Home            Artist links            Label link

Album cover

Hyacintus - Fantasia En Concerto

Artist: Hyacintus
Title: Fantasia En Concerto
Label: Viajero Inmovil
Length(s): minutes
Year(s) of release: 2003
Month of review: [04/2004]

Line up

Jacinto Miguel Corral - electric, classical and acoustic guitar, piano, keyboards, bass, cello, viola, percussion, backing vocals
Jose Luis Hernandez - drums
Hugo Bistolfi - keyboards on 16
Adrian Barilari - vocals on 16
Daniel Sanchez - stick, bass on 10
Victor Sanchez - percussion on 4, 10 and 12
Ariel Sanchea - melodica on 10
Ana de Marchi - cello on 10
Mery - vocals on 10

Tracks

1) Intro Terra Hoxe 0.46
2) L'Over 3.27
3) Passage Terra I 0.28
4) Antique Song 5.08
5) Passage Terra II 0.52
6) Geomelodysong 3.36
7) Passage Terra III 0.53
8) Relmu Tromen 4.40
9) Passage Terra IV 1.00
10) D´sir De Liberté (E. 14) 5.18 MP3
11) Passage Terra V 1.05
12) Intimo 3.39
13) Passage Terra VI 1.58
14) White Mind 6.46
15) Terra Hoxe Final 2.33
16) Quién Eres Tú 6.44

Summary

Hyancintus is Jacinto Miguel Corral, helped out by a number of friends on some of the songs. The artwork is typical for the label: a nice small carton fold. This is not his first work, another album out on the same label is Elydian.

The music

This album features many tracks, sixteen in fact. However, half of those take the form of interludes (and an overture and closing section). These tracks are noticeably shorter.

Intro Terra Hoxe is the short opener, which displays a symphonic and classical air. There is even some cello in here, which is always nice. Too bad the drums sound programmed (a drummer is present, so I guess he simply uses electronic drums). We move right into the L'Over which exhibits a very strong bass presence, reminiscent of Pink Floyd's One Of These Days. There is plenty of bounce and drive in this one, the bounce coming from the bass, the drive from the guitar. Some of the melodies are nice, but not all of them, sometimes they get to be a bit too sugary.

After the next short interlude, Passage Terra I, where the classical sounds (strings) ride high again. It has to be said, that these parts are really interlude. There is nothing song like about them: they start, they proceed, they end, after which we come one of the songs again, which really sound as such. Antique Song is another such song. Again the melodic material borders on triteness, it is all a bit too obvious for my tastes. It also does not help that the guitars are mixed way back, while the more sterile keys lie on top of it all. This may be a consequence of a lack of good recording facilities and/or money, but it does not help me liking the music. In addition, some of the transitions come over as rather unnatural to me. Comparisons can be made to bands such as The Enid and maybe a bit of Mike Oldfield.

Passage Terra II is a somewhat longer interlude in which influences from classically oriented Hollywood soundtracks ride high. The result sounds a bit tinny. Geomelodysong continues the line of the previous songs with a bouncy gait and rather heavy on the percussion. Again, the drums sound triggered and unnatural. The church organ takes the lead here, but the result is still very much a jumble of melodies.

With Relmu Tromen we seem to arrive in Floydian territory, a laid back atmosphere is created. The synths try to build an orchestral feel, but the sound is recognizably artificial, in fact the music seems at times more like electronic music, than symphonic rock. The guitar belies this however, by incoporating a strong Floyd feel and a touch of Karda Estra when the choir vocals set in. Still, Hyacintus has a hard time keeping the fluency in the music; to me it seems too much a constructed thing. The pace does set in towards the end of this part, but still...

Passage Terra IV is a more uplifting orchestral piece after which it is time for D´sir De Liberté (E. 14). This track has the most players on them, which might do the chemistry some good. Contrary to my expectations this is not the same music, but played with more people. Hyacintus has decided to make this into a rather estranging piece with quite a bit of nervous expectation and tension involved. The result is certainly the best I have heard so far, especially the tense quick runs, flowing later into some good melodic guitar work.

With the next interlude we are moved again into John Williams territory, and sounding a bit more natural now. Intimo follows right up, but does not really bring in anything new. White Mind is the longest track on the album., with some relaxed Floydian guitar striding across a woolly carpet of keys. Some parts are quite stately and the melodies are fine.

Quién Eres Tú is the closer and the only real vocal track. They do help in making the song more likable, the language is well suited for introducing the necessary emotionality, something which I have been sorely missing. In fact, this final track is the first real rock track, with the (hard rock?) vocalist going full out.

Conclusion

To make this kind of symphonic and orchestral music with the limitations Hyacintus has posed itself (whether through choice or not, likely not), the consequence may be that the music does not come over as it should. With influences from The Enid, John Williams, recent Mike Oldfield and a dash of Pink Floyd, the synths tend to sound sharp and lack a certain fullness, the guitar is often mixed too much in the back, while the drums seem to be electronic ones. This does not help the music coming to life. Compositionally, I feel that the inclination for complexity, lots of things going on at the same time, works against the appeal. Melodically I find myself in two minds: some of the material at the beginning seems a bit too sugary to me, but later this is compensated for. Still, friends of the lush symphonic classically oriented sympho could give it a try. My fave is track 10, with 16 coming second. Seems that I tend to like the 'band' songs more.

© Jurriaan Hage