Habitat is a symphonic progressive band from Argentina consisting of Ricardo Henestronoza (keyboards, vocals), Aldo Pinelli (vocals, bass, nylon, acoustic and electric guitars, tambourine, rainstick, triangle, Hindu drum, and occasional keyboards), and Mario Pugliese (drums) – with guest artists: Enrique Hittos (lute), Juani Guzzo (keyboards) and Roberto Sambrizzi (drums).
The group has been around in one form or another since the early 80s. The original formation performed a pair of concerts at the San Martin Cultural Center in October 1984 before calling it quits. But this premature demise proved to be short lived and the band reformed in 1987 for a short period before another seven year stretch of inactivity.
In 1994 the band regrouped once again at which time released the LP “Historias Olvidadas” (Forgotten Stories), reworking tunes from their early years.
The music was inspired by the fantasy works of Tolkien – performed in Spanish – and very much in the vein of the early Italian symphonic progressive groups of the 70s’. With the subsequent CD release in October of 1998 the group included 4 bonus live tracks.
In 2001 the band recorded an album of all new material, seeing the group evolve and refine their style with a darker edge, yet retaining the symphonic prog/rock approach.
With the release of their most recent release “Puente” (Bridge), Habitat has continued to evolve and refine their sound, establishing the group as one of Argentina ’s more promising progressive rock groups.
The tunes are energetic, beautifully arranged, and have the large scale sound associated with the best of the symphonic groups of the early 70s’. The music was recorded at Tapir (II) Studio, Adrogué, Buenos Aires in March, May and December 2003, January 2004 and from April to September 2006 - with additional tracks recorded at 2.21 Studio from June to September 2004; March / December 2005 and June/August 2006; yet it has retained the vintage sound associated with early 70s’ progressive rock.
Tracks 4 & 7 have the sweeping majestic texture of “Trick Of The Tail” and “Wind And Wuthering” era Genesis, with great Mellotron chord washes that whisk you back into time when Tony Banks and Genesis were in peek form. The music is reminiscent of Italian groups such as Banco, Le Orme, Delirium, Aqua Fragile, Ossana and Quella Vecchia Locanda; Brazilian groups Sagrado Coracao Da Terra and O Terco, as well as the Mexican groups Iconoclasta and Noblis Factum.
The music is polished, brilliantly performed and arranged, and the over-all sound has the warmth of an analog recording. The lyrics are in Spanish so if you’re one of the few who might be put off by a foreign language album – well … you have been forewarned. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on June 22nd, 2007