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4 stars I am rather surprised by this band. Finding out Mexico did have a prog scene, I was a bit hesitant. I thought maybe ICONOCLASTA would mix mariachi with prog. Luckily they didn't and instead went for a '70s prog sound that brings to mind some of the Italian bands. Although their debut was recorded and released in 1983, you'd swear this was from the mid '70s. Here, the band features two guitarists, in the names of Ricardo Moreno and Ricardo Ortegon, with Nohemi D'Rubin on bass, Rosa Moreno (sister of Ricardo) on keyboards (which included lots of string synths, a Wurlitzer electric piano, and apparently an ARP 2600), and Victor Baldovinos on drums.

Given this is from Mexico, the production of the album isn't that great, and often comes across as sloppy. The album opens with "Cuentos de Arquicia", which features some excellent guitar playing and nice themes. "Dorian" tends to be a bit on the jazzy side with electric piano. "Manantial" is one of my favorites here. I especially like the use of '70s string synths here, pretty nice, atmospheric piece that makes me glad a band from the '80s knew about. "Memorias de un Hechiero" starts off sounding like "Il Banchetto" from PFM's "Per Un Amico", it's probably no coincidence that this band had that album in their collection. It then starts getting a bit more jazzy as it progressses. "Estudio VI" starts off with classical guitar, which gives a Spanish/Mexican feel to it, before the band starts kicking in and doing the prog they they're known for. The last piece, "Fuere da Casa" is perhaps the album's high points, going for a more epic composition. The ARP 2600 (or something that sounds like it) pops up, and a female voice pops up as well, which really blew me away.

Unfortunately this album gets weighed down by excess baggage at times, some of the music tends to drag on longer than need be, so I don't exactly call this album essential, but still worth having.

Report this review (#30484)
Posted Wednesday, May 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A Great Mexican Band!

Iconoclasta is probably one of the pioneers of progressive rock in Mexico, despite this was their first album, and was released in 1983, some other 70`s bands in Mexico were more to the psychedelic movement, with some progressive rock passages, but i think if it is not the real first prog band, Iconoclasta is for sure one of the earliest. They formed Iconoclasta in 1980, and since that moment they started doing progressive rock, with clear influences by 70`s band such as Yes or PFM, they blended elements of classical, electronic and jazz, combined with the strenght and ideological expression of rock, in my opinnion at least this album is more symphonic than jazzy, also they started their own label "Discos Rosembach", you can imagine some of their influences.

"Cuentos de Arquicia" is the first track of the album, a great song, remind me tos ome Yes passages, with nice keyboards and a fast rythm, also it has some nice guitar sound.

"Dorian" starts slowly, but little by little it is becoming stronger and faster, here we can appreciate some of the good musicianship in the band, guitar sound is acid, but great.

"Manantial" has something special that is catching you during the song, keyboards as an atmospheric background, and again great guitar sound.

"Memorias de un Hechicero", a parenthesis (Ricardo Moreno, the guitarist of the band has his own style , in this song you can see and appreciate it) this song is excellent for me, it has some mood changes, but the music is always good, in fact i think here you will enjoy all the instruments, bass is great.

"Estudio VI" is great, it has some poppish and 80`s moments, but anyway i think is good, specially for that guitar who remind me some classical moments.

"Origen Cuspide y Muerte" I think it doesn`t have anything special, is simply another track, yes, the music is quite nice, but nothing new here, maybe it is my less favorite, here is a passage when in fact i remember The Police, because of the bass playing and the rythm.

One thing that i haven`t said yet, this is an instrumental album, it doesn`t have lyrics, but in the last song, you will find some female vocals. "Fuera de Casa", as i said above, this is the only track which has some vocals, i repeat, no lyrics, only the voice which is great, a special guest Rosa Echevarria de Moreno is the woman who share his great voice, also and not only for the vocals, this is my favorite track, the music has a mix of jazz ,symphonic and rock passages of course, is the largest of them all, is challenging and i think the music skill is great here.

Maybe they are not the finest band, but each member has it`s own work, and they do it well, for me this is a nice debut album, i like it so much, but "fortunately" it is not their best album, so you can wait for my Reminiscencias review. Give a try to it, i think is good, but non - essential, anyway, you could enjoy it so much.

Report this review (#77746)
Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator

Well,in a few words that is what is almost going on here.ICONOCLASTA are a legendary band from Mexico,formed in the beginning of the 80's in Mexico City.Starting mostly as a garage rock group,the sound of the band turned soon into a more progressive field combining elements from rock,jazz,folk and classical music.After managing to create a decent fame in prog rock circles in their country,the band decided to release their first eponymous album under their own ''Rosenbach records'' in 1983.

The sound of this album is mostly coming from the 70's,when I first listened to this album I would bet that it was created until 1975.This is mostly an instrumental symphonic/fusion album with only a touch of female vocals in the last track.Guitarists and founders of the band Ricardo Moreno and Ricardo Ortegon must be great fans of STEVE HACKETT.The Hackett-ish riffs and passages are all over the place,sometimes in a symphonic style,other ones through fast fusion solos.Victor Baldovinos is also an unbelievable drummer,following the guitarists with his fast,complex and alternating style of using the drums.Rosa Moreno's piano and synth work goes mostly in a symphonic way with melodic,atmospheric themes adding a more classical flavor to the album.I would say that this album falls perfectly in the symphonic prog genre with heavy touches of jazz and fusion.Needless to say the musicianship,though not so original,is of top notch with constantly changing moods,speeds and tempos,an amazing musical experience!

It is really a question without answer,why bands like ICONOCLASTLA are not wider known and promoted...This album came to me as one of my biggest discoveries in the year and is followed by my highest recommendations.Fans of GENESIS,FOCUS,FINCH,CRUCIS and adventuruous music lovers should search for this one immediately!The only reason I don't give this album 5 stars is the obvious lack in originality.A must have!!!

Report this review (#192169)
Posted Sunday, December 7, 2008 | Review Permalink

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