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Cabezas De Cera

Eclectic Prog

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5 stars This cd is one of the best that i ve listen recently, the second album is also grat but this one has a beter structure and far more details, has something closer to a "concept album", inovative mix of instrumets, drums, sound box, bass, stik, electric violin, percusions, saxofon. mixed in modern alternative an highly dinamic proposal.
Report this review (#25160)
Posted Sunday, March 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wow!! Really good "latino-prog". MAybe is one of the best examples of what happens when you take classic prog rock, some fusion and many latino influences. Excellent lyrics specially the songs "Pretexto a un texto fragmentado" y "Al aire". This album has many influences: latino rhythms, King Crimson, Focus, folk... In fact, I think that "Goxilla" is a tribute to Crimson (very well done)... Thanks to Mauricio Sotelo for make this album a real gift for the ears.
Report this review (#39875)
Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The debut album by this instrumental Mexican trio is one of the best albums I have heard from this country. All the instruments, but especially the guitar and percussions, are used successfully. The overall sound is often experimental because the music is a blend of different influences (jazz, electronics, KC etc.). There is some strong Mexican touch as well and it merges very nicely with the other influences. The classical instruments that the band uses are flauta, saxophone and clarinet. Ramses Luna plays all these instruments splendidly. There is also some violin and trumpet by guest musicians. The guitarist Mauricio Sotelo definitely has some Fripp influence in his playing but it doesn't disturb in any way (unless you have a problem with it of course). This is music that should please fans of an innovative blend of different influences.

This is a very good album throughout. The best tracks are perhaps "Veintiuno", "Un Pueblo Escondido" (my favourite) and "Pretexto a un Texto Fragmentado". The last track "Al Aire" includes voice but it is just narrative.

Conclusion: Excellent album!

Report this review (#41322)
Posted Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I must say that as for originality, this band wins most of the points. Not your typical prog. Essentially an instrumental band (except for some narration on Pretexto A Un Texto Fragmentado and Al Aire). The percussions department here is quite a busy and much varied one. I really love the job Francicso Sotelo does here, he gives the music such a special atmosphere with his instruments. Ramses Luna with all of his wind instruments (flutes, sax and clarinet) leads the music and gives a sort of ethnic tone to it. Mauricio Sotelo provides the rythm with his guitars and bass. there are several guest musicians completing the sound and the overall result is an original, intriguing and satisfying listen. I would not call this Latino-prog as I heard several times. There are some Latin inuendos in some songs, but that is it. WHat I do hear is some tribal like music, Jazz and rock. Very well performed. A refreshing and very good album. (3.5 stars)
Report this review (#74131)
Posted Wednesday, April 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Im not tired to suggest this band, im not tired to talk about them, because they are great, maybe from my country you know Cast and Iconoclasta, i think both are the most well - known mexican bands , because they are older, and of course they are great too.

This is the debut album from Cabezas de Cera, this great mexican band, ( im proud of them), and is my favorite band from here. They have a unique sound, something different if we compare them to others, they make a differen progressive rock mixing not only guitars bass and drums, but flute, stick, saxophone, and electronic sets. I Have always said that its very difficult to place them in one subgenre, here in the archives they are in Art Rock section, it could be,but its difficult because they have an innovative mix of sounds and influences, in this album we can listen to some folkish and ethnic passages, great guitar and stick work reminiscent to Tony Levin, and in general to King Crimson, and also with jazz and trumpet a jazzy influenced sound.

Pay attention to their structures , they are great, Encantador de Serpientes Gitana and Gocxilla are my favorite songs here . Im really pleased with this band i like some of my fellow proggres, but this is a new band, with something fresh, complex songs , new ideas and i think it is so enjoyable, but i have to tell that mthis is not everybody`s cup of tea, i love them, and i really love this album, it is highly recommended because i`d like you to give them a chance, only a few of you already know them, and thats unjust, so give them a chance, then im sure you will enjoy them, for all that reasons im going to give it 5 stars, for me it is a masterpiec of progressive rock.

