A TRIP INTO THE REALM OF ROCK ANDALUZ:
NEW BANDS BETWEEN 2016 AND 2023
Contents:- Introduction: a short personal story about my passion for rock Andaluz
- Chapter One : new rock Andaluz bands between 2016 and 2020
- Chapter Two : new rock Andaluz bands between 2021 and 2023
- Post Scriptum: Muchas gracias, señor Juan Antonio Vergara!
|Medina Azahara -
|Mezquita - Recuerdos
De Mi Tierra
TAIFA - Embrujo (2016)
ALPESA - Renacer (2017)
|Alpesa live||Qamar band|
QAMAR - Todo Empieza Aqui (2020)
Quamar is a new Andalusian band that released its debut album entitled Todo Empieza Aqui in 2020 on the Chilean prog rock label Mylodon Records. Qamar features four members playing drums, bass, keyboards
From the first track until the final one the musicianship and interplay are awesome, the sound has a strong and compelling Arabesca flavour, blended with elements from blues and hard rock to symphonic rock and neo-prog. The music is loaded with dynamics, tension and strong, varied work on guitar and keyboards. So, I am delighted about Qamar, what a promising prog Andaluz band!
Todo Empieza Aqui: the highlight is the instrumental epic title track. A dreamy intro with sparkling grand piano and flamenco guitar, then a propulsive mid-tempo piece with rock guitar and exciting play on guitar, keyboards and saxophone, with an obvious Arabesca undertone. Next flamenco guitar and flute, evoking the Paco De Lucia sextet, then fragile electric guitar and swinging piano with flamenco guitar evoking Iman. In the final part moving violin and exciting flamenco guitar, culminating in a short, sumptuous eruption to end. Wow!
SHERISH - El Candil (2021)
ARABIGA - Amores Y Desenganos (2022)
|Arabiga live||Randy Lopez live|
RANDY LOPEZ - Apocalipsis? (2022)
The nine tracks contain a lot of energetic mid-tempo beats, embellished with strong work on guitars and keyboards, fuelled by a powerful rhythm-section with hints from Medina Azahara, but also more elaborate and tastefully arranged varied songs.
Apocalipsis?: in the title track you'll hear an exciting break with strong interplay, Hammond and biting wah-wah guitar.
Mi Barrio Ya No Es Mi Barrio: wonderful Arabesca sounding keyboard orchestrations in this one. After an ominous intro and soaring organ, the music shifts to an up-tempo with fiery guitar and Hammond.
Pasado, Presente Y Futuro: a sparkling synthesizer solo with a swinging bass.
Maldición: this compelling track contains a dark sound with an aggressive undertone and raw and intense vocals, then blistering wah-wah guitar and sensational synthesizer flights.
¿Quién Mueve Los Hilos Del Mundo?: exciting track with heavy guitars and a swirling Hammond solo.
Un Mundo Sin Amor: lots of variety and tension in this dynamic track: from mellow with tender vocals to bombastic outbursts with heavy guitar 7 and sumptuous Hammond sounds.
Espinas Y Rosas: the final track starts with soaring strings and gentle acoustic rhythm-guitar, soon sensitive electric guitar joins, then a catchy beat with a fiery guitar solo, strongly evoking Medina Azahara.
VAREKAI - Me Siento Vivo (2022)
Vivo: this track strongly evokes Another One Bites The Dust by Queen, but the fiery and biting wah-wah guitar play gives an extra dimension.
Te Debo Tanto: in this wonderful ballad guest musician Jose Fermin Fernandez plays delicate flamenco guitar in a fascinating way contrasting with the howling guitar runs and wah-wah sound. If you are up to guitar-oriented rock Andaluz, I highly recommend this album.
|Varekai live||Vandalus live|
VANDALUS - Vandalus (2022)
Ensuenos: a wonderful Arabesca sounding intro, then a build-up to rock with blistering guitar and a powerhouse rhythm-section in the short instrumental.
Mujer: lots of fine musical ideas in this dynamic and alternating track, embellished within heavy guitars, organ and strings.
Hamman: a short instrumental with a flamenco guitar intro, then huge tension in the music featuring awesome interplay between the drums and the keyboards.
The final three compositions feature Vandalus in its most progressive mood and showcases the maturity and writing skills of the band.
Indifferencia: from tender piano and vocals to a mid-tempo with sensational synthesizer flights and thunderous drums. In between flowing changing atmospheres, omnipresent Hammond organ and howling guitar runs, Medina Azahara comes to my mind.
Salud Y Rock Andaluz: a bombastic and heavy tribute with passionate vocals and blistering guitar.
Fatigas: first bombastic with rock guitar and orchestral keyboards, then a slow rhythm with propulsive guitar riffs, the interplay is amazing. Finally, a long and spectacular Hammond solo with a strong Arabesca undertone. Wow, goose bumps! I love rock Andaluz!
SHERISH - Escampa (2023)
Colores: the rap voice by Samuray King proves the more adventurous musical ideas.
El Mendigo Del Parque: contains a choir.
Escampa Acoustico: in between all those heavy and bombastic rock Andaluz this final track is a wonderful mellow piece, blending howling electric guitar, spacy synthesizer flights and passionate vocals.
Conqustando Del Miedo: one of the two longer compositions showcase the progress in writing. This one will carry you away to the heaven of rock Andaluz. Lots of changing atmospheres, dynamics and tension, embellished with awesome work on keyboards: from sparkling piano and flashy synthesizer to majestic Farfisa organ and a compelling orchestral keyboard sound, and heavy and howling guitar runs, fuelled by a powerhouse rhythm-section. Wow!
Contra Vineto Y Marea: an alternating long composition in which the Medina Azahara hints are obvious. The music shifts from mellow with dreamy guitar and spacy synthesizers to prog metal with biting guitar, spectacular synthesizer flights and thunderous drums, the interplay is amazing and very exciting.
Escampa: the elements of pivotal rock Andaluz formation Medina Azahara have led to an invitation to their singer Manuel Martinez in the first track. The sound shifts from mellow with gentle piano and soaring strings to bombastic with blistering guitar and Arabesca orchestral keyboards, topped with the powerful and emotional voice of Manuel.
Unfortunately, I am just told by the owner of 5Lunas that Sherish no longer exist, but the keyboard player has founded a new band named Almatraz, a trio playing symphonic metal.
Post Scriptum -
Muchas gracias, señor Juan Antonio Vergara!
Erik Neuteboom (October 2023, edited by Peter Willemsen)
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