Ultranova - Orion,
Ultranova is a Brazilian Progressive Rock Band, formed by Thiago Albuquerque (piano/synth), Daniel Leite (electric guitar), Príamo Brandão (bass) and Henrique Penna (drums). The idea was to create a band with a unique sonority, as their own identity, without departing from the style to which they were identified in artists like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Yes and Pink Floyd. They began to stand out in 2012, and from then on, the band started to perform at festivals and events sharing stages with renowned Brazilian artists such as Hermeto Pascoal, Egberto Gismonti and Violeta de Outono. Rock Symphony (Rio de Janeiro/Brazil) released their debut album, ‘Orion’, Brazil and it was then picked up by Musea for European release while Progshine Records have made it available digitally.
This is instrumental progressive rock, with a great deal of interplay between Thiago and Daniel. Starting with a number that is almost ten minutes in length is brave for anyone, especially if they are an instrumental act, but I found that I was soon intrigued in what was going on, as the interaction between guitar and keyboards is interesting. There are times when they do let everything slow down somewhat, and if ever there was a risk of the listener’s attention wandering then it is during these periods, but when they keep things at a slightly higher tempo they are exciting and vibrant. There is just one number where it all falls apart, and that is “Salinas” where for some reason the guys move in to slow Seventies-style fusion of the type that can only ever be background noise. But, thankfully it is just the one song and the title track, which is more than thirteen minutes in length, more than makes up for it.
I will be interested to see what happens with the band from here on in, as being picked up for distribution by Musea should see them gaining a lot of publicity. I would certainly like to hear more.