Report this review (#75540)
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Only when the new millennium had already arrived, could the amazing Mexican ensemble Cabezas de Cera release their eponymous debut album after a few years being around. This was the album that helped them to establish themselves as one of the most interesting avant-prog current champions inside and outside of Latin America. The guys in CDC show that they are capable of creating astonishing sonic experiments in a trio format (plus very occasional guests): A guy on guitars and stick, another one on sax-clarinet-flute and another one on acoustic and electronic percussion, all three committed to concretize a modern approach on a multicolored rock music that includes non-conventional frames (inspired by KC and the RIO movement), electronic sources, jazzy leanings, ethnic-based textures. 'Veintiuno' kicks off the album from the jazzy side of things, incorporating exotic ambiences on sax and cosmic ambiences on synthesizer in the background. Then comes 'Gocxilla' one of the album's apexes. This one is really aggressive, while keeping a constrained rhythmic structure: it sounds as some sort of sinister mixture between 73-75 KC and 80s Present, with an explosive climax at the closing section. As a deep contrast, next comes 'Encantador de Serpientes', an ethereal acoustic-based piece in which the diverse flavors from the Middle East and Latin America mingle in one cohesive joyful amalgam. Special attention to the well-crafted acoustic guitar soloing and the floating, mesmerizing lines on flute and sax, alternately. 'Un Pueblo Escondido' also bears an unhidden folkloric flair to it, although this time the electronic thing builds the theme's basis - the stick and electronic drums lay the foundations for the display of sax and violin solos (great performance by guest violinist Jorge Gaitn). 'Caravana' alternates eerie Arabic motifs (starting and ending sections) and RIO rocking extravaganzas (middle section). 'Pretexto a un Texto Fragmentado' is more focused on contemporary electronica with a Crimsonian vibe: the recited lyrics set an anti-bourgeoisie satire, half- pessimistic, half-dadaistic. 'Gitana' brings a solid return to the ethnic-jazz stuff, with many touches of Flamenco and Arabic folk. And once again, the Crimsonian thing remerges in 'Frontiera', which sounds like some sort of Gordian Knot lost track with Fripp and Belew as guests: this is perhaps the most obviously "ordained" track in the album, which doesn't stop the stamina of rock be highlighted beneath the delicate architecture of the piece. The closure is a light exercise on sophisticated jazz-pop played on acoustic guitar, drum kit and sax: the recitation is a parody of radio DJ salutation and farewell to an anonymous audience. Beneath the whole display of musical intelligence that Cabezas de Cera put into their music, there's always room for humor and sarcasm as a vehicle of critical social statements. The band's rebellious cosmovision is nothing but an extension of their lucid experimentalism in the realms of music and sound. "Cabezas de Cera" is both a feast and a must for all avant-rock and avant-prog lovers.
Report this review (#87109)
Posted Sunday, August 13, 2006 | Review Permalink

Unfurtunely ive sadly seen that most of the reviews of all CDC albums are made mostly by Mexican and Latin american members, with a couple exeptions. Maybe due to the coments of some of them about their "latino" sound on their music, and dont get me wrong, im not meaning that latin music is something bad that could stop people of listening to it, but i think that perhaps they are just thinking that this band is not prog enough or their influences are in a Santana "Oye como va" vein. Or maybe is just that is very difficult to find the cds!... yeah, i think this one is the reason.

Just try to imagine that Tony Levin was on the Crimson 70s line-up (the ones with Mel Collins) and Robert Fripp was already using a lot of his "Fripptronics", but more jazzy and a bit folky... Now turn it into a 2000s band, very innovative and fearless of music exploration... That would be for sure something very close to Cabezas De Cera (no clone by any mean).

Their self titled bebut cd is a unique blend of sounds that will keep you entertained from start to end, basicly intrumental with a few tracks with vocals and althought they bring fresh air to the disc, voice is the less important part, so dont worry if you dont speak spanish.

All the songs are very good, with lots of wind instuments, like sax, flute, clarinet and trumpet, plenty of percussions and excellent use of strings including stick.

Highlights are: "Veintiunos" with lots of stick and clarinet, "Gocxilla" in the heavier KC style, "Encantador de Serpientes" beautiful flute and acustic guitar, "Un Pueblo Escondido" one of my favourites and actually you can hear the mp3 sample here in PA, "Gitana" almost a sax solo acompained with acustic guitar and great percussion.

I highly recommend both, cd and band, im sure you wont be sorry, all their albums are good, but this disc is an excellent way to get acquainted with this contemporary art rock group, a bit hard to understand at first, but once you get into it im sure youll be hooked forever.

4.5 stars

Viva el Prog!

Report this review (#128527)
Posted Saturday, July 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Excelent band and excelent album. They are able to give form to influences like King Crimson in a unique way and not just trying to make it sound like KC. When you hear lyrics from "Pretexto a un texto fragmentado" or "Al aire" you inmediately notice they are mexican, but at the same time their sound is not what most people would expect from a mexican band, they have their own style. Cabezas is also a multi-genre band, sometimes it sounds like folk, sometimes jazzy, experimental, avant, etc. but you always tell who you are listening to, their music is beyond genres. CDC even consider their sound engineer Edgar Arrelln Rosas as a fourth member, which i have never seen in other bands. I consider this CD is essential because it's just extraordinary!
Report this review (#141495)
Posted Tuesday, October 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars...

