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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

dvd & video review

Various Artists - Gouveia Art Rock 2003 - 2004

Let´s get serious: progressive world needs these initiatives. A cultural association (Portugal Progressivo) has set up an amazing festival with renowned bands. Bands that haven´t played in the country next to Portugal (my country) due to audience´s lack of interest. I could say that it´s promoters´ fault, but the truth is that Spanish prog head is the one who fails.

This is the visual document of the first Gouveia Art Rock festival. The bands that played there were Portuguese Saturnia, French NIL, and Italian La Maschera di Cera. The 2004 edition, held in April, had the following bands: Periferia del Mondo and La Torre dell´Alchimista (Italy), Isildurs Bane (Sweden), Forgotten Suns (Portugal), and Richard Sinclair Trio (England). A mere trifle!

This DVD proves that anyone could do a good thing if they have determination, dedication and love. The cover has photos of La Maschera and NIL and the visual content is very interesting.

Each band, except Saturnia, has its own section with brief footage of interviews and soundcheck, the songs themselves, and information about the players. As extra material there is a documentary about the festival. Here we can briefly watch Saturnia playing its hypnotic and interesting material.

French band NIL plays four songs, surprising us with a fragment of “Acte 1” (12:25) from Quarante Jours sur le Sinai (please read Douwe´s review and buy this album now!). NIL´s music is a strange mix of Crimsonic textures and eastern melodies, with the wonderful voice of Roselyne Berthet. The band plays a preview of its forthcoming album: the instrumental track “198” (8:00), where the band displays all its instrumental skills and bizarre rhythms, followed by “Dérives” (5:00), an intense duet between Frank Niebel´s drums and Samuel Maurin´s stick, and finally Roselyne´s voice creating a mysterious atmosphere, and ending with “Abandon”, where the drums have –again- a leading role in the first minutes, later on the track develops in Crimsonic paths.

La Maschera only plays three tracks... “Ai Confini del Mondo” (13:10),and “Il Viaggio nell´Oceano Capovolto part 1” (10:00), both taken from Il Grande Laberinto, and “Dal Caos” (4:30) taken from Finisterre´s first album, with the collaboration of Portuguese guitar player Manuel Cardoso (Tantra). Half an hour with one of the most talented progressive bands nowadays. It´s wonderful how these artists play their instruments, specially Zuffanti.

Besides it´s a risky endeavor, this DVD is worthy because it has a good sound and visual quality. Moreover it contains fragments of music played by two of the most interesting prog bands, we have an essential document that must be owned by every prog-fan. A pity the DVD doesn´t display the entire shows.

Congratulations Portugal Progressivo, and keep on with the good work… I envy you!

Alfonso Algora - August 2004
rating - Portugal Progessivo


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