Argentinian band FUGHU formed in 1998 in Buenos Aires. It wasn’t until 11 years later in 2009 before their debut album “Absence” was released. They released 2 more albums “Human: The Tales” and “Human: The Facts” both in 2013 and now in 2020, bring their fourth album “Lost Connection” to the scene. The band is Progressive Metal with plenty of influence from other genres including jazz and classic rock. This album has 10 tracks.
The album opens up with the track (and first single) “Peggy”. Renzo‘s vocals have this chilling maddened edge to them as he sings about reanimating a corpse. The keys add to the spooky theme with the synthy almost organ sounding melody throughout the song, making it feel like an old scary movie. The guitars contrast this retro vibe with some modern bluesy tinged riffs and solos. The second track “Pixel Hero” contrasts the first song with a futuristic tone. I couldn’t help but to imagine a scene from the sci-fi movie Tron with the 8-bit style synths. The guitar and bass have this space age groove to accompany the keys. Plus, the sound of a stadium crowd can be faintly heard through a large portion of this track, similar to the light bike race in Tron:Legacy. “Call Now” is about society’s need for instant gratification and how it warps people’s minds. The music evokes this feeling well with manic vocals and speedy riffs. “Stay” is the first ballad on the album. The Smooth Jazz-infused keys guide you through the song and take center stage with a lovely solo in the heart of it.
The fifth track “The Goat” has this unsettling isolated feel in the introduction with the alien-like echo vocals and a faint synthy tune in the background. This song feels like something manipulating is happening and made me feel uneasy the entire time. The last 2 minutes of the track is this ambient lost and alone bit that keeps that desolate feeling in full gear. “Told You” carries on the futuristic feel with those space-agey synths. The vocals in this song features guest vocalist Göran Edman. The guitars have this gritty angsty feel to them and the drums pound along like a heartbeat through the verses. The bluesy guitar solo gives this song a pensive feel just before the brooding lyrics turn to rage and takes the song to a dramatic end. “Right to the Bone” seems to focus on the vocals, they almost overwhelm the song. The main element I do enjoy on this wild track are the awesome synths, reminiscent of 70s era prog a-la YES or ELP. “Martian” is a song dedicated to David Bowie. I catch the Bowie inspiration in this track, but the frantic drum beat synth combo also gives me major Bjork vibes. The whole atmosphere of this song just makes you feel like you’re on another planet.
“What If” is definitely the most theatrical track on the album. The chorus reminds me of the band MUSE with how the orchestration is paired with the massive vocals. Renzo takes his voice to its highest caliber in this track and the emotion he evokes hits hard. I really loved the melodic portions throughout this track and I think this would have been a perfect closing song. “Vexed Flower” is the actual final song and there’s a melancholy vibe in every element of this track. The guitars have a bittersweet melody, the drums are a ticking metronome style beat. The song also seems to end abruptly, almost like something was supposed to follow afterward.
Overall, FUGHU does Progressive Metal pretty well. They pay homage to their influences, but also keep their own style with it. The synths/keys were definitely my favorite element of this album; I loved the futuristic yet retro feel they evoked in every song. The vocals can be a bit strange and even jarring in some songs, but other times, they were reminiscent of Charlie Dominici (ex-DREAM THEATER) and I enjoyed that aspect. Everything else wasn’t quite as memorable for me. Some of the solos felt out of place, a few of the melodies didn’t mesh well together. Nevertheless, this is a solid prog rock album.