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El Reloj

Eclectic Prog

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El Reloj El Reloj album cover
3.60 | 40 ratings | 4 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Obertura / El Viejo Serafín (8:20)
2. Más Fuerte Que El Hombre (3:11)
3. Hijo Del Sol Y De La Tierra (5:54)
4. Alguien Más En Quien Confiar (5:25)
5. Blues Del Atardecer (8:55)
6. Haciendo Blues Y Jazz (4:10)

Total time 35:55

1996 and 2004 CD bonus tracks:
7. El Mandato (3:03)
8. Vuelve El Dia A Reinar (4:02)
9. Alguien Más En Quien Confiar (4:03)
10. Blues Del Atardecer (5:38)

2009 CD bonus tracks:
7. El Mandato
8. Vuelve El Dia A Reinar
9. Alguien Más En Quien Confiar
10. Blues Del Atardecer
11. El Hombre Y El Perro
12. Camino Al Estucofen

Line-up / Musicians

- Eduardo Frezza / bass and lead vocals
- Willy Gardi / guitar and vocals
- Osvaldo Zabala / guitar
- Luis Alberto Valenti / keyboards and vocals
- Juan Esposito / drums, vocals and congas on 3

Releases information

LP RCA Vik LZ-1316 (1975, Argentina)

CD Record Runner RR-0150-2 (1996, Argentina, different artwork, different tracks' order, with 4 bonus tracks)
CD BMG Argentina 8287-665766-2 (2004, Argentina, remastered, with 4 bonus tracks)
CD RCA, Sony Music LZ-1316, 8869 759651 2 (2009, Argentina, remastered, with 6 bonus tracks)

LP RCA APG-1515 (New LP release as "Blues del Atardecer", the year unknown, different artwork)

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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EL RELOJ El Reloj ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

EL RELOJ El Reloj reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
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 naïve 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.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars When I first heard this album I thought I was listening to an early seventies Hard Rock band from Italy. Well this is 1975 and they are from Argentina. What do I know ? Anyway this is very much a straight-forward rocker with some prominant organ making me think that DEEP PURPLE may have been a big influence. The vocals sound like they are double tracked a lot which i'm not a fan of.

"El Viejo Serafin" opens with some atmosphere and it's kind of haunting, especially when the creepy water sounds come in. It kicks in briefly after 2 minutes but then becomes a good hard rocking track although i'm not big on the vocals here. "Mas Furte Que El Hombre" has some excellent instrumental sections. "Hijo Del Sol Y La Tierra" is better, at least the vocals are and I like the way his voice warbles. Some ripping guitar before 3 minutes pretty much to the end. Nice.

"Alguien Mas En Quien Confiar" opens with organ then it kicks in to a full sound with vocals after a minute. Lots of prominant guitar follows. "Blues De A Tardecer" is organ and vocal led with quite a few tempo changes but overall this is slower paced. A drum solo before 5 minutes too. "Haciendo Blues Y Jazz" brings back those warbly vocals I like in this the uptempo closer.

So a good album but not much here for the Prog fan to chew on.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars EL RELOJ (The Clock) was formed in Buenos Aires in 1971 by guitarist Willy Gardi and bassist Eduardo Frezza and they started out under the name "Lágrimas (tears)." After a few lineup changes the band finally recruited drummer Juan Esposito, guitarist Osvaldo Zabala and keyboardist Luis Alberto Valenti to record their debut eponymous album that came out in 1975. EL RELOJ was one of the earliest bands to pioneer heavy rock in Argentina. Clearly being heavily influenced by Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and other English bands of the day, it is apparent from their sound that they were listening to a lot of Italian prog bands as well. There are clear influences from the heavier sides of PFM, Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and Osanna amongst others.

Not at all surprising as Buenos Aires hosts one of the largest European and Italian populations in all of South America. The result of this mix is a highly energetic hard rockin' groovy sound that incorporates heavy riffs, scorching dual guitar leads, a beefy bass and a drummer on fire and on the prog side of things we get some well-crafted complex song structures, first-rate crazy time sigs, quality Hammond organ runs, tribal beats and rockin' rhythms that can change at the drop of a hat without affecting the overall flow of the music. The tracks have a highly developed sense of melody, harmony and counterpoint all sprinkled with progressiveness and a healthy sense of bombast.

"Obertura" starts off this album with spooky piano sounds that could easily scare away any unwanted solicitors from your front door which then is accompanied by some boiling water and muffled screams. Wow. Did we enter the haunted house at Disneyland? The second part of the track is "El Viejo Serafin (The Old Seraph)" which breaks in abruptly after two minutes and ushers in a heavy guitar riff that disappears as soon as it appears and then it's the bassline's turn. The tradeoffs are delivered in proggy time sigs and then finally around three minutes we get some passionate vocals all sung in Spanish, of course. The final minute is dedicated to a nice bassline trading off with the guitar. This opening track pretty much sets the stage for the heavy eclectic prog to come.

The tracks that follow follow the same formula with emphasis on different aspects of heaviness, progginess and instruments until we get to "Blues Del Atardecer (Blues Of The Evening)" which is one of the slower tracks that manages to fill the role as a ballad on the album without sacrificing energetic outbursts like guitar riffs, drum solos and drenched organ and maintains a highly addictive melody. The final track "Haciendo Blues Y Jazz (Making Blues And Jazz) is an excellent heavy bluesy jazz rocker that utilizes an energetic walking bass run, bluesy guitar acrobatics and atmospheric keyboards with rock star vocals to add the perfect icing on the cake.

While i wouldn't call EL RELOJ the most original of bands as they incorporate so many ideas and sounds that had already been done, i would call them absolutely brilliant in how they piece it all together in their delivery in a way that hadn't been done this well. The song structures are amazingly complex while losing absolutely none of the catchiness associated with the top dogs of the heavy rock world. EL RELOJ delivers the hard hitting energy of a heavy metal band, the sensuality that Latin American musicians are famous for and the complexity that will please every prog lover as well. Every musician sounds perfect for the role and EL RELOJ has emerged as my favorite band from Argentina. While i absolutely love this debut album, it is the second one that will really blow you away for as good as this one is, they were only getting started! Highly recommended. These guys really need to be jettisoned from the vaults of obscurity.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A nice album from this band from Argentina. A bit of Hard Rock and Jazz fusion. In some parts we remember Led Zeppelin and other's Deep Purple but with more complex organ compositions. Some spacey parts in the begining of the tracks and a hard guitar next, made some strange compositions. Lyr ... (read more)

Report this review (#255301) | Posted by João Paulo | Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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