Monday, 12 December 2011

Aghora - Aghora 1999

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz-Metal, Progressive Metal
Release Date: 1999
Label: Dobles Productions

Several acts have risen from the broken remains of technical jazz-metal
legends Cynic, and not the least among them is this shining gem of a band.
Aghora takes the deft rhythmic foundation of their progenitors and combines
it seamlessly with a presentation that's not so much metal as it is a melting
pot of Middle Eastern-influenced exoticism drenched in a metal aesthetic. I
suppose it would be accurate enough to say that there's about as much metal
on this disc as there was on Cynic's Focus.

Without a doubt, guitarist and primary songwriter Santiago Dobles employs
an arsenal of absolutely crushing riffs, as well as searing solos that evoke
images of John McLaughlin at his finest... but these things rarely dominate
the music. Indeed, inbetween occasional assaults of metallic fury Santiago
displays very subtle guitar work that includes classic Indian melodies which
stand as a consistent theme throughout the course of the album, exotic solo
pieces and soothing chord progressions as heard throughout "Frames",
atmospheric flailing as he dances with bassist Sean Malone on the
instrumental "Jivatma", and even extensive use of the sitar as heard primarily
on the closer "Anugraha". Santiago displays a wide range of influences that
stretch well past McLaughlin, and he effectively manages to not sound quite
like any of them - the result is extremely inspired, energetic, creative, and full
of fervor no matter what he happens to be playing....

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