The approaching spring of 2016 saw Spanish instrumental outfit Ciconia confirm themselves as one fascinating and enthralling proposition with the release of the album Winterize. Now almost to the day the Valladolid hailing trio are unveiling its successor, an even richer and resourcefully riveting encounter simply demanding real and full attention.
Already hinting to the fact with their 2014 debut album, The Moon Sessions, Ciconia showed a potent craft and agility at weaving canvases of sound as visually stimulating within the imagination as they were sonically compelling for ears with Winterize. The trio of bassist/composer Jorge Fraguas, guitarist Dani Dean, and drummer Aleix Zoreda have built on its acclaimed strengths and adventure within Meraki, a collection of tracks again bred through the band’s blend of progressive/classical rock and metal. It is a mix though unafraid to embrace other styles and hues to its creative breast creating tapestries of sound and intimation proving so easy to immerse within and conjure with.
Caressing inspirations from the likes of Opeth, Anathema, Porcurpine Tree, and Liquid Tension Experiment with their own individual creative emprise, Ciconia have tapped into an even more captivating fusion of individual prowess and united dexterity let alone manipulative imagination with Meraki. Swiftly as opener Litost flexes its metallic muscles within fiery melodic exploration, the track lifts ears on a flight of sonic exploration across a landscape as dramatic and welcomingly imposing as the sounds giving it visual perception. As Dean’s guitar weaves its suggestion, the respective rhythmic snarl and drive of Fraguas and Zoreda infiltrate song and appetite. It is a rousing affair stirring spirit and thoughts alike as well as sparking the instinctive heart and quest of the release.
The following Dépaysement makes a calmer more thoughtful entrance, the melodic hints of guitar within a keys spun atmospheric mist slowly but surely conjuring an increasingly defined image of dark shadows and light drawing implications. As the first, the track swiftly got under the skin and into adventure spinning imagination as folkish hues merged with progressive and melodic disclosure before the increasingly outstanding Euonia spun its own coalescence of descriptive textures and flavours. As throughout the album, every note of the music comes with open craft, drama, and sonic insinuation; a tempting as potently matched by the forceful but no less incisive and compelling manipulation of rhythms.
Through the earthier probing and strolling trespass of the equally thrilling Lost In The Wadi and the lofty winds of Katabatic, imagination and album just came closer together. Both tracks were delicious to ears and thoughts, the first a challenge with a feral edge to its persistence and the second an ethereal laced flight brought terrestrial bound by the dark hues of rhythms and incursions of earthier creative endeavour; and together the pair cast the album’s peak in a mountainous range of success and temptation.
Classic metal strains vein the incandescent canvas of Duality straight after, another track which relentlessly captivates with moments of irresistible enterprise and invention while the closing celestial seduction of Starlight inflames its mellow lures with controlled but stirring blazes of guitar and luminous melody. As each song and Meraki as a whole, every moment is as unpredictable as it is unapologetically alluring; the track a whole mesmeric adventure for the senses and personal interpretation.
We for one were blown away by previous album Winterise but Meraki has left it in the shadows as Ciconia again announce themselves one of the world’s most spellbinding and fiercely enjoyable propositions.
Meraki is released March 11th with pre-ordering available @ https://www.ciconia.band/web/Shop
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