Mantra - s/t. 1979 Spain

Mantra - s/t. 2012 Arabiand Rock. Archival release of a 1979 demo album.

We first mentioned this album as a news item on the CDRWL. I just picked one up for myself, and let's see what it's all about...

The CD itself says that Mantra sounds like a combo of Azahar, Iman Califato Independiente and Cai. Hard to argue with that and you could throw in other southern Spanish luminaries like Triana, Medina Azahara and Mezquita if you were so inclined. High energy Flamenco styled rock, with symphonic progressive elements (constantly shifting time signatures, synthesizers, heavy guitars...), is what you can expect here. A musically fantastic album.

So it's pretty much the great archival find of 2012 right? Well, I'd be a bit more enthusiastic if the sound quality matched the musical output. Unfortunately these really are demos, and the dull, thin and muddy bass/drums somewhat ruin a potential masterpiece. The album sounds like it's from a 3rd generation cassette tape. Judging by the copious liner notes (in Spanish), and unique photos, this is no shoddy cash-in effort - the fact remains, this is the best music copy available. Arabiand Rock is to be commended for bringing to light a long lost style of Spanish rock music to the world. An album very much worth checking out for fans of Rock Andaluz.

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