[Review] Esvedra – Los Manayupa

Esvedra are a Peruvian Progressive Rock instrumental trio consisting of guitar, bass and drums. They have 3 albums to their credit, the latest of which “Los Manayupa,” released digitally on November 1, 2020 while the physical version is scheduled for early 2021. Contains 8 tracks for a total of 50 minutes of music, with a beautiful cover designed by artist Josué Sánchez, while the physical edition will be in a special format that includes the story of “Los Manayupa” and a photographic series of local artists. The album opens with “El Mensajero” characterized by massive guitar riffs and a powerful rhythm session with deep and heavy bass lines, which are an added value. The guitar dominates the scene while the structure is constantly changing thanks to the numerous tempo changes. After a more powerful first part, the second is softer and more melancholic and the song closes in an enveloping descent. “La Danza de los Inmortales” starts again with decisive riffs on the guitar with a marked 70’s style, the rhythmic session is characterized by continuous changes. The bass is once again the protagonist and best marks the tempo changes, at times with intricate lines that are always deep and engaging. The second part offers us a section with a long lead guitar insert and with the return of the initial theme the piece closes. “Mamá Paulina” is softer, with pleasant and dreamy melodies, all however disturbed by a percussion which in my humble opinion ruins the final result of the track. That continuous ticking makes the song inexcusable for me. We have come to the title track “Los Manayupa” which begins with a pleasant guitar arpeggio, then develops a deep and melancholy theme. The continuous exchanges between Andean music and Rock make this track very original and one of the highest peaks of the record. All well structured and developed, with excellent phrasing between bass and guitar, between modern and traditional, excellent idea, developed to perfection. “Mamá Justina” once again mixes traditional Andean melodies with Rock, with soft lines and a strong Latin accent. The experiment of merging two such different genres has been successful, and the tempo changes are an added value, just as interpreting traditional melodies with instruments typical of Rock music makes everything very interesting. A track that shows how the band is able to move with ease on several fronts, giving life to a style with personal characters and original sounds. “Génesis, Vida y Muerte de un Hombre Santo” is the longest track on the album, exceeding 9 minutes in duration, returning to a more Rock sound in the intro. After a massive riff, a change brings us back to pleasant intertwining with Peruvian music, softening the tones and becoming softer and more dreamy. A song with many faces, more melodic openings intertwined with harder ones with distorted guitar, more dreamy inserts and others with traditional melodies. The guitar is the protagonist and guides us on this long journey, taking the reins of the situation in hand, making this song another of the best moments of the entire work. “El Retorno” begins with a purely Andean clean guitar arpeggio, as well as the theme that is developed with the input of the other instruments. Deep bass lines and a very rhythmic drums, and the guitar that plays with the Andean melodies revisited on the electric guitar. Another pleasant passage where the bass and the guitar duet and phrasing with elegance, creating cheerful and danceable melodies. The album “El Adiós” closes with a song mainly in a traditional style both in the rhythm and in the melodies, ending with a slightly melancholic vein. A good final piece, in line with the sounds heard on the disc. A band that offers an original sound when it mixes traditional Andean sounds with modern Rock, making things interesting. The musical influences of their land are increasingly marked with the passage of the songs, while in the first tracks they are much less present. Good group cohesion and good ideas, which with a few more tricks could make it even better. The album is smooth and pleasant, with some noteworthy passages and others a little less incisive, the starting points are there and the mix Rock and tradition is at times very successful.

Tracklist

1. El Mensajero (06:46)
2. La Danza de los Inmortales (04:43)
3. Mamá Paulina (06:33)
4. Los Manayupa (04:33)
5. Mamá Justina (08:47)
6. Génesis, Vida y Muerte de un Hombre Santo (09:24)
7. El Retorno (05:49
8. El Adiós (03:40)

Lineup

Gonzalo Escobar / Guitar
Edgar Gutiérrez / Bass
Luis Sarapura / Drums

With:
Cristhian Caballero / Bass on “El mensajero”

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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