Review Summary: Rare 70's progressive rock gold!5 of 5 thought this review was well written
In progressive music many things are overlooked: scales, theories, structures, songs -- even entire albums or bands are completely overlooked and fade into almost total obscurity because they aren’t in accordance with the current trends. Eventually when one of these precious relics is salvaged from the depths of nothingness, it reveals a new meaning in music to some, while to others it will be forgettable enough to return to insignificant anonymity. Escenes is truly a progressive rock relic made of solid gold, radiating profound, surreal sonic experiences that are amazing and seemingly extraterrestrial. Escenes is Gotic’s sole record and shows mastery of sound like few other records ever have or will.
Every composition of Escenes is filled with so many great ideas and moments of sheer magnificence that regardless of how many times the listener hears the track, it gains a new, fresh significance every time. The environment created is relaxing, ambient, jazzy in places, and somewhat hymn-like. Extremely beautiful flute and organ are incredible spectacles of serenity throughout the entire album and make up much of the lush, organic atmosphere in Escenes. Although this is the main standout aspect of the style, the second out of the ordinary component of the instrumentation is the complete lack of vocals. Other than these two aspects, everything blends into a seamless tapestry of bright colors, smooth textures, and abundant angelic moments. Although not doing justice to how great this music is, it is a combination of elements of Camel’s early music and Debussy’s pieces both for flute and orchestra but with added Spanish influences. Seldom does music ever express itself and make its point as apparent as the incredibly emotional, intensely personal music found on Escenes. Interestingly enough, the music also does not go out of its way to make these points; it does exactly what it wants, at times not even belonging to any genre at all.
Although sparingly playing upbeat themes, most of the album is filled with relaxing, peaceful melodies and harmonies that are so incredibly well-made that any part of this music would be worth hearing, even without the others. Even so, the album is so exceptionally cohesive that every melody, instrument, and song blends into every other one: the balance of the sound here is phenomenal. Gotic has created something extreme and far from traditional boundaries, even in progressive music. The best part though, is that this record doesn’t even sound overly progressive, forward, or abnormal (in a progressive context) until you descend back to standard thinking again and begin to comprehend it as just music.
One of the greatest peaks of Escenes is the astonishing closer, “Historia d'Una Gota d'Aigua.” This is a masterpiece in itself and perfectly highlights every ability in the group’s compositional arsenal. From rich acoustic guitar chords to lyrical flute melodies, reflective organ tones to classic bass sounds, the track is as close to flawless as Gotic would ever get. This composition brings out the raw soul of every instrument in a breathtaking performance. Every note of every chord and melody is so well-placed that it feels meant to be only that way; nothing in the track feels unintentional, forced, or uninspired. From the astounding intelligence present in this sound, the listener’s head fills with creative ideas and retrospective revelations.
Escenes is a pure, focused, spacey, and completely honest album that has so much meaning and beauty that few other musical outings even vaguely compare with this at all. Listening to the record numerous times frees the mind of the listener into a realm that is sure to change the way you think about music, if you let it. Every song is so extremely uplifting and everything feels as if the performers would have absolutely nothing to complain about at all. This record simply goes beyond what music has to do or even sometimes is capable of doing. For creating one of the greatest musical achievements ever and for being a genre-transcending progressive masterpiece, this outing is nothing less than a timeless classic.