With a promise of less space rock and experimentation than on their debut album “Desintegración”, Atavismo return with “Inerte”. From jam sessions, Atavismo put the finished structure of their self-proclaimed progressive and psychedelic rock pieces together.

“Pan Y Dolor” (Bread and Pain), which opens the album, challenges the senses. For three and a half minutes, it’s lively, warm and Mediterranean in its style, bouncing along on the crest of a wave. Then all of a sudden there is a silence. I could picture the stage going dark and the dry ice rising, as a deep and melancholic passage gets under way. It’s pure Porcupine Tree. As if nothing had happened, the bouncy song returns. Both elements are superbly executed but I’m not so sure how they fit in with each other in the same song. Right at the end there’s a hint of fuzz rock and this continues into “El Sueño” (The Dream). Retro rock meets an electronic edge, a constant beat, and strange harmonies. Inside it I felt a slightly North African element. Artistically it’s interesting. As on “Pan Y Dolor”, this one escapes into another world of dark reflection but now it’s more exotic and imbued with the dreamy prog-inspired psychedelia we were expecting. I could imagine this being played the 70s musical cult tv programme The Old Grey Whistle Test. “La Malidicion del Zisco” (The Curse of Zisco) which follows is haunting and tribal. Its rhythmic tones and mystery make it sound like the theme to a cult drama series. The patient build-up of “Belleza Cuatro” (Beauty by Four) develops an air of mystery. The tones sounded Celtic to me. By contrast the tribal beat of “Volarás” is more pressing but not urgent. Four minutes in, the guitar takes us off to dreamy wonderland. It’s difficult not to think of Atavismo as a Spanish Pink Floyd, such is the ambience. Whistling runs through the background to generate an eerie aura. We are calmly and reflectively carried away into what the band themselves describe as “existential poetry”. “Volarás” means “you will fly”. It is wholly appropriate.

“Inerte” is a very nice album of great balance after the contrasting first track. It is clearly born out of progressive roots and a mind for a world of strong rhythms and dreams.

(8/10 Andrew Doherty)