Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#740 in the Series) is Crucis, Los Delirios del Mariscal
It was, I remember, 1977 or 1978… And I was a very young teen, listening to radio in the wee hours. The sadly departed Juan Alberto Badía, a well known local radio deejay and journalist, launched to the air a piece of music of mesmerizing quality: dark, atmospheric… a very slow and subtle crescendo, full of drama, that ended up in a climax of supreme, powerful musical quality.
It was Crucis. And it was a piece called ¨Los Delirios del Mariscal¨ (¨Marshall´s Delirium¨, or something like that). One of the masterpieces of Argentinean prog rock and, in my humble opinion, on par with the infamous album ¨Anabelas¨, by Bubu (another Argie band): maybe one of the very masterpieces of prog music everywhere.
The title of that song –and of the eponymous album- seemed to portray in itself the essence of those dark times, when a bunch of (as Roger Waters put in a song of Pink Floyd´s album The Final Cut , called ¨Fletcher Memorial Home¨) anonymous Latin-American meat packing glitterati , delirious and paranoid army officers called ¨Junta¨, ruled Argentina, killing thousands of young people and icing the fucking cake with an ill conceived express war with the UK (The Malvinas –or Falklands- War, 1982)…
Crucis was a more or less short lived and successful adventure, with only two lp´s. They even performed in the USA. After the minitour, the members of the trio disbanded. But the outcome was so rewarding, that we don´t have to complain about the untimely band´s death. ¨Delirios…¨ is a mature album, a classy ouvre. It´s not a sketch of things to come: is the real thing, whose essence remains pristine and untouched by time.
Some foreign influences are palpable in the album and there´s no point in denying it: some Focus, some Crimson, some Camel… Production, albeit skeletal, is excellent; musicianship is top notch, with intricate drumming, Moog and Arp splashes, and a seductive and bluesy guitar work.
A note: this is not an album with ¨ethnic colours¨. There´s not a tiny drop of south American folklore, or any of those winks performed to say ¨hey, we´re Latin-Americans, we´re unique, we´re the Che Guevara´s of prog.¨ No, thanks.
But sometimes you can feel a ¨melanco¨ aroma, born of urban and suburban spleen, the very essence of tango. Well, no 2×4 rhythmic patterns, no ¨bandoneones¨ (some sort of accordion), no violins, no Gardel, nor (pun intended) Valentino.
But the essence is there: a very special shade of blue, the melancholic essence of the inhabitant of the margins of the Rio de la Plata.
One of our most brilliant thinkers and presidents, Sarmiento, defined that existential quality as something derived from the fact of ¨…to gaze at the horizon and see… nothing¨. Only a vast, endless plain, with unlimited form…
This is a highly recommended album, if you don´t mind about the lyrics in Spanish language; hope all of you enjoy it as much as I do.
— Federico Moreno, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- No Me Separen de Mi (6:06)
- Los Delirios del Mariscal (10:10)
- Pollo Frito (5:45)
- Abismo Terrenal (12:30)
- Gustavo Montesano / bass, vocals
- Anibal Kerpel / organ, Moog, Fender Rhodes, keyboards
- Pino Marrone / guitar, vocals
- Gonzalo Farrugia / drums