Unique-sounding experimental prog band formed in 1995 in Mexico City,initially starting as a trio.From their first moments of their existence CABEZAS DE CERA tried to insert lots of different music cultures into their rock-centered sound.The first result of their efforts was taped on ''Cabezas de cera''.their eponymous debut from 2000...and it was a great entry,as their style was totally unique,modern and fresh.

The basis of their music remains the classic rock format of guitars,drums and bass,but instead of using keyboards (or at least they are very limited),they prefer to surround their compositions with traditional Mexican flutes and jazz instrumentation,including saxes and trumpets.This work is in fact as experimental as it gets!Heavy almost metal-ish guitars are blended with superb leading saxes and trumpets,resulting a very deep and intense musicianship.Some sparse weird vocal parts are blended with bizzare electronics and acoustic passages are supported by delicate flutes of different sounds and echoes.There is also room for some great percussion work,again surounded mainly by saxes and trumpets,in a very improvisational yet highly-professional way!At the end you can only admire the technical and compositional ability of these Latin-guys.''Cabezas de cera'' isn't a work for evreybody's ear.One must be deep into Latin-American culture,traditional Mexican music and fond of folk/ethnic-tinged rock in order to fully appreciate this album...In a way or another,you must give this band a listen.They deserve it!

Report this review (#204844)
Posted Monday, March 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars It was memowakeman's interview with this band that reminded me about checking them out. I'm so glad I did, and memowakeman has reason to be proud of this Mexican band. An interesting blend of styles here, I thought they'd be listed under Rio / Avant but Eclectic is the better fit in hindsight.

"Veintiuno" opens with these different sounds coming and going including some deep bass. Drums then guitar follow with spoken words as well. It kicks in around a minute. The sax sound great 3 minutes in. It settles a minute later with bass then builds back to a heavy sound. "Gocxilla" opens with these explosive sounds that come and go before a minute then this scream. A powerful KING CRIMSON-like section then takes over. It settles before 3 minutes as sounds cry out. Clarinet comes in. It's raining after 4 minutes then it kicks back in heavily before 5 minutes. Amazing tune. "Encantador De Serpientes" opens with strummed guitar,percussion and flute. Drums join in as the tempo picks up.The tempo continues to shift though. Huge bass lines after 3 minutes. Sax before 5 minutes. "Un Pueblo Escondido" opens with some major fuzz. Who do they think they are ? A Canterbury band ? (Haha). The song kicks in around 1 1/2 minutes. I like the guitar and bass here. Some flute as well. Violin 3 1/2 minutes in. I hear children's voices before it kicks back in around 5 minutes with some nice violin and bass.

"Caravana" has a surprising Celtic flavour at times with what sounds like a tin whistle. Lots of percussion too then a blast of fuzz. Yes ! Drums and trumpet as well. Incredible sound. The song settles then kicks back in one more time. Great song ! "Pretexto A Un Texto Fragmentado" is experimental to start out and we get some spoken words which are contrasted throughout with a guitar section. "Gitana" features drums, sax, acoustic guitar and other intricate sounds. Fat bass 2 minutes in. "Frontera" sounds so good. The sax is fantastic and so are the bass and drums. "Al Aire" opens with spoken words and strummed guitar. Sax joins in as the words stop. They continue to take turns. Nice bass 5 minutes in.

4.5 stars for me. I find this recording to be so inventive and interesting. It's challenging yet enjoyable at the same time.

Report this review (#242641)
Posted Saturday, October 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars It's very Avant-garde kind of Eclectic Prog. Very experimental and not so pleasant, not allowing listener to get into it so easily (and from it, by the way). It seems that I didn't like it at first listen (I've listened this about a year ago) and put this record in the "certainly not like" section. Well, either my preferences had changed, or I just had to "give it" a time. Sad thing is that there's electronic drumkit, but it's not so noticeable. Mostly instrumental, but when vocals are around, they're rather pleasant kind of Spanish language. It's more like RIO/ Avant (still don't know which is which) than "your normal kind" of Eclectic, but that doesn't matter much.

Let me tell you a story about a boy. This boy was happy in his world. He was used to listen commercial music full of well known, recycled (over and over again) sound patterns, elements and was soaked in genres like pop. It was his worshiping object. Because he was scared to go out and explore Cabezas De Cera (for example). But one day, he tried it and was completely stunned by what he has heard. First he hated it, considered it absolutely ugly and ear-ripping sound, so unknown for him, so different than what he was used to listen. But fortunately, he tried it again and realized what he missed on first listen.

