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Bloque - Hombre, Tierra y Alma CD (album) cover

HOMBRE, TIERRA Y ALMA

Bloque

Eclectic Prog


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hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Due to the political situation in the 70's the best Spanish progressive rock albums haven't been released before second half of the decade when the heyday of Prog was already long gone in other countries. Unlike other great Spanish bands like CRACK or TRIANA being mainly influenced by jazz or flamenco Bloque was using rather an approach closer to Italian symphonic rock bands from that period. Their second release "Hombre, Tierra y Alma" was certainly their most coherent and best work being absolutely on par with albums by better known bands in that genre.

"Humanidad indefensa" opens the album in a quite apocalyptic atmosphere with the sound of splintering glass followed by some children's crying and bombastic keyboards. The song continues in the best tradition of 70's Italian symphonic rock with staggering vocals accompanied by psychedelic electric guitar and tasteful keyboards. "Ya no hay nada en la calle" is kept in a more gentle and ballad-esque vein with acoustic guitar and mellow keys. "El llanto del poeta" has nicely sounding poetic lyrics sung by a children's choir combined with a great electric guitar solo. Next three short tracks represent in fact a mini-suite which starts rocking off in a quite heavy vein especially in its last part "El infierno esta aqui?" before Mellotron-choirs are segueing subtly into "Meditacion parte I" consisting of solemn and mystic synths sounds. This one actually forms together with "Descubrir el sentido terrible de la vidale" and "Meditacion parte II" another mini-suite. The same goes for the last three tracks presenting excellent dual guitar and keyboards combined with some partly spoken poetic and haunting lyrics.

As a conclusion I just can recommend this concept album highly to any lover of Italian symphonic Prog. If you want to check out this band go for this one first!

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#87508)
Posted Thursday, August 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars A fairly insubstantial helping of Iberian progressive rock, the second album from Spain's Bloque finds this intriguing group building on the primitive sounds on their debut without ever really crafting a style of their own. Ranked alongside other Spanish greats such as Triana and Crack, Bloque's sound features a carefully-woven brew of strange atmospheric soundscapes, bouncy organs, emotive vocals and hard-edged guitars, ultimately coming across like a kind of hybrid bastard child of PFM and ELP. Unlike many of their fellow countrymen, the group's sound doesn't take it's influences from flamenco and jazz, instead concocting a symphonic sound that borrows heavily from both the British and Italian scenes of the early-seventies. Fans of European prog may well find much here to their liking, especially on such tracks as the synthesizer-led 'Medley 2' and closing piece 'Por Fin He Vuelto A Ti', which features some nicely-played double-tracked fuzz guitars, yet the overall effect is pretty uninspiring. Listenable stuff then, but there is plenty better European prog out there.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#647263)
Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Bloque's line-up was somewhat problematic regarding the position behind the drum-kit, as a result Francisco Banos was replaced by Carlos Teran for an upcoming second album.This time the band produced the whole work itself and in 1979 ''Hombre, tierra y alma'' (''Man, Earth and soul'') sees the light, again on Chapa Discos.

The album marks a number of positive upgrades in the sound of Bloque.Firstly, the Allman Brothers vibes are extremely reduced, if not absent, with the band heading for a more personal style.Second, the music sounds more compact, the songwriting more efficient and the instrumentation more balanced, even if the guitars remain the leading instruments.Third, while Bloque retain much of their Classic Rock variety, ''Hombre, tierra y alma'' sounds much more progressive and definitely more inspired than their debut.So, all these factors helped the Spanish combo come up with a fully convincing style, somewhere in the middle of Hard and Progressive Rock, where Juan Carlos Guitierrez'es flexible keyboard themes start to play a basic role in the music and the raw sound of Bloque is now often covered by a dash of symphonic grandieur.Additionally there are some great, lyrical moments in here and the dual guitar leads belong among the highlights of the album.Certain melodies here and there are absolutely great and memorable, the music contains lots of impressive twists and turns and the performances are pretty solid.The flipside of the original vinyl apparently contains the brightest material of the album, full of MEZQUITA-like intense synthesizers, dramatic instrumental guitar runs and some excellent electric solos, while there are even some dark-sounding choirs and ROBERT FRIPP-like guitar manifest, cleverly adapted in the hard sound of the band.

The potential became deep inspiration.Bloque's second effort is a great monument of Spanish Hard Prog and Classic Rock with 100% enjoyable material, led by some great guitar parts and the upgraded keyboard lines.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1193906)
Posted Sunday, June 15, 2014 | Review Permalink

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