Torca - Torca


Year of Release: 2001
Label: Asenath Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 33:33:00

It's a small world we live in. Hailing from Progfreaks.com's resident city of Monterrey, Mexico, Torca is more than just a seed in the collective conglomerate of thoughts, remembrances, and overall mental chaos that slides, crawls, and seeps through the conscience of yours truly. Torca is actually home to a bassist that played for a short while with my band (www.mp3.com/presence/) before it broke up and ended up waiting for me to resurrect it from the ashes in the good old USA sometime soon. Torca is also home to a drummer whose name is a legend in the local death and black metal scene. And Torca is the brainchild of Rodrigo Cantú, whom I actually didn't know before ... if it counts for something though, he studies at a university where a bunch of my friends study!

So there you go; it's a small world when you know all these people in a city that is nearing the four million mark. And fortunately so, because I can assure my three or four loyal readers out there that one can't help but feel proud of having a trio of musicians of the highest caliber and different backgrounds get together in this rotten dump and produce something that is not only good, but actually quite worthwhile. Taking a cue from legends ELP, digging into the goldmine of acts such as Il Balleto di Bronzo, and spicing up the exquisite recipe by putting in all sorts of different influences and a look into the future that does not disdain the past, Torca has managed to release an instrumental keyboard-driven debut album that people in search of quality music are definitely bound to enjoy.

And although the alternation of heavy symphonic passages that crawl like a worm inside one's brain with tripped out seventies rock kitsch in "Color" gets things going relatively well, it is without a doubt the three-part piéce de rèsistance "Laberinto" that will get people who are into heavy symphonic rock with loads of changes, an aggressive attitude, and considerable duration clawing at the walls and begging for more. Instantly offering Torca's unique musical vision, each of the instrumental mazes that conform this suite are spastically all over the place, with Aldo Guerra's drumming reaching levels of frantic intensity and caveman strength that contrast with the finesse and precision of his brother's bass work (oh yes, I forgot to tell you that little bit of trivia). In the meantime, Cantú's synthesizers carry the torch bravely by means of themes with a deceiving simplicity that are constantly being changed and moved around, challenging his companions into sudden switches that will at one point shortly recall Rush, at another Keith Emerson, at another Arsnova, and basically just dive into some really intense stuff most of the time.

Add to that the laid-back, pseudo-tribal percussive coolness of "Nova," which is a truly elegant contrast to the previous musical mayhem taking place, and you know that these guys know what they are doing. Sure, focus is sometimes lost during the different segments that conform "Laberinto" and leave one standing in forlorn questioning before things suddenly get back on track again, and the production, while not actually bad, could have been better by letting both drums and bass breathe more instead of sometimes being washed away by the onrushing waves of synthesizers, but even the greatest fail sometimes. Yeah, these guys come from what I earlier described as a small world, but listening to Torca's self-titled debut album and its members' prowess made me realize once again that even big music can come out of a small world.

Similar artists: ELP, Il Balleto di Bronzo

[This review originally appeared at Marcelo's ProgFreaks.com site. The mp3.com link no longer refers to Marcelo's band? -ed.]


Tracklisting:
Estaci?n A (1:12) / Color (3:26) / Visión (1:52) / Laberinto (Parte I) (9:37) / Laberinto (Parte II) (6:35) / Laberinto (Parte III) (6:02) / Nova (4:06) / Estaci?n B (0:42)

Musicians:
Rodrigo Cantú - synthesizers, programming, electronic drums
Alan Guerra - bass
Aldo Guerra - drums

Discography:
Torca (2001)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin MX

Added: July 16th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Score:
Artist website:
Hits: 373
Language: english

  

[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]