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5 stars Otra Dimensión (Another Dimension), the sophomore album from Ekos is finally here, four years after the release of their acclaimed debut album, Luz Interna. It was definitely worth the wait, for they have come up with a wonderful and mature work, a concept album delving on the mysteries of the Cosmos and the spiritual wisdom of our ancestors. The line-up of the band is now formed by Ana Camelo (keyboards, analog synthesizers, vocals), Jesús Torres (guitar and vocals), Víctor Juárez (bass guitar) and newcomer Carlos Clériga (drums and percussion). The first track, Merkaba, greets us with ambients and atmospheres and segues into Gravedad (Gravity), where the drums mark the entrance of the full band, taking us on a journey through time and space. On Avatar Pt. I the lyrics (sung by Jesús) question if everything we see and feel is just an illusion, and remind us how soon we lose memory of our dreams when we wake up. This is followed by Sublimatio, an intense instrumental which connects with Astralis, where we are taken into an astral travel through space. Avatar Pt. II describes the peace and tranquility of the eternal realm and ends the first stage of our journey through another dimension. The second stage starts with Orillas Del Tiempo Pt. I (Shores Of Time, Pt. I), a beautiful piece with an ethereal chorus and an intense and tasteful guitar playing which connects with Invocación (Invocation), a haunting melody where Ana's vocals call the supernatural and sacred powers of the ancient spirits of the earth. Next up is Espejo (Mirror), with search for eternity as the main theme. Then we're back with Orillas Del Tiempo Pt. II (Shores Of Time Pt. II) so we can assimilate what we learned during this magic trip, and it's also a great opportunity to appreciate the creativity and precision of bass and drums. Finally the album closes with Otra Dimensión (Another Dimension), a beautiful piano piece, a perfect ending to this display of great and inspired composition and playing. It's great to find out albums this good are coming up these days. Greatly recommended, and I suggest that you listen to Otra Dimensión in one take so you can follow the development of the concept. I give this work a full 5 stars.
Report this review (#1688328)
Posted Friday, February 3, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars Went to see this band present their new album Otra Dimension, this weekend to the packed Legendary concert dive Alicia in Mexico City, where they presented their awesome album complete and unabridged. I have been a prog fan ever since I was 13 and I have heard and seen many different bands in my lifetime, but this evening felt special, one of those convergences where stars and planets align to create the perfect moment, captured in time or as the tile suggest another dimension. It was a dreamy like experience where the music was not much heard or even experienced, but more revealed, to be edged in the seat of the psyche. From listening to the album I knew this was a concept album comprised of just one song that spreads into sections where themes reprise and passages sound like a symphony that grows and becomes familiar. From the beautiful opening of Merkaba that has some of the most beautiful lines to the elegiac and meditative piano of the last song Otra Dimension, this is a labor of love, daring but very restrained at the same time, no excess just a flawless coherent and cohesive masterpiece. After the initial invitation to a trance Gravedad let´s you fall gradually into a state of wonder, maybe childhood, maybe love, every not pointing to create a estate of being of reflection: The band´s musical virtuosity put in service to the music, not a self serving vehicle for each member but a community of artists creating a piece like Invocación, where the nodule or central drama of the piece reaches it´s apex, like all great Art, Otra Dimension takes us to the full spectrum of human emotions, and as that moment is reached it start to move to the cathartic moment of - Orillas del Tiempo pt II - which is an instant classic that you wish to hear over and over again. Ekos are masters of creating armonicé tension and melodic release, they play this card often and Avatar pt II is a great example of how much can you take this recourse, even their name titles show alliteration as well as in the music itself, it just show how much care went into the album. The mixing is crisp and polished and the tone that the Guitars and Synths get is stellar, how many groups pour everything into music, nowadays few, as the world grows cynical and good music more elusive it´s very comforting to know that their are bands that still honor the spirit of rock music and respect it with reverence to all that have come before but with a new passion to carry the torch of good and relevant prog rock. I urge you , please check out this band and find a way to get this album, do it now!!!!!
Report this review (#1701498)
Posted Monday, March 13, 2017 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars For those who are not familiar, Ekos are a Mexican prog rock band that started as a Pink Floyd tribute-band, but to our senses' luck, decided to create their original material at the end of the last decade, so then 2012 saw the "birth" of their debut album, a magnificent record in which the floydian reminiscences are evident, but their own sound started to be built up. It was 2015 when a new drummer joined the band, the talented Carlos Clériga, and since then they had worked really hard giving shows and creating new music.

