Album Review: Farol Cego – Zenite

I may not speak Spanish, but I have a strange fascination with Latin and South American music. The beats are always very catchy, and the lyrics feel like they are sung with more passion than many American songs. After asking Reddit followers for music suggestions, I was introduced to a entirely different band than something I would ordinarily review. Coming from Brazil, Farol Cego was able to catch my attention from such a vast distance. Thank you Internet for linking us together!

Farol Cego (Portuguese for Blind Lighthouse) consists of Henrique Neves, Leonardo Gumiero, Lucas Leite, and Thomas Berti. I was able to read some translated lyrics and was pleased to hear what they created. The band has influences in many genres of rock, considerably alternative rock, indie rock, and even progressive rock. Their newest EP “Zenite” (Portuguese for Zenith) may be hard to find for those who aren’t looking for it, but by happenstance it fell into my lap…  well, onto my computer screen.

farol cego
Photo by Farol Cego (Facebook)

Their latest EP consists of 4 songs, the first being a quick instrumental introduction. With sound effects and piano, “Catatonia” introduces the listeners to what’s in store for the next 15 minutes. “E Acordo Aqui” (“And I Wake Up Here”) starts off with a clean rhythm guitar pattern with a slightly-distorted guitar playing notes with a slide, reminiscent of the band The Helio Sequence. I love the change of pace that occurs in the chorus, as the lead guitar shines with an effect-driven solo that perfectly complements the verse pattern. The vocals range from lows in the verse and chorus, to highs in the bridge and outro. Using catchy guitar patterns, along with heavy snare drum, “E Acordo Aqui” is a great song to establish this album.

Next comes “Sobre Ir Emora” (“About Leaving”), with its tremolo-pedaled chords and slightly distorted lead guitar leading the way. The drum beats are more established in this song, and is one of my favorite things about this song. Near the end is dual guitar soloing, changing between different degrees of distorted guitar. Very simple, yet very catchy, the song closes, leaving the listener wanting more. The last song “Catarse” (“Catharsis”) opens with all members of the band, using piano, drums, guitar, and bass to create a very appealing and indie-sounding introduction. The vocals are at its strongest and most passionate in this song, using the widest range on the album. Powerful strumming patterns complement the bass-driven and complex drum set in the verse and chorus. Sound effects interrupt the bridge, which is followed by clean guitar and drums. Closing off this album is a combined effort of power and feeling from all members, which happens to be my favorite collaborative effort on this album.

After some cooperation, I was able to find a rough translation of the album’s lyrics. Much to do with love and sorrow, one can easily be familiar with the album’s message. Whether through your own experiences or from others, the band is able to passionately describe situations of unrequited love and depression. What is most interesting about reading translated lyrics are not necessarily the imperfect translation, but the different use of words and phrases that aren’t present in the English language. I love the imagery that is created upon translating lyrics, as it forces the listener to use their imagination to fill in the gaps between what is lost in translation.

farol cego
Photo by Farol Cego (Facebook)

Overall, for being a 16 minute EP in another language, I really enjoyed this album! I love the influences of American alternative and indie rock, with the unique style of guitar and drums that stand out from other bands. “Zenite” is truly a great listening experience. Even without knowing the language, I really appreciate the culture that I learn by listening to other bands from other countries. If you love listening to indie/alternative bands like Helio Sequence, Explosions in the Sky, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., then I highly recommend Farol Cego’s “Zenite.” You can check them out on their Facebook and Soundcloud pages.

Enjoy a complimentary listen of “Zenite” from Bandcamp below!

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