Radio Clip is a very successful Venezuelan band, they release four albums
between 1988 and 1994 and achieve huge regional popularity. After various lineup
shuffles, the band is dissolved and reformed under the name "RC2" in 1999, and
this second incarnation of the band moves to Barcelona, Spain in 2004. In 2008
Mike Portnoy selects the band to support Dream Theater in one of the South
American gigs, playing to an audience of over 7,000, and later in the same year,
they release Future Awaits.
So you'd expect this Venezuelan / Spanish band to play Dream Theater-styled
progressive metal, but you'd be mistaken. It is hard edged third-wave prog, with
a few metallic elements but with more symphonic or neo influences. There are
inserts of traditional Latin American rhythms and instrumentation, but it's
principally the standard rock ensemble with keyboards. In fact the elegant piano
work adds a particularly pleasing element to the music. Testament to their
previous commercial successes, they manage to blend progressive complexities
with an approachability that will reach across genres.
The vocals are delivered in mid-strength, high registers, and are integral to
the band's signature sound. They're pleasing but somewhat unconventional, and
might not find universal appeal. But love them or hate them, the vocals are not
dominant - and most of the music is instrumental.
Despite the band's numerous lineup changes, the depth is apparent and it's
clear that these guys are well versed in song structure, strong musicianship,
and the importance of solid melodies. And the lyrics are in English now, which
will enhance the universal appeal of Future Awaits. The performances are
strong in every department - subtle guitar work, driving bass, very good
drumming - RC2 delivers the whole package.
"El Diablo Suelto" is a playful, all-instrumental piece that clearly
showcases RC2's musicianship - and is probably the standout track. Opening song
"Time Pieces" is an 11-minute mini-epic that moves through several structural
elements and shifting tempos - and look out for the piano-backed wailing guitar
solo about half-way through. It won't blow your socks off, but you'll probably
enjoy it enough to play it again and again. And two-part "Voice Of The Storm" is
a 16-minute epic featuring long, soaring, expressive guitar solos, rich Hammond
and synth sounds, and powerful vocals.
Approachable, hard-edged, melodic, but with plenty of progressive
complexities - a strong addition to the Prog Rock Records stable.
1. Time Pieces
2. Future Awaits
5. El Diablo Suelto
6. Coming Down Again
7. Voice of the Storm - Part 1
8. Voice of the Storm - Part 2