Band: Jose Carballido
Band Website: www.myspace.com/requiemcarballido
Label: Musea Records
Label Website: www.musearecords.com
Release Date: 2010
I never cease to be impressed by the musical dedication that exists within the prog community. It’s one thing to take your musical ideas, write a three-minute song and play it in front of people hoping someone will discover you. It’s another thing entirely to compose a 2-CD progressive rock concept album that features choirs, orchestration and all sorts of non-typical musical approaches. But defying the odds is what it’s all about and that’s what Jose Carballido set out to do. The project, entitled Requiem was recorded over two years and features; Carballido (vocals, electric & Spanish guitar), Daniel Anon (guitar), Evaristo Friero (bass), Diego Leston (drums), Alejandro Salgueiro (flute) and Roman Suarez (keyboards). Now add in the choir and voila you have the makings of a pretty complex project.
The 2-CD set features a total of 17 tracks ranging in length from one-or-two minutes to over ten-minutes. Given the subject matter, a story of life, love, death and loss this is a pretty “heavy” work. In fact there is a seriousness that runs throughout not only from the vocal/lyrical standpoint but also from the intensity of the musicianship. Starting off with the haunting solo organ opening of “Obertura” [4:43] the composition evolves into a kind of Jethro Tull sounding piece, probably because of the flute more than anything else. We then move into “Todes-lotto” [2:16] featuring massed choirs in a kind call and response. I was reminded a lot of the band Therion while listening to Requiem. There is that same kind of intensity created by the choirs and the forceful vocals. In addition the guitars and rapid drumming maintain a real heavy tone throughout. Which is not to say there aren’t moments of soft contemplation, there are, but they’re used more for contrast and to tell the story. The music itself is loaded with changes, counterpoint, poly-rhythms and ever shifting dynamics.
It would be wrong to call Requiem progressive metal. In fact it’s quite far from that, but it is a very heavy listen. As mentioned if you were to cross the music of Jethro Tull with Therion you’d have some idea of the general feel here. Given the amount of classical influences that run throughout the two discs it is best described as heavy symphonic. Carballido has created something quite impressive and I certainly would have no hesitation recommending it to fans of the genre.