Now, this boy isn't me, this story also isn't about me, it's completely imagined, with one exception that I also didn't like it at first listen and then saw it's advantages. Anyway, do you like my story ? You shouldn't, it's nonsense. Anyway, let's continue.

As soon as I realized that there's electronic drummer, listening it became pain of some kind. It's like someone stabbing me with a knife. To open wounds. Maybe I'm too much of a traditionalist, but lack of person behind drums & percussions is quite big for me. But I can comply and get on well with it (I hope). I did in past though.

There are some more difficult and then more melodic like tracks, so you won't have it so bad. You can choose after all.

4(-), because I'm ashamed a little bit that I almost cursed such a great release.

Report this review (#271477)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars When I read the reviews about this band, I knew that I would have some difficulties with their music but I wanted to give it a try because as you might know, I'm half-Mexican and half- Belgian.

The opening track "Veintiuno" (twenty-one) holds some weird wording in ?German but is a track which combines jazz-rock and eclectic prog. It is not what I prefer, but it is not too bad to be honest.

But when "Goxcilla" starts, you'd better hold on tight. As far as I'm concerned, they'd better have skipped that one. It is just a noisy and experimental track with little to no attraction as far as I'm concerned.

What a contrast with the delicacy of the flute play during "Encantodor De Serpientes" (snake charmer). Of course, with such a title there is no wonder that lots of flute is being played here. Leaning on the jazz mood, it shows some good acoustic guitar work as well as a performing sax and rhythmic section. It is my fave from this album for sure.

"Un Pueblo Escondido" starts somewhat experimental as well, but it is more bearable than "Goxcilla" thanks to some "marimba-like" passages as well as a very well constructed electric guitar part. Flute again is a delight (but you know that I am biased).

The music sounds almost free-jazz during a good chunk of "Caravan" and it is very loose while "Pretexto A Un Texto Fragmentado" is being played.

The last two tracks are fully jazz-rock oriented and can't keep me happy. In all, this album is not easy to approach and requires several listenings. If you are into intricate eclectic music combined with jazz-rock and experimental stuff, this might be rewarding. I'm not really into these so for me, the experience was quite mixed. Two stars.

Report this review (#307434)
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Great music--truly of a progressive nature--from a Mexican trio-sometimes-duo that include, on this, their debut album, an amazing percussionist (Francicso Sotelo on electronic drum set & tuned and untuned percussion), a Chapman Stick player (Mauricio Sotelo playing "grand stick, electric & acoustic guitars, electric bass"), and an extraordinary master of wind instruments--some of which are local/indigenous (Ramses Luna on "varied flutes, saxophone & clarinet"). A fresh sound that is very exciting to listen to; the Sotelo brothers really have something new and special. Videos of their live performances are really fun to watch.

1. "Ventiuno" (5:40) "Ein und zwanzig!" (8.5/10)

2. "Gocxilla" (5:30) using a LOT of effects to produce monster/animal noises, this is VERY King Crimsonian. (8.5/10)

3. "Encantador De Serpientes" (5:47) kind of like Brazilian jazz. Excellent! Amazing interplay between the three guys. Amazing song! (10/10)

4. "Un Pueblo Escondido" (5:47) this song just makes me happy--in a Caribbean-meets-Balinese-Gamelan way. (9.5/10)

5. "Caravana" (4:40) percussion and flutes open this one as ChapmanStick mostly performs the bass function. Switch to distorted gtr brass horns and drum kit for the second 90 seconds and then something different, more saw-like for the final third. Did Markus Pajakkala here this one before doing his Brutopianisti album? (8.75/10)

6. "Pretexto A Un Texto Fragmentado" (4:30) Art of Noise? Industrial King Crimson? Amazingly fresh and innovative! Love the narration over the music! (10/10)

7. "Gitana" (3:04) kind of Latin-Arabic acoustic jazz. Nice! (9/10)

8. "Frontera" (6:04) true ChapmanStick heaven! (8.75/10)

9. "Al Aire (6:05) nice Latin jazz with more Spanish narration over the top. Not as fresh or lively as "Pretexto", the narration is too much the center and focus of the song. (8/10)

Wow! What did I just listen to! It was unlike anything I've ever heard before! So fresh! So lively! So awesome! And talk about virtuosity! These three have it--on multiple instruments, each!

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music coming from the world jazz fusion direction. Try it out! You won't be sad!

Report this review (#1525464)
Posted Thursday, February 4, 2016 | Review Permalink

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