Anima Mundi & Mangrove

September 15, 2012    De Lakei Helmond (NL)

I think many people didn't expect Anima Mundi to return to The Netherlands so soon for another live show after their splendid performance last year during the LiveProg Festival (see review) in the same venue. Usually bands hailing from Cuba don't travel abroad that much, I guess. However, their stay for almost two months in our country to record their fourth studio album allowed them to do some concerts as well. Many prog heads were delighted with this unexpected gig. Those who had seen the band last year wanted to relive those fine moments again. In 2011 they performed together with Sky Architect and M!ndgames. This time they gave a double concert with their Dutch friends from Mangrove to entertain an international audience as prog rock devotees from Belgium and France were present as well.

Anima Mundi

Most people had expected that Mangrove would perform first. However, it turned out that our friends from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean started. This time they weren't welcomed with the words 'Cuba libra!', but instead somebody in the audience said that it felt like yesterday that they made their debut on the
Carlos Sosa and Virginia Peraza
same Dutch stage. Well, it surely felt that way because quite a number of songs they played more than a year ago were performed now as well. However, this time they didn't start with a marvellous version of Time To Understand, but with Jagannath Orbit, the strong title track from their second album. As soon as they started to play it was obvious that Anima Mundi again were willing to perform their music in a most professional way. The guitar solos of Roberto Diaz were played with great musicianship and lead singer Carlos Sosa once again proved that his voice is just as strong before an audience as in the studio. Moreover, he was the host of the band and he played some percussion and keyboards as well. During Cosmic Man there was a fine interaction between Sosa and keyboard player Virginia Peraza. She played very seriously on her stack of keyboards making sure to make no mistakes and allowing the audience to enjoy her fine playing. Also the rhythm section gave their best shots. Especially bassist Yaroski Corredera was insistently present with some fine solo parts as could be heard during Cosmic Man.
During the new piece The Return / Tales From Endless Star drummer Manuel Govin got assistance on percussion by
Roberto Díaz
Remco Engels
(Mangrove). Their short drum duet really sounded perfect just as the remainder of the material they performed. The final piece of the regular set was El Umbral (The Threshold), a piece from their debut album Septentrión. By doing so they hoped to get some attention for the tenth anniversary of that album. It was obvious that the audience wanted an encore after this track. They got Sanctuary after which the band got again a well-deserved big hand just like last year. They proved to belong to the premier league of the prog rock scene. I guess that many spectators didn't expect Mangrove to outclass this strong performance. So they left the concert hall to get a drink in the café, to buy Live In Europe, Anima Mundi's new live CD/DVD or even went on their way home!


Roland van der Horst and Pieter Drost (L)
Unfortunately not all people stayed to witness Mangrove's concert. Nothing against Anima Mundi, but in my opinion Mangrove's performance was even better, but maybe it isn't fair to compare both bands. Of course, music is never a competition between bands. Perhaps I've mentioned it in previous reviews, but Mangrove belong to the best Dutch live bands, which they proved again during this outstanding performance that only included highlights. During the concert of Chris Jonker (keyboards), Roland van der Horst (guitars, vocals), Pieter Drost (bass guitar, bass pedals) and Remco Engels (drums, e-percussion), my thoughts strayed away to the times that bands as Pink Floyd, Camel and Genesis recorded excellent albums.

Chris Jonker
Everything was so well done! I heard many excellent guitar and keyboard solos, bombastic keyboard parts and superb climaxes. No time to go to the toilet; they have it all and without having a weak or dull moment. When the audience gets tired Roland van der Horst will keep them awake while moving around the stage, climbing on speakers or jumping off the stage to play his guitar parts amongst the people in the audience. For a short time drummer Manuel Govin entered the stage to join Remco Engels doing another drum duet. This performance showed again why Engels joined Mangrove after the release of the band's latest album Beyond Reality (2009). His technical skills and his new arrangements lift the band to an even higher quality level. Maybe it would have been fair if Mangrove got an encore as well, but when they left the stage nobody asked for it. I guess it was okay by them since they knew, just like me, that they performed a brilliant show enjoyed by those who stayed until the last notes died away. Therefore an encore was probably not needed!

Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

Setlist Anima Mundi:

Jagannath Orbit
Time To Understand
Flying To The Sun
The Return
Tales From Endless Star
Cosmic Man
El Umbral (The Threshold)

Pictures Anima Mundi by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Anima Mundi:

(left to right)
Virginia Peraza:
keyboards, backing vocals
Roberto Díaz:
guitars, backing vocals
Carlos Sosa:
percussion, keyboard, lead & backing vocals
Yaroski Corredera:
bass guitar
Manuel Govin:

Setlist Mangrove:

Daydreamer's Nightmare
Time Will Tell
Wizards Of Tunes
Reality Fades
City Of Darkness
There Must Be Another Way
Beyond Reality

Pictures Mangrove by Arthur Haggenburg

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Line up Mangrove:

(left to right)
Chris Jonker:
Roland van der Horst:
guitars, vocals
Pieter Drost:
bass guitar, bass pedals
Remco Engels:
drums, e-percussion

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