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El Reloj - El Reloj CD (album) cover

EL RELOJ

El Reloj

 

Eclectic Prog

3.62 | 31 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars From the capital of Argentina, El Reloj (the clock) emerged in 72 and toured the local circuit and recorded a few singles before recording their first album in 75. And as an interesting alternative, Record runner chose to add those singles as bonus, but not at the end, but before the start of the album proper which gives an interesting chronological overview of the band. The downside tio this approach is that the singles are not linked to the album and are first shots (with all the flaws and inconveniences) and therefore catches the listener off-guard since he's bought an album (eventually garnished with bonus tracks as a desert), not a compilation. Graced with an awesome Apocalypse variant artwork, this album is certainly quite a remarkable first shot for a young group.

First the singles: indeed the first two tracks are the 73 single, which sound very muddy (compared to the album proper), but their brand of progressive hard-rock (here reminiscent of Wishbone Ash and Purple) is quite pleasant if a tad na´ve and simplistic. The second single is much better recorded and is more "a propos" (prog-wise) still reminding us of a Purplish and proggy Wishbone Ash. Sooooo, El Reloj's first album starts on track 5 and we can certainly feel the difference as we enter the opening Viejo Serafin through a dark and lugubrious intro, before a weird organ and just after a wild bass pull us into an Italian-type of prog, that remains fairly raw, rough and not too refined (in a positive way). The album proposes a string of shorter but not any less fiery tracks, especially when Hijo (Son of the sun and earth) comes around with its wild fast guitar riffs. Although generally of high quality, the album has its weakness (wouldn't dare speaking of flaws in this case), but the lengthy blues (9 mins) is not only out of place, but sounding quite trite and sterile after a bunch of exciting shorter tracks, especially when including the unneeded drum solo. The closing happy and jumpy semi-jazzy Haciendo certainly makes up for that filler track, by showing us a good time and jazz aptitude.

Compared to its successor, El Reloj's debut certainly appears like a rough draft of what's to come and might not be quite as interesting to progheads and certainly anything but essential, but nevertheless it has its charms. If you love the second one, you'd better get an ear on this one, you'll like it as well.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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