Album: Cruz Quebrada
Release date: May, 2016
Label: Progressive Promotion Records
Running time: 71:00 (CD)
Production details: Recorded between 2014 and 2015 at SP'AM Studio, Sintra, Portugal
Mastered by Paulo Ferro, STS
Album art & photograpy: Manuela & Fred Lessing
Review by Diego Camargo Rating:
Thoughts: If you follow my reviews you should know the name Daymoon. This is a Portuguese project led by Fred Lessing. The project started out after Fred, that played in the yearly 80’s in some Prog bands, organised a home studio and started to record his ideas in late 90’s. Only in 2009 Fred started to record a proper debut album and now we have the third full length of the band, Cruz Quebrada (Broken Cross), released by Progressive promotion Records earlier this year.
But before going any further or even talk about the music the CD contains, we have to address what this album is about.
Cruz Quebrada is a concept album that Fred put together, painstakingly, after his wife's death in 2012. The album basically deals with what Lessing had to go through and his state of mind during this hard period of his life. On top of that, all artist's proceeds go to cancer fighters Europacolon.
The album is divided into two parts "Out" (the first half) and "In" (the second half). The "Out" part was written shortly before his wife's death and also shortly after. And as you should expect after reading about how the album came to be, Cruz Quebrada has a fair bit of darker moments, especially in the first half, including many cacophonic moments ('Cruz Quebrada', 'Fish Dissected', 'Shipwreck' and 'Whalebone'), but it also has some melancholic 'pondering' moments ('Where It Hurts Most', 'Whalebone' and the beautiful 'Thyme').
The second half ("In") comprises the suite 'The River', it was divided into 9 tracks but it's really one long suite of over 25 minutes. This part was written later on, between 2014 and 2015, and it's more uplifting, still confusing, but more 'open'.
Cruz Quebrada gathers Fred Lessing (vocals, bass, guitar, harp, flute, keyboards, percussion), André Marques (drums, keyboards, bass, guitar, recording, vocals), Bruno Evangelista (vocals) and Adriano Pereira (clarinet) as the main band, just as in their previous album Fabric Of Space Divine (2013).
I will not lie, it's very hard to listen the whole 71 minutes of Cruz Quebrada, not because the music is bad, it's the very contrary, the music is great! But it is very heavy, it is very dense, and it's one of those albums that you have to sit and really listen, otherswise it doesn't make much sense for you to even try.
Cruz Quebrada is rich, so rich that is even impossible to pinpoint what style of Prog Rock Daymoon plays.
All in all, if you like the kind of music that challenges you and drags you into the record, Cruz Quebrada is just for you, and honestly, it's worth it!