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KAFOD – CICLOS (Mylodon Records (2023)

Formed in 2008 where they gigged around the Valparaiso area of Chile, Kafod is Carlos Cruz on guitar and bass (He is also the main composer), his wife Paula Demarco on keyboards, Lucas Carrasco on guitar, with two drummers Juan Salvador Cruz Demarco (since he was 5 years old!) and Esteban Silva. The only other thing I really know about Kafod is that Nick Mason of PINK FLOYD posted a video of young Juan with the band playing ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ on You Tube, and that there is also a video of them playing RUSH’s ‘Power to the Heart’ there. Along with RUSH, their influences seem to stem mostly from 80s prog bands with their own roots in GENESIS etcetera. On this album they are a family trio, just Carlos, Paula and Juan.

“Ciclos” is a set of finely crafted, tightly structured songs played by a band who play as a unit, the songs punctuated by silky guitar and synth breaks. ‘Blue’, a ballad sung in English, is the first time an acoustic guitar appears and reveals their ‘Folk rock’ leanings mentioned on the Kafod website. ‘Tómalo con Calma’ also offers a change in pace, with arpeggiated guitar chords and extra percussion, and a darker, more haunting quality to the music and a guitar break that really bites (This was my (joint) favourite track on the album, but there are many to choose from). The other joint favourite is the title track, another folksy excursion with hand drums and an insistent guitar riff (and break). Carlos’s vocals backed by his wife’s wordless, eastern-inflected ‘vocalese’.  Paula takes the lead vocal on ‘Migración’ in a similar style to its predecessor.

Surprisingly, I can find no sign of them on PROG ARCHIVES, but they would certainly be a worthy addition; a highly enjoyable, well played and produced album.

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