Title: Euphoria… Of Flesh, Men and The Great Escape
Genre: Rock, Acoustic,Alternative, Folk, Indie, metal, post-rock, progressive, soundscape
Band introduction: Bauda is formed by Cesar Marquez in 2006, an architect by profession, studies in 3D animation and photography, make up a solo character entity with some guest musicians. The sound images are fused with landscapes, textures, surfaces of Chile in different shades and styles of music, either post rock, folk, ambient, dark, finally alternative rock. – Taken from the band’s Bandcamp page
1st Listen: Some really interesting arrangements and sounds on this album. I’m not sold on the vocals 100%, but I feel they have their place and will grow on me overtime. However I lost interest after the first two tracks. Maybe my mind was elsewhere, maybe there is a lot to take in and I didn’t give it my full attention. There are some very folky elements that I’ll probably have to get my head around as that is not something I listen to often, save maybe some folky black metal, but that’s a different sound all together!
I think this album is promising, but I need to listen again.
2nd Listen: Something rustles, synths crawl; a Mike Pattern type whisper comes in with claps. The vocals evolve into singing and “Ghosts of Phantalassa” is well underway. The change to a clean acoustic guitar and shimmering sounds is unexpected, but well received. Skipping back to the whispered parts sounds forced though. It moves back to the acoustic guitar and some typical tremolo picks lines are put in the mix until the track steps up a gear, driven by the drums. This is a really cool sounding part, but the whole song is bitty, and the ruins the overall emotion conveyed.
The rest of the track feels good and then bursts into “HumAnimals” which just does not feel like it wants to let up and is borderline thrashy until about 2.5 minutes where a simple arpeggio brings the tempo down with some beautiful swirling synths that slowly introduce the vocals. We have whispered and sung parts again and again which fit into the mix and carry the track. The track gets heavier again and almost wears it out. Maybe it could have been shorter; maybe that was the idea.
“Silhouttes” is folky with a rock edge. It’s almost a straight up song with verses and choruses! It’s got this heaviness that almost wants to break out, but does not quite. The double bass drives the track along, but really makes you listen as it should be out of place; but it is not.
“Oceania” starts off with vocals, again both sung and whispered. The track drags on and on. The drone after the vocals cut out is brilliant, but does not feel like it should be part of the track. Then it just stops and the track changes again. It could be a whole new song.
Damn, I missed the rest of that and suddenly I’m halfway through “The Great Escape”. I’m still finding the structure of these tracks to be far to all over the place. Some very cool ideas, some of the vocals are pretty good, there’s just nothing holding it all together. “Ascension”, again, could be two tracks. An eastern feeling first half of the song goes on too long and then the vocal part comes in. I do like the marching, driving feel of the drums on this part.
“Crepuscular” has a chilled out acoustic guitar part that holds the track together. It’s the shortest track on the album and therefore the most together of all the tracks. Beautiful, and completely out of place! This is my favourite track.
“…Mare Nostrvm? (El llanto de Quintay)” tries to tie the album together as a whole by using the rustling samples that were used in the first track. How can you tie something together that is so badly put together in the first place? I am so disappointed by the fact there are amazing ideas here, but just chucked together with seemingly no thought. However this last track is another great track. It does not go anywhere because it does not have to, 10 minutes of noise ends the album perfectly.
3rd Listen: It’s hard to really feel this as an album. Each track has its own charms, but most lack in structure that drives the track from beginning to end. There are probably ideas here that could be expanded into twice as many tracks, each one with purpose. “Crepuscular” is still best idea on this album. It is so simple and wonderfully melodic.
All in all I enjoyed the album more on this listen as I was not listening closely. The complexity of the album would make me think that the composer really wanted you to listen; to find all the subtle nuances that make the ideas great. In that respect it fails.
Conclusion: Bauda have delivered an album with some superbly realised ideas that have been stuck together like pasta shells on paper.
- First Impression: Indifferent
- Final Impression: Indifferent