Supernova - Lleva El Brillo Del Sol

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Viajero Inmovil
Catalog Number: SN002
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:48:00

If there were a way to encapsulate what progressive rock is, then it would be easy to tell you that Argentina's Supernova are progressive rock. For sure all the hallmarks of the genre are there - tinkly and parpy keyboard passages, epic scope to the arrangements, a sense of drama, complex instrumental interplay. It's all here. Vocalist Maria Macaya has a dark and sultry voice, that at times works perfectly - and does so mostly - at other times seems immature and youthful (at times on the closing piece "El Viaje De Isis"). When it works, there are times when I thought of many a modern female jazz vocalist, though of no one person in particular (she sounds like Sade on parts of "Secretos Divinos," however; I think of Sonia Nedelec (Minimum Vital) as well). Macaya's voice is rich and full and unrestrained.

Musically, the band have a big sound - the album opens with the thunder of drums (Norberto Barcala), an element that rarely lets up during the 8-minute plus opening track "El Hipernauta". But this is also track that also features lilting flute (from keyboardist Alejandro Kordon), an instrument which reappears throughout (only occasionally recalling Ian Anderson). On bass is Mariano Sanchez, who plays some very interesting leads. One thing you'll notice about the band's line up - no guitar (aside from a guest appearance from Michael Oropeza) - any guitar like sounds are MIDI or played by Sanchez on bass.

They have a cavernous and clear sound? exaulted? almost religious in is epic glory - one need only listen to "Apocalipsis II," the second track, for evidence. Or the chiming bells in "Despues De Todo" and "El Viaje?" Or even the brassy horns sound in the closes "El Viaje?" "Apocalipsis II" starts with understated and moody keyboard atmospheres, effects, and returns to these throughout its 7-plus minute playing time. There's a reason why they have the term Rock Sinfonico under their name - this is truly symphonic rock. If you take all those terms mean to you - if you were to take ELP and Yes together, mix in a movie soundtrack feel you will have a starting point. ELP in some of the keyboard, Yes in the scope.

Supernova formed in 1991, releasing their debut, Point Of Infinity in 1998. Lleva El Brillo Del Sol is their second album, released in 2002 by Viajero Inmovil; the title loosely translates as It Takes The Brightness Of The Sun. These two tracks plus the third, the less appealing "Despues De Todo" (due to the "keyboard sounding" keyboards mainly? over processed perhaps), are separate from the core of the album, the suite "Isis," which consists of seven pieces, ranging from under a minute to nearly nine minutes. The shorter pieces are instrumentals.

The first instrumental is the classical, regal sounding piece "Nacimiento." It's the four of them - well, three of them - and yet you suspect that there must have been an orchestra in there somewhere. The magic of synths and samples, I guess. Though I'm sure it's me, there were moments during the piece where I though of John Williams, mainly because there are moments that have a darkly cinematic soundtrack feel to them. "Inmensidad Total" includes a choir of voices, though I'm not sure if they Macaya multi-tracked or a guest choir (no mention of a guest choir in the credits).

It is an ambitious effort. While this isn't a perfect album, it is very, very good. There are times where things seem a little hurried, but these moments are few and minor. One can feel the youthful enthusiasm the artists have; they have not become jaded and feel that they do anything. With time an artist learns to create a balance of between what one can and what one should include in an arrangement. And I fully expect Supernova to get to that point. The production quality is great, with enough clarity that every little element from the subtlest of bass lines or percussion element to keyboard feature can be heard. All of which gives Supernova a very expansive feel.

El Hipernauta (8:09) / Apocalipsis II (7:26) / Despues De Todo (6:57) / Isis: Nacimiento (1:41) / Divinizacion (8:57) / El Esplendor (1:01) / Inmensidad Total (6:13) / Superciencia (0:50) / Secretos Divinos (7:25) / La Fuerza (0:47) / El Viaje De Isis (7:02)

Maria Macaya - vocals
Alejandro Kordon - keyboards and flute
Mariano Sanchez -bajo
Norberto Barcala - drums and percussion

Point Of Infinity (1998)
Lleva El Brillo Del Sol (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin AR

Added: June 23rd 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1013
Language: english


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