Sonus Umbra - Spiritual Vertigo

Year of Release: 2003
Label: self released (The Sound of Shadow)
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 61:38:00

Progressive Hard Rock formation (as they describe themselves on their website) Sonus Umbra from Mexico is a bit of a mysterious band, but an interesting one. Their third album Spiritual Vertigo spent considerable time in my CD player, and even despite this, I am not over enthusiastic over it. Personally, I prefer to label them art rock, as the whole image the band breathes on both the album and their website, in my opinion, lies very close to art: they display a picture and you, as listener, can let your own imagination work with it.

The music on Spiritual Vertigo is a bit dark of mood. The keyboards, played by Luis Nasser, are mainly there to support the music, as the songs are mostly guitar based. Besides the music, here the lyrics also are quite important to complete the picture. On the website you can find the lyrics, with a short description of what they are about and some fascinating pieces of artwork with it. You really should check that out!

The vocals of Andres Aullet have a touch of melancholy over them, but it no sparks, unfortunately. In several songs, he is supported by guest vocalist Lisa Frances, which adds warmth and harmony to the vocal parts of the songs. The use of acoustic guitars works really good, but on the other hand, the band knows to put in some good heavy riffs, like in "Amnesia Junkies PT II (Pax Israelica)," a politically loaded song on the situation in Israel. This song shows Sonus Umbra dares to experiment, as this song is sung by drummer Jeff Laramee and features Luis Nasser on all other instruments (except drums of course). The previous song, "Amnesia Junks PT I (Pax Americana)," deals with the "American Way of Life," but is less dark then PTII, but more up-tempo.

The cover art looks a bit weird and the production could use some work, unless they intended the sound to be this way, but Spiritual Vertigo is a nice album, with lots of material to think about; but musically it did not fully convince me, as it does not stand out, although I feel they have the potential. Luis Nasser happens to be a reviewer himself, but it seems he did not learn much from it, as this release is not more than average.

[This review originally appeared April 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Bone Machines (5:56) / Fool?s Arcadia (8:40) / Man Of Anger And Light (4:18) / Fascinoma (7:10) / Self Erosion (6:03) / Amnesia Junkies Pt I (Pax Americana) (4:19) / Amnesia Junkies Pt II (Pax Iraelica) (3:42) / Timequake (5:31) / Rust In My Sleep (3:31) / Snakes And Ladders (10:58)

Andres Aullet - lead vocals
Luis Nasser - bass, keyboards, acoustic & crunch guitars, odd vocals
Ricardo Gomez - lead guitars
Jeff Laramee - drums, vocals

Special Guests:

Lisa Frances - vocals
John Grant - additional lead guitars

Snapshots From Limbo
Spiritual Vertigo (2003)
Digging For Zeroes (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin MX

Added: January 1st 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 889
Language: english


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