Alpha III - New Voyage To Ixtlan

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Rock Symphony
Catalog Number: RSLN015
Format: CD
Total Time: 73:26:00

In 1992 the Italian label Mellow released an album which had been recorded as a jam session in Sao Paulo in 1990. Based around the all-instrumental concept of keyboard player Amir Cantusio Jr., the album Voyage To Ixtlan (MMP-130) contained music that was more psychedelic than pure "prog." Now, several years later, it seems the initial Mellow release has long been out of print, hence the fact that the Brazilian Rock Symphony label recently put out New Voyage To Ixtlan adding no fewer than three new songs to the original album, with an extra playing time of over 22 minutes.

The actual album is based on the book by Carlos Castaneda and dedicated to, amongst others, the lost American Toltec [hi Jon Anderson!] Indians Civilization. Furthermore, Amir Cantusio Jr. is all for nature, peace and love, hence the more psychedelic approach to his music, getting close to the Woodstock LSD feel. Just listen to the lengthy "The Cave Of Gods" and that superb "freaky" acid drenched guitar from Paulo Archangelo to get the feel of Alpha III's music. Both bass and drums follow a hypnotizing loop whilst guitar and keyboards alternate. "Inner Fire" sounds more symphonic with lots of synthesizer riffs and strong bass playing. The title track "Voyage To Ixtlan" is based on an Eastern repetitive rhythm interspersed by distorted synths and guitar before the song changes towards an early Floyd feel. On the "original" CD release an extra track was added in the form of "The Wizard." Recorded in 1985 with a different drummer and bass player this is an uptempo song based around organ and synth but badly recorded.

The first of the (new) extra songs is "Between The Two Worlds" which gets close to ELP where Amir's classical organsound is concerned. Sadly the rhythm is a bit cheap and transparent. "The Other Side" is much too long and holds few surprises, being an ongoing thing without any soul, leaning more towards meaningless cosmic material. The final song "Stone Warriors" again is better, as it highlights the organ once again. At times it gets close to Triumvirat, however the rhythm approaches the piece in an Asia kind of way thus adding a commercial feel to it. Clearly these three final songs are more like demos, yet they were recorded in 1995 and illustrate the current interest of Amir, which is certainly focussed on organ. If Alpha III wants to continue I would advise them to create interesting music around the organ, leave the psychedelic references behind and make a big effort where the rhythm is concerned. Especially in the very progressive sounding "Stone Warriors," the drum parts sound as if they were recorded for a Flock of Seagulls album!

Voyage To Ixtlan is Amir Cantusio's eighth work, after having written Mar De Cristal, Sombras, Ruinas Circulares, Agartha, Temple Of Delphos, The Aleph and The Seven Spheres moving from progressive rock to electronic music.

Overture (0:48) / The Cave Of Gods (25:14) / Inner Fire (6:09) / Voyage To Ixtlan (13:31) / The Wizard (6:01) / Between The Two Worlds (5:37) / The Other Side (10:02) / Stone Warriors (6:44)

Amir Cantusio Jr. - keyboards
Romano Ferrari - drums
Lucio Archangelo - bass
Paulo Archangelo - guitars
Mauricio Lambiasi - drums (5)
Eduard Furlan - bass (5)

Mar De Cristal (1983)
Sombras (1986)
Agartha (1987)
Ruínas Circulares (1987)
Temple of Delphos (1987)
The Aleph (1989/1998)
The Seven Spheres (1990)
Voyage To Ixtlan (1993)
The Edge (1995/2001)
New Voyage To Ixtlan (2000)

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin BR

Added: December 27th 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Hits: 1429
Language: english


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