Anima Mundi - Septentrion

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Mellow Records
Catalog Number: MMP 432
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:46:00

Hailing from Cuba, Anima Mundi delivers progressive rock that combines a wide variety of elements such as symphonic rock, new age and folk music. Whilst the opening instrumental track "Horizonte" is authentic new age all over, with the second instrumental "Por Siempre," the band already introduces a fair share of folk by means of bagpipes. Both Celtic influences as well as original Cuban melodies are woven throughout the band's compositions although from a "rock" perspective do not expect spectacular arrangements. The melody in "Centinea" is rather bland, whilst it's mainly the instrumental section on both keyboards and bagpipes that "save" this song. "Caleidoscopio" starts with the sound of birds from the rainforest introducing some Steve Howe-like acoustic guitar. This is followed immediately by one of the better tracks on the album, the lengthy "Peregrino Del Tiempo" which this time features some recorder as counterbalance to the electric guitar. As happens a lot the (weak) Spanish singing blocks the quality of the song, which next to the vocal part also includes two instrumental sections. The inclusion of the bagpipes, recorders and tin whistle next to the regular rock instruments is a bit similar to the feel of French band Seven Reizh. Those bagpipes really get a field day during the instrumental "La Montana Del Vigia" but to be honest they creep up all over the place losing their originality as time evolves.

Because of the length of the entire album, Anima Mundi has also included several instrumentals in order to spice up the diversity of the music. However, as already said, the fact that practically every song contains bagpipes one way or another becomes boring, losing all originality along the way. Glad then to hear a song like "El Umbral" where that electric guitar is finally taking over, backed by an interesting rhythm (but that bagpipe is there again as well!!!) before it changes towards an all acoustic offering. The end section could even be used for film purposes due to its magnificent chorus. The album's title track comes right at the very end in the form of the 11-minute long epic "Septentrion," which in fact is built out of five seperate building blocks, three of which are once again instrumental. In these sections the band is much more adventurous than in the vocal passages. All in all this album contains some nice moments but instead of delivering a shocking seventy minutes of original material I would have loved this band to be critical about their work and reduce the length of this album to their best fifty or so minutes. They should also reduce the involvment of the bagpipes in order to maintain their originality, whilst maybe one of the females might try to include some vocals next time around in order to diversify the vocal segments as well.

Horizonte (2:00) / Por Siempre (3:44) / Centinela (5:16) / Caleidoscopio (2:22) / Peregrino Del Tiempo (11:31) / Mas Alla (5:13) / La Montana Del Vigia (4:25) / Las Praderas Del Corazon (6:33) / Tierra Invisible (3:51) / El Hallazgo (5:45) / El Umbral (8:41) / Septentrion (11:16)

Roberto Diaz - electric and acoustic guitar, steel guitar, vocals
Virginia Peraza - keyboards, vocals
Ariel Vald?s - drums, percussion
Ariel Angel - bass
Anaisy Gomez - Galician bag pipes, recorder, clarinet
Regis Rodriguez - Galician bag pipes, recorder, thin whistle, vocals
Andremil Oropeza - lead vocals

Septentrion (2002)
Jagannath Orbit (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CU

Added: September 22nd 2003
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

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Language: english


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