Tantra - Misterios e Maravilhas. 1977 Portugal
LP reissue: 1983 EMI
CD reissues: 1998 EMI; 1998 Musea (France); 2007 Valentim de Carvalho
On the surface, Tantra sounds like an odd cross between Mahavishnu Orchestra and Genesis. There really isn't any other band from Portugal that sounds anything like Tantra, and with revisionist history on our side, the band have a somewhat international flavor. The fusion tracks sound like Argentina's Crucis whereas the vocal numbers recall Carpe Diem of France. The heavy use of the Farfisa Synthorchestra and the distant, sparse, and mysterious vocals add credence to this latter claim. Meanwhile, on the middle tracks, the insane bass and drum rumblings with wild soloing made me think of Los Delerios del Mariscal. As many have said, the production is lousy, and detracts from the overall immense potential for greatness here.
Note back cover of the original (scan #2). There are two pressings, and the one with 1877-1977 100 year seal is the true original. The Musea CD is excellent with detailed liner notes and photos. The sound is pretty muddy, but that's the source, and not much you can do about that I'm afraid. I didn't realize, until researching this entry, that another CD came out in Portugal at the same time as the Musea release. The newest version from 2007 comes in a digi-pak with 2 bonus tracks.