Amarok - Sol De Medianoche

Year of Release: 2007
Label: ProgRock Records
Catalog Number: PRR265
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:10:00

Amarok is a band from Spain that has been making music since the early 90s. Their name means Wolf in the Eskimo langauge. In their 17 years existence they have released 7 studio albums. All their releases are known for the many ethnic and folk influences found within, and their first 6 albums are all sung in Spanish. But now the band has teamed up with ProgRock Records and have released their 7th studio album called Sol De Medianoche or Midnight Sun.

Here all the familiar elements are present: all kinds of ethnic and folk instruments and sounds. But the band is very progressive and always looks for new ways to bring their music. So on this album, besides Spanish, several songs are sung in their local dialect, Catalan, and some even in English!

When you hear the album, your first thought will be it is a folk album rather than a prog album. True, the folk sound is very much on top, but the more you listen to the album, the more layers and details you will discover. Of course the Spanish/Catalan vocals emphasize the folk influence greatly. I must say it was a real experience for me to listen to this album.

A lot of instruments are used to create their trademark sound as well as a lot of guest musicians. But the result is a very interesting and highly entertaining album, with great production. It is a delight to listen to the music. Marta Segura has a beautiful voice and even though I do not understand what she sings about, her vocals are very captivating. The Spanish language is always filled with emotion and that is definitely one of the strong points of this album.

Each song is an adventure, although some almost frighten you at first, like this unearthly growl at the beginning of "Wendigo." But don't let these things scare you off, as it is always followed by some beautiful music. Or listen to small instrumentals like "Duet For Hang And Bass," where you find the band has put a lot of thought in performing their music. Excellent stuff!

Although I do find numerous progressive elements in the music of Amarok, I must emphasize the folk/traditional influences dominate the overall sound. Nevertheless I do recommend this album to all who are tired of the repetitive albums of some of the 'established prog bands,' as this is definitely different. Different and very good.

Sephiroth / Hermits / Xiongmao / Wendigo / Duet For Hang And Bass / Mama Todorka / Ishak The Fisherman / Eight Touts / Midnight Sun / Xiongmao II / Abaddon's Bolero

Robert Santamaria - keyboards, accordion, Turkish saz, 12 string guitar, Iranian santur, kanun, dulcimer, autoharp, xilophon, glockensoiel, hang, percussion
Manel Mayol - all flutes, didgeridoo, backing vocals
Mireia Sisquella - alto and soprano saxophones
Marta Segura - lead vocals
Alan Chehab - electric bass
Renato Prinzio - drums

Guest Musicians

Pablo Tato - electric guitar (8, 9)
Andres Oleagui - electric guitar (3)
Victor Estrada - Spanish guitar (9), theremin effects (4)
Branislav Grbic - violin (3, 6, 7, 8, 11)
Pepe Andreu - trumpet (4, 7, 8, 9), flugelhorn (7, 9, 11), piccolo (11)
Marta Riba - backing vocals - (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11)
Nuri Sabate - backing vocals - (6)
Moi Perez - Tibetan chant (4), harmonics (1, 7)
Luis Blanco - vibraslap (7)

Els Nostres Petits Amics ()
Canciones De Los Mundos Perdidos (1995)
Gibra'ara (1998)
Tierra De Especias (2000)
Mujer Luna (2002)
Quentadhark?n (2004)
Sol de Medianoche (2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin ES

Added: February 3rd 2008
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 3886
Language: english


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