used more for textures, and solos are kept to quick flashes of brilliance. The fact that the vocals are in Spanish doesn't really distract, as Dulude has a lovely voice (kind of like popular Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, if he would sing progressive rock music) and which complements this style just fine.
My one complaint about this CD is that the band rarely breaks out of the mold they occupy. Songs like "Oda al Tulipan" or the opening "Obertura" contain some brief hot playing and complex passages, but I found many of these songs to be very laid back and lacking anything demanding for the listener. Perhaps that is the point. For those who like the lush, romantic prog of classic Italian or Spanish bands, this will be right up your alley. "El Caiman" for example, is a wonderful song that has the crowd singing along, with flutes and acoustic guitars. Depending on your pleasure, this might be a total winner.