All that effort has been rewarded with the recent release of "Otra Dimensión", their new album and one of my favorite 2017 releases so far, so it was worth the wait because Ekos took their time in order to give us a conceptual album, a masterpiece that I am happy to review right now, so I hope to light on some of my readers' interest and why not, persuade them to get a copy of it. What we will find here is an 11-track record with a total time of 47 in which we can appreciate spacey atmospheres, floydian nuances, some metal passages and also Wilson-like moments that all together flow perfectly, giving us (or me, at least) a wonderful listening experience that is amazingly complemented by its spiritual concept that talks about that other dimension.

It all starts with "Merkaba", an atmospheric introduction that takes us to space, one can feel embraced by that cosmic sound and get ready to begin the journey. "Gravedad" is a beautiful song in which we can finally appreciate the talent of the four members, first the drums open the gates, then a Gilmour-ish guitar appear, keys produce infinite textures and the bass always giving great lines. This song is instrumental but its sound is very emotional, beautiful, I repeat. What I love of this album is that it perfectly flows, you might find it difficult to perceive when one song finishes and the next one starts, at least this might happen to you with your first listen. I mentioned this because it did happen to me, and then I suddenly realized that I was already listening to "Avatar Pt. 1", another amazing song that has a soft and delicate sound, and the first one to feature vocals. Jesús Torres (guitar) is the main voice of Ekos, but also Ana Camelo (keys) helps with backing vocals, I would like to mention that they have improved their singing, they might not be true singers but I believe they have done a great job here.

The last seconds of "Avatar Pt. 1" show more energy and it opens the doors to "Sublimatio", an instrumental track that starts with an evident Wilsonian passage (he is one of their influences) and that brings moments of great energy with some chaotic keyboards and a masterful bass work by Víctor Juárez. This is a song I like a lot because it really transports me to another dimension. When the intensity decreases and a piano starts, we are already listening to "Astralis" in which lyrics return. In spite of that calmed introduction, this song is as intense as the previous one, with some chaotic passages produced mainly by keyboards and perfectly complemented by strings and drums. I repeat, I love how this album flows, so when vocals appear again a brand new song is being played, "Avatar Pt. 2", a short combo of spacey and relaxing atmospheres. With this song the first part of the album finishes and we can notice that because there is a short moment of silence after 25 minutes of non-stop music.

The second part starts with the mighty "Orillas del tiempo Pt. 1" which I praise as my clear favorite song of this album. It has again an atmospheric background accompanied by repetitive vocals but then at minute 2 we can feel lucky to witness a truly superb guitar solo, Jesus Torres is a giant, he really makes us feel his guitar and we can easily notice his passion for this instrument. Wow, what a song! This song leads to "Invocation", here Ana provides the main vocals while Jesús helps with the backing ones. The lyrics here talk about the supernatural, which is very interesting because if you understand them, the concept will actually embrace you. After 3 minutes there is a great instrumental passage that provides slow and fast, fast and slow moments where the four musicians show their connection, they are friends and bandmates, and that can be noticed with the good work. "Espejo" is another relaxing track, one can take a deep breath and feel the music's charm while the lyrics tell you about time and eternity. The last part is a bit heavier, they also love some prog metal bands and we can also notice those influences in some of the album's passages.

