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Zyclope - Uno

Zyclope - UnoA modern take on classic progressive rock is always welcome and Spanish band, Zyclope, have mastered the art.  The six musicians that are Zyclope, Jorge Calvo (flutes), Javier Mira (guitars), Juan Olmos (programming, pianos, voice), Javier del Palacio (bass), Ernesto Sanchez (drums) and Vasia Shevchenko (violins) know their stuff, and whilst Zyclope may be relatively new, these guys have an expertise which is only gained over time.

Uno is full of subtle influences from Camel to Steve Hackett and Alan Parsons Project but they are subtle so don't expect a clone of these bands.

The clever compositions are melodious and often have a Spanish flavour with medieval folk interwoven as in the second track Merlin.  The band also manage to pull off a more northern slightly Scottish, but predominately Dutch style a la Focus minus the Hammond with Viaje a Escocia.

Now and then, Juan Olmos enters into a prog metal style of guitar lick which would seem to fit in well with the band's general symphonic approach. 

The 12 tracks generally vary in length between the three to five minute mark which is a little unusual in the prog world but, rest assured, the music is unquestionably prog.  The album is largely instrumental and when vocals do feature, thankfully they are mixed in the background - to be frank, I do not consider the vocalisations do much to enhance the three or four tracks on which they appear, quite the opposite in fact, but that it a matter of personal taste.

Overall, Uno is a nice album with well constructed compositions and arrangements.  It opens with a strong track but finishes with a somewhat weaker song, albeit dedicated to Juan's girlfriend Paula and full of sentiment and feeling; I think we can allow the maestro one track out of the twelve for this purpose!.  It is  nice to see another Spanish band on the prog scene, especially one that is original.  Uno will hopefully be the springboard that sees Zyclope in demand outside of their home country.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Musea Records

 

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