I suppose I should have paid more attention in Spanish class back in high school. In fairness, that was 30 some years ago anyway, so the odds of any of it helping me with bands like Inmateria are probably slim. Inmateria are another very talented Chilean progressive rock band. And while their lyrics are in Spanish, they are far more focused on the music side of things.
Their self-titled debut is a nearly hour long concept piece. Musically they have one foot firmly planted in traditional 70s prog while also keeping their sound modern and fresh. While the album is meant to be considered one piece, it works as well (if not better) as separate tracks. It has a few instrumental interludes, such as the prelude that starts the album, which are good but not essential. While they are good as part of the whole, they aren’t anything you’d miss if they weren’t there.
Along the same lines, vocalist Solange Sosa is in an interesting situation in the band. Many of the highlights of the album are the many instrumental parts of each track. “Lejos De Aquí” and “Anormal” are the first two songs with her on them and I almost didn’t notice her. This is both good and bad in that, she blends in with the music but she also takes more of a backseat to the amazing musicians in Inmateria.
The song “Flotar” is one of my favorite tracks on the record and one reason is that Sosa actually is quite noticeable on it. She is a good singer and never over sings which can be the case with some prog vocalists. The rest of the band are really the stars however. Keyboardist Gabriel Varela uses many vintage sounds which is always welcome when it comes to prog and guitarist Matías Armstrong always plays solos that suit the song versus showing off how good of a guitarist he is.
The band also employs some saxophone as well which is nice. The problem is that one track is basically a jazz/lounge type song, “Fuera De Lugar.” While I give the band credit for being able to pull it off stylistically, it’s just not a musical style I like at all. On the plus side, the album’s closer “El Problema Del Mal” has all the things that the band is good at rolled up into one track. Strong vocals from Sosa, amazing playing from the guys and a truly epic feel.
Overall, the debut self-titled album from Inmateria is quite good. Part of me thinks they might be even better as an all-instrumental band. This is nothing against Sosa but the highlights on this album for me are ALWAYS the instrumental sections of most of the songs. Production wise, it is a good sound that, while not being massive sounding, is crystal clear and solid. It will be interesting to see how this band evolves after an impressive start.
1. Preludio (Instrumental)
2. Lejos De Aquí
4. La Inocencia (Instrumental)
5. Fuera De Lugar
6. En La Oscuridad
7. La Búsqueda (Instrumental)
8. Un Paso Atrás
10. Epílogo (Instrumental)
11. El Problema Del Mal