Progressive rock is alive and well in Argentina, judging by this stellar release from Habitat called Puente. Although the band has been around since the early 80's, Puente is only their third CD release. This music of this exciting band is firlmy rooted in sounds of the 70's legends, especially Genesis, Yes, and ELP, but you can also hear how modern acts like Cast, Arena, and Pendragon have probably influenced them. Mostly symphonic with plenty of keyboards, there is also a rough edge from the guitars from time to time, and the vocals are sung in Spanish. In fact, as good as the instrumentation is here, it's the multi-layered and melodic vocals of Aldo Pinelli, who also plays guitar and bass, that really propels Puente. Surrounded by lush acoustic guitars , keyboards, and gentle flute on "La Ultima de las Aranas Beuenas", his gorgeous vocals just soar into the heavens, and his more aggressive style works wonders on bombastic pieces like the title track and "Juguetes durante el día". The latter piece, and actually a few others here, have a feel not unlike some of the Italian greats like PFM and Banco. Keyboard lovers will dig the immense Hammond and Moog sounds of "Sacando Punta" and 'Requiem", two pieces just dripping with vintage prog rock splendor. Ricardo Henestroza is a fine player, and he spreads his talents all throughout this CD alongside the sinewy guitar work of Pinelli and the intricate drum fills from Mario Pugliese.
The CD also includes a few bonus live tracks which are not the best quality, but give some insight into how well Habitat sound on stage ("The Troubadour's Love " is especially good). Puente is a fine example of modern prog rock, and if you like your vocals sung in Spanish, with lots of tasty guitar and keyboards, you can't go wrong with this one.
1) Puentes / Bridges (3.51)
2) Sacando punta / Sharping a pencil (4.30)
3) Requiem (2.23)
4) Juguetes durante el día / Daytime toys (6.26)
5) Labradora espacial / Space farmer (5.29)
6) La enamorada del juglar - En vivo en Liberarte, Septiembre 15, 2000 /
7) The troubadour´s love - Live at Liberarte, September 15 th, 2000 (2.22)
8) Tema para "Universo Limbo" / Theme for "Universo Limbo" (2.51)
9) La última de las arañas buenas / The last of good spiders (8.08)
10) Guardianes del jardín / Guards of garden (4.47)