RC2

RC2

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    6
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RC2's debut album runs into a few heavy progressive rock clichés, but it displays assurance and rests on strong melodies that don't shy away from the South American roots of the group. The fact that RC2 are not trying to hide their Venezuelan origins is actually what saves this album from oblivion -- and even then, it remains rather ordinary despite its qualities. Singer Felix Duque (singing in Spanish) is strongly tempted by the arena rock/prog metal mold, but his voice is simply too melodic, too pure-sounding to rack up enough roughness. He knows when to stop pushing it, and that's why songs like "Se Pierde el Sol" and "Fría" work out so well. Guitarist Demian Mejicano is sadly less impressive. His crunching riffs in "Jaroprog" are as generic as progressive metal ever got, but his addition of a frenetic acoustic rhythm guitar track lightens up the tune. The aforementioned "Fría" stands out: it begins with a six-minute instrumental part where Mejicano and keyboardist Rafael Paz display their best mid-tempo chops, followed by another eight minutes of a heartlifting song -- it is stretched out for too long in the finale, but that's not enough to strip it out of its highlight status. If you look hard enough you will find elements of Rush, Marillion, and mid-period Pink Floyd in RC2, but the music comes closer to Threshold or Enchant for the harder edge and Tempano or Iconoclasta for the South American prog connection.

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