Album Review: “Epochal” by Matias Bacoñsky

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As promised I am back with another album review, but this is a tiny bit different.

You see, I was asked to check this release out and I am still wondering why I agreed because I had been asked over and over in the past two months to listen to this person or that and I always said “no” to them. Despite wanting to come back to doing more music reviews, I just don’t want another pop or indie artist. I want someone that creates music that I am truly interested in and right now, the genre is cinematic or epic music. So, that’s why I ended up agreeing to listen to Matias’s work with “Epochal” and I hope you all will enjoy what comes forth in this post.

Who is Matias Bacoñsky? Well he is an Argentinian pianist and composer for one. He has three other albums under his belt, so if you’re not exactly into this style of music, you should check out: “When The World Ends,” “Straight From The Heart,” and “Life and Death.” For this album, Epochal he is doing something unique, he was inspired to create a full on symphonic metal type of work with the addition of using a choir and has some electronical elements here and there too. Matias was lucky enough to work with two top singers in the symphonic metal world and they are: Marina La Torroaca of Exit Eden and Zuberoa Azarnez from Diabulus In Musica. So, now that I have grabbed your attention, let’s get into the songs, shall we?

We start with a great title, “New Dawn” and I like it when you begin an album on the right foot–no disability pun intended there!–and this was certainly a soft introduction as far as temple and overall sound. It had a mild earthily tone to it and I really enjoyed the pictures it allowed me to create in my mind. Next up is, “The Immortal” and as much as I wanted something very explosive, I liked the gentle build to that space I was originally hoping for, and it was somewhat subtle but again I enjoyed it. I loved the little breakthrough in the middle as I imagined myself bursting through something and flying around in the sky like a fairy. For a person who hasn’t paid that much attention to The Hobbit films, that’s all I kept seeing in my brain were images of elves and greenery!

Third in line is “A Second Chance” and no, that is not a typo! On this track, I thoroughly loved it because I thought you could hear the piano a lot easier without any other elements going on, but it was somewhat short lived because more and more things started to happen and the entire song built into a happier note. I thought the choir in the background was a tad bit much as it brought the vibe down into this mysterious atmosphere,, but it wasn’t too bad though! We move on to, “Reason To Believe” and even though we hadn’t made it too far in the album, I stopped trying to guess what each song would sound like because I was already one out of four. Anyways, I definitely sensed a shift with this track that we’d move on to the more serious take and I didn’t know if it was intentional but it was a simple turn of events.

“Breakdown” was next and it was the track featuring one of the guest artists. Zuberoa Aznarez of Diabulus In Música. I have dabbled through DIM’s music in the past but I was curious as to what Zuberoa would bring to the table. Her vocals are absolutely beautiful and soothing. She has a deeper sound to her voice and it is really powerful and yet quiet up against the piano and various bells in the background. She’s not really singing anything, I mean there are no words but you can certainly feel her presence on this song and it was very lovely! After completing that one, we have “Light On The Horizon” and it didn’t take me very long to make my overall judgements because I knew everything was perfect from the moment it begun. It was hauntingly mystic and I just couldn’t get enough of it honestly! There’s not much else I can say about it so we’re going to continue on with the list.

Our next track is called “Ambivalence” and this was another one that I noticed had a different take to it, although for me, it didn’t happen until the middle of the song but it started out with this slow almost icy way about it and then with the addition of the choir, everything became heightened and darkened at the same time. It was interesting because I wasn’t really feeling it as it began but once that door opened, my thoughts changed and so it was an odd one for me. We are nearing the end of the line and with the eighth spot, “Tree Of Life” was so pretty! I love trees in general, their way of ever growing below in the roots or up towards the sky. They are older than anyone of us, so I thought this was just gorgeous! I kept seeing the evolution of trees throughout the different seasons plus many, many shades of green too.