"Orillas del Tiempo Pt. 2" is a melancholic track that warn us about the journey's end, we can really feel it is coming to an end, you won't let me lie when you listen to it. Its last moments are much heavier and we can see how hard the drums sound so the band together make a wonderful solid combo. The album finishes with "Otra Dimensión", which happens to be the shortest track and the one that says goodbye, a piano-oriented track that keeps the door open to moments of introspection and search for answers. A beautiful album by Ekos, please give it a listen, you won't regret.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#1702263)
Posted Wednesday, March 15, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've been a fan since their first album, Luz Interna, when I listened to this masterpiece I wasn't disappointed. Ekos takes us on a journey full of different landscapes. From the initial Merkaba, where we dance among swirls of synthesizer and ambient sounds to the final piano piece that closes the album on a classical note.

This is what progressive rock is about. We have virtuoso moog solos, heavy riffs to satisfy any metal listener, tight drumming and pulsating bass lines. The prowess they display on their live shows is recreated here, demonstrating that each band member is in complete dominion of their instruments.

Jesus voice is soothing, and he sings with a tinge of melancholy that makes us feel that through each song one comes closer to that Otra Dimensi'n (Other dimension) where one finds oneself reflected upon a mirror of the soul.

There are many climatic moments in this album, like in the songs Espejo (Mirror) and Orillas del tiempo pt.2 (Time shores pt2) where one can't stop and think that we're listening to the great masterpieces of the 70's played in our modern times.

Rarely have I seen a band sound so original yet maintain the spirit of the 70's, and create such a diverse album and still feel so coherent and polished in the process.

Hats off to this amazing band. One cannot think of their feature releases and feel a sense of excitement and wonder. Highly, highly recommended.

Report this review (#1702269)
Posted Wednesday, March 15, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars I´ve been a fan for more than 50 years, I still remember the first time i had the chance to hear The Beatles back in 1965, surprisingly, this open my ears and consciousness. to different styles of music, starting with groups like Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Gentle Giant, Family, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Black Sabbath, The Flock, Ultimate Spinach, etc., a perfect mix of Progressive, Metal, Symphonic, Prog Related , Eclectic, Psychedelic/Space Rock, etc., a broad styles of fantastic bands and styles.

Taking me by surprise, I got hold of the new Ekos, album, my! what a refreshing surprise. Recording full of dramatical changes, great guitar riffs in the vein of Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, pastoral keyboard passages, amazing vocals, great peaceful atmospheric moments, perfectly balanced. The more you hear it, the more it grows on you. Probably the best recording in years of a Mexican band,

Report this review (#1703836)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars Since the firs time I heard this band, I became a fan. Their first album Luz interna brought to me a cascade of feelings, specially their super proggy track "Apocalipsis", makes me feel illuminated. But this new album Otra Dimensión is a very fresh surprise, the sound quality is very superior, very well produced, all instruments sounds perfect and equilibrated, I specially felt moved with the keyboards which are spacey, and very moving, some classical and new sounds surrounds you all the time. I also loved the guitar sound which combines perfectly, beautiful effects, sound and melodies. But the whole band sounds superb, the voices I also found very touching, and I haven´t yet make an analysis of the lyrics, but something there is very touching. I strongly recommend this album, doesn't matter if you can't understand spanish, it feels really good to hear!
Report this review (#1710316)
Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017 | Review Permalink
Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars A new release from this band from Mexico City that is PINK FLOYD-inspired without being a straight imitation or too derivative. Lots of atmosphere, familiar guitar sounds, wildly creative keyboard/synthesizer use, and solid, hypnotic rhythm section. Listening to Otra Dimensión, I am actually more reminded of Norwegian band AIRBAG's debut album, Identity.

