Last year (November 2021) Kant Freud Kafka, the symphonic prog rock project of the Catalan musician Javi Herrera released a new studio album under the name "Historias del Acantilado". After the albums "No Tengas Miedo" (2014) and "Onirico" (2017) and a live performance of "Onirico" in the year 2019, there were no plans for a third album ... but then came the pandemic. The lockdown seemed to open up creativity and music and the music just poured out. In a few months the composition was ready, and during 2021 the album was recorded and mixed. "Historias del Acantilado" is about the concerns about our common destiny as a species
progVisions readers know from my reviews of "No Tengas Miedo" and "Onirico" that Kant Freud Kafka as a prog rock combo enriches her music with the lush symphonic sounds of violin, viola, cello, oboe, cor anglais, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, 12 string guitars and male / female voices.
Javi Herrera - all music & arrangements, drums, vocals, percussion, VST instruments, lyrics; Alia Herrera - vocals, lyrics; Dani Fernandez - bass.
with: Cecilia Burguera - violin; Mónica Cruzata - viola; Pol Farell - cello; Joan Flores - piano; Miquel González - keyboards; Joan Grados "Nitus" - electric guitars; Laia Pujol - clarinet, bass clarinet; Guillem Vilar - oboe, cor anglais
and: Pep Espasa - flute, tenor sax; Dick Them - fretless bass; Rafael Pacha - acoustic & 12 strings guitars; Yago Pajarón - jazz guitar
The album which possesses the darkness of the album "No Tengas Miedo", opens with a part called "Voz de Metal" (10:21). Church bells indicate the dark period while the rich music reveals itself to you. The music is dark and melancholic, especially when the sounds of all those symphonic string instruments come to you. After that, Javi Herrera takes care of the first male vocals. Later, the female voice of Alia Herrera is added. When the flute and oboe present themselves, the most beautiful melodies pass by. The music is still very symphonic and classical, but that changes when organ, bass guitar and electric guitar are added. Together with the male and female voices, the prog rock side of the band is now emphasized. The music now resembles the Zeuhl music of a band like Magma. All in all an intriguing opener or more than 10 minutes long.
The next part "Carta de Gaia" (13:08) opens with a recitation of a female voice. Then you first hear the delicate sounds of acoustic guitars, synths and percussion before a beautiful melody played on a synth arises. This melody introduces the beautiful female vocals that follow and comes back later. The stacking of the female vocals (Alia Herrera) gives a nice effect. "Carta de Gaia" is a beautiful classical song with beautiful melodies which only in the later part unfolds as a symphonic prog rock song. There is even a beautiful electric guitar solo in the last section. Prog rock and classical music merge into one.
In "Conspiranoia" (4:47) one of the two instrumental pieces that follows, the piano has the leading role. Later on, the cello, percussion and synth are added. Especially the cello gives a melancholic atmosphere to the song which ends in chaos.
The second instrumental part is entitled "My Baby Just Scares For Me" (8:43). This slow part has a classic atmosphere for the most part with sad but very beautiful melodies. In the last part, the bass and drums ramp up the rhythm and a beautiful synth melody develops before the classical character of this beautiful composition returns.
The last part of the "Historias del Acantilado" suite is called "El Acantilado" (15:00). It has a slow and classical opening with sad melodies. You would think you are listening to a beautiful melancholic album on the German ECM label. But after a few minutes, the synth joins the strings and the sounds of all the instruments merge into one. Gradually the classical music changes to progressive rock with intriguing synth solos. But the classical atmosphere returns later with the sounds of a harp and cello. The female and male vocals also return in this last part of this long suite. As a surprise, a jazzy part follows with a jazzy guitar, flute and saxophone. All styles now merge and the music suddenly becomes a bit more complex. The ending is very beautiful and slowly the music dies away.
Kant Freud Kafka is one of the few bands that can blend the lush symphonic sounds of classical music with progressive rock music. You can expect beautiful and melancholic melodies on this third studio album of the band. It is often not cheerful music, but personally I really like that melancholy. Sad sounds are often very beautiful. If you already know and appreciate the music of this band through my previous reviews, this album is definitely recommended. There are so many beautiful moments on this album which I think is an album for the open minded music lover. Just open your mind and enjoy the music. You will be rewarded with pure beauty.