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Stratus Luna: Stratus Luna

Glenn Astarita By

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These hip young Brazilian cats impart an encyclopedic comprehension of core progressive rock fundamentals, executed with a modern uplift. Hence, there are many tasty treats on this album. Yet the band doesn't predominately focus on extended solos, and concentrates more on compositional acumen, where solos become meaningful amid aural portraitures that adhere to, or in some instances caress, the primary themes.

The quartet's textural and layered tactics are consummated with flourishing keys and guitar-based sound designs, along with memorable hooks, regal motifs and EFX-based wordless vocal chants. Add Gustavo Santhiago's bursting synth notes, symphonic overtures and guitarist Ricardo Santhiago's multi-purposed line of attack via contrapuntal choruses and the rhythm section's solid pulse and you may sense an ambit of storytelling-like attributes.

"O Centro do Labirinto" is engineered with the guitarist's yearning wah-wah lines, supported by punchy grooves and melodramatic mellotron-induced treatments, segueing into tangy guitar phrasings, ostinato licks and a building block approach. And there are a few nods to classic Yes. Moreover, "Zarabatana" is accentuated with an up-tempo and memorable melodic theme, featuring Gustavo Santhiago's swirling organ patterns as his counterpart paints the harmonious and ascending momentum with colorific sitar guitar riffs.

The keyboardist broadcasts a medieval flute passage atop echoing guitar chords on the manifold piece "Onírica" as they close the program with a hybrid lullaby-rocker, "Efêmera." It's quite evident that these young stalwarts took great care developing these endearing pieces without sounding totally derivative. Instead they t exploit more of the cherished components of this long-running genre with a personalized spin.

Track Listing: Nimue; O Centro do Labirinto; Zarabatana; Pandas Voadores; NREM-1; Onírica; Efêmera.

Personnel: Ricardo Santhiago: guits/lap steel; Gustavo Santhiago: keys/flute; Gabriel Golfetti: bass; Giovanni Lenti: drums.

Title: Stratus Luna | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Self Produced

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