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zondag 17 november 2013
FUGHU: Human

Release: 2013
Style: progressive rock
Label: Independent
Country: Argentina
Playing Time:
Cat. N°:
English review by: Geert Ryssen
Dutch review by: Geert Ryssen
Rating: 8,5/10


South America has always been a continent that produces interesting bands that are hardly known in Western Europe – exceptions no withstanding. South America has a strong progressive and metal music culture with al lot of talented bands and musicians. Fughu is a quintet originating from Buenos Aires, Argentina that produces a very ambitious work with their second album ‘Human’, consisting of two parts: ‘Human (the tales)’ and ‘Human (the facts)’, each taking up one full CD. The band has no concerns about the flavours of the day and creates what they artistically believe in: epic, conceptual music with unlimited influences: seventies progressive, opera, classical, hard rock, metal, symphonic rock and experimental music.

‘Human (the tales)’ opens with ‘The Human Way’ which has some modern metal influences that get a different twist through the operatic tenor of singer Santiago Burgi and the complex instrumental arrangements that bring the listener into various moods and swings. ‘Inertia’ starts with a heavy guitar riff but switches to a more lyrical melody and a semi-acoustic arrangement. But this is only the beginning. The song goes back to a climax that has an operatic feel to it with a symphonic sounding band. Mood swings are the trademark again but the music never loses its structure. Lots of modern progressive bands have a massive monolithic sound with overkill arrangements. This is not the case with Fughu: they bring you up and down, create light and shade and produce a lot of dynamics in their music. ‘Dry Fountain’ starts like a traditional ballad and so it develops. Burgi Santiago sings with a very sensitive voice and lifts the song to a higher level. Guitarist Ariel Bellizio plays a beautiful and sensitive solo. ‘Twisted Mind’ starts with a rhythmic loop and makes me think of Saga but the voice of Santiago gives it that little bit of extra depth. The band really knows how to create tension in their compositions and this piece is a perfect example of that. Keyboard player Marcelo Malmierca doesn’t solo too much but lays down a carpet of sound that serves and colours the moods. The dramatic intro of ‘Goodbye’ soon makes way for a very atmospheric piece of music with Santiago giving an exceptional vocal performance. Exciting, epic and beautiful! ‘Evil Eyes’ continues the somewhat darker mood before exploding into a heavy progressive song. The rhythm section consisting of bass player J.M. Lopez and drummer Alejandro Lopez never play the kind of rhythm patterns that are almost standard these days in prog metal, but their approach is that of fusion players, going along with the pace of the songs or providing the pulse for the other musicians. The last track of CD 1 starts with very mysterious sounds and has a somewhat desolate feel to it. Again the whole band shines and adds even a little extra with guest player Jeff Kollman playing the second guitar solo.

The second CD ‘Human (the facts) is a different piece of cake with eight pieces that are a bit more accessible but nevertheless as interesting as the first CD. Two guest singers make their appearance here: Damian Wilson (Threshold) on ‘Quirk Of Fate’ and Dario Schmunck on ‘Climb’, ‘Vater’ and ‘The Facts’ who bring in a nice contrast with Santiago’s voice. Again the approach is epic and very sophisticated, but also very listenable and with more room for instrumentalists. A nice piece of progrock in the best sense one can think of!

Fughu is a revelation and makes music for those who like a well cooked and balanced haute cuisine meal without pretention but with a lot of taste and quality ingredients. Musical ‘fast food’ lovers should go elsewhere.


Fughu is een groep uit Argentinië die met hun tweede werkstuk verrassend uit de hoek komt. De massa prog metal releases die dezer dagen worden uitgebracht lijden dikwijls onder het euvel van overkill wat betreft de volgepropte arrangementen met nauwelijks enig rust punt. Dat kan best virtuoos zijn, maar verliest al gauw spanning en verwekt luistervermoeidheid. Het zijn allemaal verschijnselen waaraan Fughu niet lijdt. Hun muziek staat bol van de afwisseling. De composities worden spannend opgebouwd en de arrangementen schitteren door licht en schaduw en inventieve wendingen die nooit gekunsteld overkomen. Zanger Santiago Bürgi heeft een operastem maar hij gebruikt ze nooit ‘over the top’! Zijn tenor zorgt voor een originele klankkleur die perfect past bij de progressieve composities en instrumentale begeleiding. Deze aanpak doet me wel eens denken aan de Italiaanse groep Banco. Het album bestaat uit twee full cd’s die respectievelijk de titel ‘Human (the tales)’ en ‘Human (the facts)’ meekregen. Hun muziek getuigt van vele invloeden die gaan van metal tot klassiek, van symfonische rock tot experimentele muziek. Gitarist Ariel Bellizio heeft een prachtige toon en tovert de mooiste melodieën uit zijn zes snaren. De ritmesectie vervalt niet in de ondertussen dood gespeelde metal patronen, maar heeft de benadering van fusion muzikanten waarbij ze de sfeer en intensiteit van de muziek volgen of pulserende ritmes produceren die de anderen voortdrijven. Een bijzonder geslaagde dubbele cd.


CD 1:
The Human Way
Dry Fountain
Twisted Mind
Evil Eyes

CD 2:
Quirk Of Fate
The Play
Till The Day I Die
The Facts


Santiago Bürgi: vocals
Ariel Bellizio: guitars
Alejandro lopez: keyboards
Juan Manuel Lopez: bass
Mercello Mealmierca: drums

Guest appearances:

Damian Wilson: vocals on ‘Quirk Of Fate’
Dario Schmunck: vocals on ‘Climb’, ‘Vater’ and ‘The Facts’
Jeff Kollman: guitar solo in ‘Mayhem’

Geplaatst door Vera op zondag 17 november 2013 - 23:15:13
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