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Zyclope's debut CD is well produced and executed, but not quite convincing. On Uno, the Spanish instrumental outfit is still wearing its influences on its sleeve. The musical palette blends in elements of late-'70s and '80s progressive rock -- the former mostly in the electric guitar sound, the latter in the choice of keyboard presets. The music itself is usually dominated by Javier Mira's guitar, although most of the pieces have been penned by keyboardist Juan Olmos. The closest, most obvious reference is Steve Hackett: yearning yet slightly sanitized themes, square rhythm section, and a symphonic flair. However, the ghost of early Genesis also rears its head, U.K./early Asia-tinged moments abound, and "Zyclopedia" features a surprisingly Ian Anderson-esque flute part. Despite oversimplified drumming and occasionally tasteless violin parts, Uno is not a bad album per se, but it fails to impose its melodies on the listener. As a result, instead of winning you over, each track raises a load of questions. Why present "Asesinato en Orient Express & Desenlace" as a single two-part piece when it would have worked better as two separate tunes? Why drop from the medieval feel of "Viaje a Escocia" for a drab arena rock middle section? And most of all, why succumb to the temptation to sing and include "Electrical Night," a total hair metal mess? Some of these problems got fixed in Zyclope's second opus, but the fact remains that the group's music is neither original nor particularly brilliant.

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