Tracklist: 1. "Merkaba" (5:08) truly spacey and mood-setting, though not much in the way of song structure. (8/10)

2. "Gravedad" (4:01) and nice slow tempo rocker putting on display guitarist Jesus Torres's pedal steel talents. (9/10)

3. "Avatar Pt. I" (5:33) a very delicately constructed weave of bass, picked guitar and quiet keyboards that is joined in the third minute by drummer Carlos Clériga's sensitive cymbol play before the song finally breaks into a pretty vocal-led ballad. (9/10)

4. "Sublimatio" (3:01) shows off the band's "heavier" side with almost-metal, almost-djenty riffs from start to finish. More like an instrumental étude in metal play. A nice guitar solo in the final minute is ruined by a very cheesy 80s synth bass and end. (7.5/10)

5. Astralis (3:20) opens with piano-based gentle rock lineup before multi-layered harmonized vocal enters around 0:40. Another venture into heavier, metal-riffing at 1:05 throws me off--especially when the incongruous synth solo begins. The lead guitar work in the third minute is nice (despite the support of the rudimentary metal music). (8/10)

6. "Avatar Pt. II" (3:18) opens as a straight-thru bleed from the previous song. Vocals from the getgo with an odd pop electric piano bouncing around in-between the vocals, drums and guitar "power chords." A sudden shift at 1:55 draws me in--floating, panning keyboards in the background with nice electric guitar lead up front. Odd song. (8.5/10)

7. "Orillas Del Tiempo Pt. I" (4:01) opens very prettily with arpeggiating guitar, cymbol play and tropical jungle keyboard sounds. Vocal enters to calm and space out the scene. Synths, echoed guitar, and fake-echoed drums try to effect a scene or mood. The guitar solo that begins at the end of the second minute is stellar--one of the best I've heard all year--true emotionality of the master, Dave Gilmour. At 3:15 the song kind of devolves into a 1980s power rock song (think Bon Jovi). Despite this, the guitar continues to shred emotionally. (9/10)

8. "Invocación" (4:44) opens with piano and a very familiar guitar sound (Collage, Riverside) while band establishes foundation for a slow rock song. Vocal enters at the end of the first minute and doesn't quite fit. Where is Robert Amirian when you need him! The song evolves quite unpredictably--which is a good thing, for a while--but then ends like a song that should have been on GENESIS's ...And Then There Were Three... (8.5/10)

9. "Espejo" (5:38) opens with a piano and synth sound and style that is starting to feel a bit old. But then at 0:35 everything shifts. A darker, murkier soundscape takes over á la some of the great songs on David Gilmour solo albums. I love that the band chose to sing in their native tongue throughout the album. The synth work of keyboard player Ana Camelo (starting at the 2:00 mark) is the standout performance of this song--and it is wonderful. Richard Wright taken two steps further. The song amps up for the second verse with the return of the WHITESNAKE guitars for the final minute or two. (9.5/10)

10. "Orillas Del Tiempo Pt. II" (5:58) opens with a bit of a New Age feel to it--until the gentle, atmospheric singing enters. At the one minute mark enter bass and arpeggiated guitars, then drums and soloing synth (á la "Welcome to the Machine"). Nice bass and drum play. Throughout. Actually, nice mix aurally and technically. Return of the power chords while the ghost of Richard Wright plays up front with an abandon he never had in life. (Nice work, Ana!) My favorite song on the album. (9.5/10)

11. Otra Dimensión (2:01) nice sonic outro with droning synth and meandering Satie-esque piano solo playing out to the end. (9/10)

Total Time 47:00

A band of creative if tempered and influenced instrumentalists have collaborated to create an exciting collection of songs. I see so much potential, so much more, for this band! I, for one, will be watching for future releases! I truly understand the praise and attention this album is receiving from the prog community!

A solid four star album; an excellent representation of progressive rock music.

Report this review (#1786020)
Posted Saturday, September 23, 2017 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars EKOS are a Psychedelic band out of Mexico and this is their second studio album. It's a pretty cool concept about getting to that "other dimension" which the album's title means in English. Lyrics are in Spanish though. The six written reviews on here before mine are all rated at 5 stars. Impressive! EKOS were a PINK FLOYD tribute band before writing their own material yet PORCUPINE TREE seems to get mentioned more as a reference, maybe it's because there is some powerful sections on here like some of the sections on "In Absentia" along with the atmospheric, psychedelic sections which are more dominant.

