Bauda started out as a project from guitarist and songwriter César Márquez which then slowly evolved into a full band. The music is inspired and informed by the landscapes of their native Chile, and the album “Sporelights” revolves around “the perpetual struggles of men against the enslaving nature of modern societies”.
The opening instrumental combines swirling electronics with a rhythm section that emphasises the drums as a lead instrument. It flows straight into the 7-minute “Vigil” which sets the tone for the rest of the album; dense, layered, and cinematic with shimmering effects-laden post-rock guitars, alternately rocking out and giving way to atmospheric reflective passages.
What lets this album down is the thin and sometimes tuneless vocals which don’t always complement the beauty of the instrumentation, and occasionally veers towards rather pedestrian indie-rock, though it always comes back to life with the next instrumental passage. It probably doesn’t help that the best vocal, on the closing track “Dawn of Ages” sounds just a little too close to Knifeworld’s “Me to the Future of You” for its own good.
It does leave you with the impression that with stronger vocals Bauda could reach far greater heights. Not for nothing is the swirling Hawkwind-like instrumental “Tectonic Cells” the highlight of the album.