An Accomplished, Polished Debut
I don’t know- some people like this stuff, the who, what, where, when- so here goes:
Producer/Composer: Sebastian Prosperi (thus, BASTIAN PER)
Vocals: Mariano Barreiro
Guitar/Drums: Sebastian Prosperi
Keyboards: Gabriel Kohout
Bass: Martin Sokol
Recording Engineer: Jeronimo Olivera
Mixing Engineer: Lucas Romano
Mastering: Eduardo Pereyra
Studio: Romaphonic, Buenos Aires.
Released April 12, 2019
So these musicians, each accomplished on their instruments (including the vocals, by the way), are essentially clustered around the vision and energy of Sebastian Prosperi, mild mannered industrial engineer by day, guitarist and drummer extraordinaire by night.
Prosperi’s vision includes “[T]he influence of giant Prog bands, a strong AOR vibe, and a distinctive Latin American sound”, although to these ears, that last part isn’t evident.
I used the terms “accomplished” and “polished”.
It might be hard to tell this was a debut album after a careful listening. Production is crystalline and crisp- it’s clear a lot of time and energy went into the recording and producing aspects.
The band plays well together, and the songs are engaging. I especially liked guitar tones, and the vocals were smooth, clean, and excellent. Many times singable choruses were included, with harmonies or the use of octaves. Mariano Barreiro certainly gave his all on this album.
I thought arrangements were well done. Sometimes things started slowly and gently, built, tempos changed, grew, then subsided.
A few things kept it from greatness
This is essentially progressive metal, and I wanted more fireworks, the incendiary full-band working with fury and intensity. It comes too rarely, but the promise is surely there, as well as the capability.
It became a problem of pacing. Too often the tempo and intensity subsides, the vocals become tender and hushed, and I wanted some passion and fire. Vocals seemed buried in the mix, and I thought they could be more prominent. Harmonies and vocals over all were a real strength.
To my ears, the backing guitars were mixed high, and although I love the tones- everything from full-on growl to liquid leads to clean chiming arpeggios- I wanted those dialed back a bit, and lead lines more out front.
Personally, I like a little shredding here and there.
The bass guitar was great, and I wished it had a rounder, ballsier sound to propel it further.
Finally, I wanted more keyboards. They were certainly present and important, yet the final track, “Epic Journey”, is where the keyboards revealed what might have been (and hopefully what is yet to come!).
Grand piano, organ solo, reflective orchestral sounds- I wanted more.
A sparkling debut with room to grow from newcomer BASTIAN PER.
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