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Iconoclasta — Alter Ego
(Azafrán Media AP2347, 2023, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-10-14

Alter Ego Cover art

After the band’s 35th anniversary concert in December 2015 (wonderfully captured on the amazing two-CD set Concierto de Aniversario 35 Años released in 2022), Iconoclasta was supposed to be finished, their final studio album Movilidad released a few years before. But that wasn’t the first time that the Iconoclasta brand was to be mistaken for dead — there was another big gap in apparent activity following the De Todos Uno album in the 90s, but they were back again with a new release in 2000. Today, in 2023 after an eight year hiatus the band is back in action with a new recording, Alter Ego, although the band is now reduced to the duo of founding guitarist and composer Ricardo Moreno (playing acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, bass guitar, and percussion — both acoustic and programmed) and Greta Romero (bass, vocals). It’s a studio recording featuring nine new tracks, a re-recording of “Manantial” from the band’s first album, and covers of “Fanfarria Olimpico Mexico 1968” and Le Orme’s “Storia O Legenda” for good measure, a beatiful inerpretation of the latter I might add. The tracks run the gamut of styles from gentler acoustic numbers informed by classical or Mexican traditional idioms, to rocking pieces with incisive guitar solos like “Noche Lluvosa de Verano en Queretaro” or “Viaje Astral” that will surely remind listeners of the Iconoclasta of old. One might find that the bulk of the tracks are instrumental pieces, although on those tunes where Romero sings one might be reminded a bit of Iconoclasta’s second album, Reminiscencias, her vocals are at once beautiful and majestic. Many of the pieces here are acoustic guitar based, gentle and warm much like some of the finest Italian progressive rock of the early 70s, typified by pieces like “No Puedo sur le Que No Quiero Se.” My only gripe: Some of the tracks use programmed drums, with occasional impossible-to-play fills that don’t sound natural at all, though fortunately there are only a couple cuts like that. All taken, Alter Ego is a welcome new album in the Iconoclasta canon, with Moreno taking the sound to new heights and new directions.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Iconoclasta

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