Sergio Alvarez is an Argentinean keyboard virtuoso who played for ten years in his band In Extremis. The last four years he is been working on a solo career. In the year 1999 he made this first solo effort called “Pasaje a la revelación”. A couple of years later his second album “Escenas de ficción” was released. His first album was chosen as album of the year in Argentina by a radio station. Also he managed to play as support act of Rick Wakeman in Argentina. At the moment he is performing as a duo with the drummer Ruben Nebot. And he is forming a band to record a new album.
I have no idea why Sergio didn’t send me his latest release. Maybe we will review that album in the future. But he also send me a biography in DivX format in an English and Spanish version. On the same CD-Rom were also two tracks of his second album. The most important thing however is the video of a track from that second album “Escenas de ficción” where he is playing together with drummer Ruben Nebot. This is a great bombastic track which shows that he needs a good drummer to give his compositions more power. So the idea to form a new band I like very much.
The drum programming is not bad but it is the weakest link in the music. This is the only critic I have. Five of the seven compositions are instrumental and these are also the best compositions in my point of view. “Pasaje a la revelación” (7:49) is the openings track of this first album. A delicious track for keyboard fans with not only solo’s on synthesizer and organ, but also delicate piano parts. When I hear his instrumental work I must think of Rick Wakeman in his best days. The compositions are breathing that same atmosphere. “La etapa final” (6:59) and “Más allá de lo visible” (6:39) have vocal parts which give the music a South American atmosphere. When listening to “La etapa final” I noticed that I was waiting for the instrumental parts with the keyboard solo’s which has not only Wakeman influences but also the spirit of Keith Emerson is shinning through the music. So my preference goes to the instrumental compositions. However I must say that “Más allá de lo visible” has a beautiful vocal melody, and I like the melodic keyboard solo in the end. “De frente” (1:31) is a short happy tune. “En la zona prohibida” (7:06) is together with the title track and the closing track one of the best compositions with a lot of variety. There are beautiful classical themes in this track. Wakeman meets Emerson but also the name of Yanni came across my mind. “Reflejos de otras tierras” (6:04) opens with melodic synthesizer work before a beautiful and delicate melody is played on the piano. But the last part is again more up-tempo. The last track is called “Semblanza del mañana” (6:09) and is one of the best tracks of this albums. If you listen well you will hear some Vangelis influences in the middle section. But also it reminds me of Triumvirat the German band which was heavily influenced by Emerson Lake & Palmer. And so the circle is round again.
“Pasaje a la revelación” is a delicious album for keyboard lovers. And South American music has always a typical warm atmosphere. The best tracks are “Pasaje a la revelación”, “En la zona prohibida” and “Semblanza del mañana”. Sergio Alvarez is a keyboard player we must keep an eye on. Hopefully drummer Ruben Nebot will be one of the members of his new band. I am very curious what the future will bring. Looking at his video, there is much more to come with real keyboard fireworks!