Crucis — Los Delirios del Mariscal
(RCA Victor ERC-29233, 1976/1990, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, 1994-10-01:
Here's the summary — this is easily one of the best 10 CDs claiming the progressive rock title to be released, well, since they invented the medium! How could any music live up to such lavish praise? If you are into progressive rock at all and are asking the question, it's obvious that you haven't heard this unquestionably essential group, an Argentinean enigma of superb quality and tremendous fire. I'm highly biased towards these since the Japanese Edison/RCA label reissued the two albums Crucis and Los Delerios del Mariscal separately on CD a few years back. To think the Argentineans would reissue them together on one package is a definite plus for those who missed them the first time around. I'd probably rattle on forever if asked, but I'll do my best to be brief...
Crucis were a quartet of musicians of incredible talent playing a 75% instrumental rock of a tight, intense, and spirited nature. Mostly organ based, Crucis' roots are definitely among bands such as Focus, instrumental Yes, Finch, and Camel (circa Mirage) but rarely were any of those groups as consistently excellent as this criminally unknown band. In fact, the closest comparison is really fellow contemporaries El Reloj, which implies that there may be still a whole lot more to uncover from that part of the world. Their debut is arguably the most consistent in terms of mood and song length and every song is an excellent concise and gripping piece of music.
Los Delerios second side may be some of the best music I've ever heard, including an incredibly furious finale with a drum and guitar blitz of practically manic intensity. The first side is more atmospheric and spacey but no less effective. Both on one CD — about the best way I can think of filling 75 minutes of digital space! What can I say? These are two of the best albums I have come across in progressive rock. My highest recommendation if you can hunt it down — the highest.
by Mike McLatchey, 2016-11-24:
McLatchey's Second Tier
The short career of Crucis came to an end with the follow-up to their debut album. In the mid 70s. Mahavishnu Orchestra had really laid down the gauntlet and it influenced a lot of bands even outside the style. You can see that impact here as the band moves in a noticeably fusion-like direction, particularly on the second side of this rather short album. The pace of their music is absolutely blistering by this side, climaxing in an almost dizzying guitar and drums duel that is truly one for the ages. My friends and I at the time had this album on a fairly fast rotation basis and even played around with covering this piece at one point, which was probably more audacious than practical at the time. And again, like a lot of groups at this era in their last throes, the melodic nature of it always struck me as a bit sad. It has to be said though that this band really went out on a high note for sure. Definitely one of Argentina's 70s highlights and one has to wonder what happened to such fine musicians.
Related artist(s): Crucis
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more