Greg Northrup    3-November-2001 Si Todo Hicera Crack

My brief exploration of the Spanish scene has certainly paid off in delivering a couple masterpieces to my stereo. Upon hearing Si Todo Hiciera Crack, it is clear that Crack was a classic symphonic progressive band of the highest order, probably heavily influenced by Italian greats like PFM or Locanda delle Fate. It is grandiose, orchestral, sweeping music with heavy classical flourishes, varied instrumentation and a dramatic flair.

Although Si Todo Hiciera lacks the regional and ethnic influences of say, Mezquita, the band does mix what seems to be a Spanish folk feel from time to time. For the most part though, this is just phenomenal symphonic with a heavy emphasis on beautiful, romantic melodies and dramatic development of themes into mammoth climaxes. The band isn't afraid to rock out from time to time either, allowing electric guitar to fire away beneath the shimmering pianos and cascading keyboard and flute themes during the emotional peak of any given track.

The liner notes are in Korean, so I was unable to locate a list of instruments used, but there seems to be a generous helping of classic keys like mellotron and moog, along with some synthesizer and piano. Flute and guitar are both prominently emphasized throughout the album as well. The tracks are generally based around the vocals, which don't stand out in particular, but are at least acceptable as they have some gorgeous melodies to work with. The first two tracks here are monsters, pretty much as good as semi-pastoral, heavily melodic progressive gets. "Descenso en el Mahellstrong" is an instrumental of blistering power when it hits its stride, while "Amantes de le Irrealidad" is a powerful number that stands with the finest work from Quella Vecchia Locanda or PFM. The album doesn't retain the same level for its duration however, as the middle tracks are slightly more ballad-esque and based around the vocals. "Buenos Deseos" features some female vocals in duet with the male lead which are particularly cheesy. Still, these tracks don't significantly drag things down, they're just not at the same extremely high level as the first two.

The album kicks back into gear for the final three songs. Most impressive is the superb title track, which features heart wrenching keyboard and flute interplay. All in all, Crack plays symphonic progressive with a heavy emotional weight, and gorgeously complex melodic feel. Like an amalgamation of Yes and Locanda delle Fate, with a very slight ethnic feel. I'm just a sucker for this kind of stuff.

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