"Merkaba" opens with humming sounds that build then the atmosphere takes over and it can get quite powerful at times and also spacey. A guitar melody is repeated after 2 1/2 minutes then it turns really spacey 4 minutes in. "Gravedad" or "Gravity" has these drums that stand out early as they sort of rumble along, then guitar expressions and more join in. Spacey sounds after 1 1/2 minutes. It turns absolutely beautiful 2 1/2 minutes in then it calms down late to the end.

"Avatar Pt. I" opens with atmosphere galore as some light guitar melodies come in over top. They will come and go. Some gorgeous sounds here including the vocals before 3 minutes that remind me a little of VIOLETO DE OUTONO. Nice bass too as this comes across as catchy yet restrained until we get some heaviness late after 5 minutes with riffs. "Sublimatio" is surprisingly heavy and check out that bass. Man these guys can let it rip. Such a great sound here. So many of these songs blend into the next which is cool.

"Astralis" is drums and piano mostly as vocals join in before a minute. It's heavy like the previous track after a minute. The keyboards start solo over top and soon the guitar is doing the same with a greater affect. "Avatar Pt. II" opens with vocals and a sound just like "Avatar Pt. I". I really enjoy the reprise.

"Orillas Del Tiempo Pt. I" is relaxed and enjoyable to begin with. It settles down more when the reserved vocals arrive. The atmosphere that joins in really adds to the sound here. Soaring guitar expressions and drums before 2 minutes as it turns powerful. The guitar is beautiful before 3 minutes with those soaring leads. The tempo then picks up. So good! "Invocacion" features piano and atmosphere as vocals join in just before a minute, a beat too. It turns powerful before 1 1/2 minutes but settles back quickly with vocals, a beat and piano standing out. The tempo keeps shifting late when the vocals step aside.

"Espejo" opens with piano and it's fuller before a minute as the vocals join in. This is laid back with reserved vocals. Love those melancholic synths when the vocals stop after 2 minutes. They are back after 3 1/2 minutes with a more powerful sound to the end.

"Orillas Del Tiempo Pt. II" pens with atmosphere and a mellow sound as relaxed vocals join in. Vocals step aside as the drums and organ take over. Vocals are back, synths too and this is more powerful. The tempo picks up after 4 minutes and it feels like a big a finish with organ but it settles just before it blends into the final tune "Otra Dimension" where the organ seems to run on forever as the piano joins in and then dominates to the end.

I highly recommend this recording. While it hasn't blown me away there's so many boxes that it ticks for me. I'm so glad I picked this one up and look forward to what they have for us in the future. Great band and a great headphone album but it has it's blemishes.

Report this review (#1789519)
Posted Saturday, September 30, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars In a time that pog rock seams like music from yesterday is so refreshing to find bands like EKOS a mexican group that are comited whit the music ,whit theyre own personality , in their sound you can hear some influences from Pink Floyd , maybe becoase they started as a tribute band of them , nothing to blame . EKOS recently released their second album"OTRA DIMENSION" ,Its great the way they blend together to deliver this great album whit no waste at all starting whit Merkaba the first of eleven tracks that leads you trough great musical passages to finish whit Otra dimension , which gives the name to the albun ,my favourite tracks are Orillas del tiempo pt. 1 and Invocacion, highly recomendable to any prog fan ,
Report this review (#1846239)
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5: the second album by Ekos, the most acclaimed in the community. They began as a Pink Floyd cover band back in 2004, and then evolved his sound to a more personal music without leaving behind his influences. Also I hear influences by other bands like Ozric Tentacles and Tangerine dreams. Lyrically, it talks about the possibility of existence of other dimensions and in general are good and well sung. musically, i considered a lot of space rock sound combined with some new elements of indie music, symphonic and prog metal with a very good result in any of this styles. The songs that I liked most was apparently suite of Sublimatio, Astralis and Avatar Pt. 2, is a very good progression, although the album in a whole is good. A excellent addition to any prog collection, and I think any who loves Space rock will love it because of the constant mixing with other genres and music variety.
Report this review (#2171291)
Posted Friday, April 5, 2019 | Review Permalink

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