AMAROK's style is quite different from the current Spanish Progressive rock movement, thanks to their tone. Led by multi-instrumentalist Robert SANTAMARIA, this mainly acoustic band uses a variety of instruments, like the guitar, oboe, violin, piano, didgeridoo, tabla, saxophone, organ, drums and percussions. Mireia SISQUELLA's clear voice creates soundscapes recognizable for their simplicity and quietness, making her the counterpart of Portuguese singer Teresa SALGUEIRO (MADREDEUS). Some keyboards rhythm sequences are the basis for the superb melodies pictured by the vocals, in a peaceful atmosphere between ENYA's acoustic new-age, L'ENSEMBLE RAYE's minimalist chamber rock and IN THE LABYRINTH's ethnic musics (Apart from the Indian references).
A slight African theme can be singled out around the edges of Amarok, as Oldfield employs such instruments as bongo and clay drums, mixed in with ukulele and flamenco guitar….
Michal Wojtas is a highly talented multi-instrumentalist and a dedicated fan of Mike Oldfield. That's why he gave this name to his band project. Influences from that famous paragon cannot be totally denied neither in his playing style nor in the kind of music offered here on their debut album. Most of the tracks are pure instrumental and up to a considerable proportion more in an acoustic vein. There are occasionally very pleasant female vocals. Especially instruments like piano, violin and flute are providing a nice symphonic atmosphere.
From the North Eastern Coast of Spain, Catalonia, Amarok emerges as one of the most prominent and original prog acts worldwide nowadays. Their leaning towards musical sources from Muslim, Celtic and Turkish folk, as well as Renaissance and Medieval tradition, allows them to create a very colourful musical trend of their own, energized by the inclusion of symphonic elements and jazz fusion structures: the result is amazing, exciting, magical. Robert Santamaria is very obviously the leader of the band, not only writing all instrumentations, but also performing keyboards and other sundry instruments (acoustic 12-string guitar, saz, kanoun, autoharp, tuned percussion.) with great skill…
Essential: A masterpiece of progressive rock music.
Wonderful!!! It's difficult to find music of such beauty, and this is without a doubt my favourite Mike Oldfield's album, along with it sequel Amarok.