Octohpera - Bons Amigos

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Rock Symphony
Catalog Number: RSLN 076
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:49:00

The reason why this album "happened" in the first place was the ten years of friendship between the musicians. It's that friendship that acts as glue in order to deliver the material on this album. They claim their friendship is that strong that they surely have material for a multitude of albums. But are we willing to listen to all of that material? Let's give their debut album a critical spin first. With most of the songs written between guitarist Pablo Marques and singer Robson Bertolossi the Octophera material mainly consists of shorter songs that in most cases firmly contain their roots. The band even goes as far as offering its musicians a solo spot as does guitarist Marques during his delicate acoustic guitar solo "Inspra?ao." Next to the often difficult sound of the Brazilian language the band also delivers a composition sung in English, which gives us a much better idea of the international possibilities of the band. "The Continuous Rebirth Of Life In The Infinity Of The Horizon" sadly isn't the kind of explosive song I expected, because other than an impressive title there's little on offer here. On the other hand "Ibéria" once again offers the distinctive Brazilian colours we're after. During "Pan" the keyboards sadly disappoint because they are left way in the background instead of being used as the counterpart for the guitar. It's like they heard my prayers, as during "Marco" the synths are given the lead. However they don't work at all together with the guitar. It's like both instruments are playing two different songs! "Marco" is an epic built out of four individual parts. Here Octophera finally starts to live, giving every single instrument the right space to complement to the group effort. "Febre" is a nice result, fusing funky and jazzy aspects together right into "Nunca Mais Irei Pra Longe De Ti" which even contains a couple of bars from the Beatles classic "Here, There And Everywhere." Nice one! But it becomes a little too much when "Brincam Nos Sonhos, Bons Amigos" kicks off with exactly the same chords as "Here Comes The Sun"! You can say you're a Beatles fanatic, but "borrowing" two main themes from your heroes without mentioning it goes a little too far I'm afraid!

Although I'm a sucker for personal songs, the inclusion of "Calarei-me Sem Ti," written by keyboard player Paulo Elizardo leaves me with big questions. First of all, the recording quality of this song is far inferior to the other work on this album. Secondly Paulo doesn't really know how to sing whilst the quality of the composition and his playing is very weak. All good intentions aside, but this Bons Amigos album sadly remains the kind of album that will only remain loved amongst ?Bons amigos? and not a great deal outside of that intimate circle. This can be enough for the band, but I doubt whether at all this justifies forthcoming releases as long as they are of the same "quality." Five musicians surely must have the talent to deliver much better stuff than this. And I already had such high hopes because they used recycled paper for their booklet. After listening to the album I feel sorry they didn't recycle some of their songs!

As Pioras Coisas (4:41) /Omega (4:08) / Inspira?ao (2:40) / Monges Combatentes (3:46) / Viagem Ao Jardim Da Aurora Sem Fim (5:47) / The Continous Rebirth Of Life In The Infinity Of The Horizon (6:39) / Ibéria (2:02) / Pan (5:49) / Marco (16:23) / Calarei-Me Sem Ti (4:44)

Marcio Baltar - drums
Pablo Marques - guitar, backing vocals, violin, percussion
Paulo Elizardo - keyboards, vocals
Robson Bertolossi - vocals
Julian Quilodran - bass, flute

Bon Amigos (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin BR

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

Hits: 1186
Language: english


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