Next we have, “All In Vain” and despite telling myself to not judge on what it could sound like, the first words after looking at the title were “uh oh” so I was mentally prepared in case this one brought out my emotions a little bit. It did, but not in the way I expected it so that was good! The bells are notable and I have grown to appreciate them just as much as Matias’s piano skills! And finally, there’s “You” with Marina La Torraca of Exit Eden. From the moment it started, it was slightly dark and Marina’s voice is definitely higher and has a petite appeal to them so it lightens up everything and it was a fantastic finish to the whole thing. Normally, I would like to go off with a bang and thought it was different but strong at the same time.

As much as I adore music like this, unfortunately, I don’t listen to it like my heavy metal and pop records. I really thought it was enjoyable! I can definitely say without a doubt, “Light On The Horizon” is my ultimate favorite track. All of the songs were beautiful in their own ways but this really captured my heart and clearly hasn’t let it go yet and I am perfectly fine with it!

Have you listened to “Epochal” by Matias Bacoñsky yet? If you have, what were your thoughts on it? Do you have any favorites from the track list?

Album Review: “Himmelsrichtungen” by Juan Maria Solare

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Cover Art by Alban Low

Recently, I got an email from a musician requesting me to look into his music and the possibility of reviewing his latest work. His name is Juan Maria Solare, he is originally from Argentina but is now based in Germany. He is a composer and pianist. Juan’s music is a mixture of both Tango Argentino and contemporary classical music. He is very different as far as the other musicians and bands I tend to talk about on here, but as you’ll find out, he’s equally as talented!

I will be talking about his spring release album called “Himmelsrichtugen” and he has graciously explained that the title represents the “directions in the sky” and the concept behind it comes from the names of the songs which symbolizes each cardinal points of NSEW, plus Zenith and Nadir that ultimately make up a 3-dimensional piece. On each song I will have the original title and also the English translation that he has provided for me.

Okay, so starting with track number one we have “Siesta Norteña” that simply means “The Northern Nap”. I am usually all about having a heavy start to an album, but when we’re talking contemporary classic music, my focus is different. I do like a slow beginning. I found this to be beautiful and serene. It almost puts you to sleep (in a good way!) and it’s a very interesting! This is what I want to imagine while looking up at the stars! Next is “Viento del Este” which translated is, “Wind from the East.” This one has a scattered outlook to it; you hear sudden stops throughout you’re sort of curious as to what is going to happen as it continues, because you’ll have these cute, little notes and then all of a sudden you’ll have these dramatic notes that to me, sound like the increasing blows of the wind. That’s what it sounded like to me!

Third track is called “Un Poco Más al Oeste” which is “more to the west” and this one another soft one, but the tempo starts off pretty slow but it increasingly goes faster, this song and the first have like a zigzag feel in the way he goes back and forth between the keys. This one kind of gives me a slight “jazz-y” feel while listening to it. “La Voz del Sur” is the fourth track of the album and it means, “the voice of the south.” This is much shorter than the previous songs, so it was a bit harder to pinpoint what it actually made me think of; I think it’s good, but unfortunately not a favorite of mine. It’s always the shorter ones that always make me want more for different reasons!

Here is the music video for “La Voz del Sur” it is directed by Doni Irawan and it was filmed in Indonesia.

These are the last two songs of the album! Starting with “Cenit” this is a very bubbly track. It has its softer notes but you mostly hear these high-pitched sounds going on throughout. I really loved it! Oh, the title is “Zenith” and the explanation is “that point in space exactly above the observer”. And lastly “Nadir” and this doesn’t have an English translation to it, but the definition used as the same as “Cenit” but it’s “that point exactly below the observer” and this one is definitely a lot more darker, almost depressing – any words to describe the word “sad” would be able to explain the demeanor of this track. However, in the past I’ve noticed I like how an album has a heavy start and a banger to finish it. Since with Himmelrichtugen, we begun with a slow song and we also end the album with an even slower one to match! So I liked it too!

This was a very interesting album. I sort of fell in love with the concept of the album first, because I felt he put a lot of time and effort into creating a space for a listener to explore each song! I really do love these types of albums more than any other mainly because of that reason! It gets you out of what you might expect out of a musician or even your favorite band too! Juan has a fantastic album on his hands and he should be very proud!

Hope you guys have enjoyed this post!

Juan’s music is available on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify!

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