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Témpano The Agony And The Ecstasy album cover
3.87 | 72 ratings | 8 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Twisted Mind (5:48)
2. Bonfire (2:37)
3. Just in a Second (6:43)
4. Gigante (0:56)
5. Piet? (2:16)
6. Timeless Time (5:13)
7. Attimo Infinito (2:37)
8. Intermezzo (3:08)
9. La Porta di Santo Spirito (2:38)
10. Giudizio Universale (3:11)
11. Il Duomo (7:28)
12. Final Agony (1:23)
13. All Ages Tears (3:52)
14. Imaginary Sky (7:43)
15. Conspiracy (9:59)

Total Time: 70:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Pedro Castillo / guitars, synth, Mellotron, loops, vocals
- Giuglio Cesare Della Noce / keyboards
- Miguel Angel Echevarreneta / bass, Classical guitar
- Gerardo Ubieda / drums, percussion, programming (13)

- Marcella Mosca / vocals (2,3,7)
- Germán Landaeta / keyboards, percussion
- Huáscar Barradas / flute (13)

Releases information

Artwork: Sandro Bassi

CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4433.AR (2002, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TÉMPANO The Agony And The Ecstasy ratings distribution

(72 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TÉMPANO The Agony And The Ecstasy reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What a tremendous masterpiece this is!! Designed as a musical homage to Michelangelo Buonarroti's artistic genius, "The Agony and the Ecstasy" is Témpano's finest work so far, and given the fact that they're still on the road (albeit taking things slow), I assume that we're yet to hear more from them in the near future - just like the most exquisite wine, getting better and better with age. But let's focus on this amazing concept-album by now. This concept album is mostly instrumental, but it also contains some sung stuff - guitarist/keyboardist Pedro Castillo is actually a very good singer and his English accent is very smooth, so maybe the band should consider to give more room to the singing department in their next albums. The opener 'Twisted Mind' is an amazing piece of solidly adorned prog rock with a slight jazzy twist and an occasional touch of fusion - regarding the effective appeal of the motifs and the quality of the performances and interplaying, the sensible listener should be pleased by now, getting increasingly curious about what is yet to come as the album goes on (much more ecstasy than agony in this listening experience). Then comes 'Bonfire', an exquisite exercise on orchestrating and counterpoints with clever dissonances and dramatic shifts (somewhat related to early After Crying) that serves as an interlude between 'Twisted Mind' and 'Just in a Second', the first sung track. All sung tracks have a modern symphonic appeal to them, based on not-too-complicated rhythm patterns and clear melodic lines, structured in a modern-sounding frame. 'Just in a Second' includes some jazz-pop hints, while 'Timeless Times' may remind you of Porcupine Tree at their most melancholic (a special mention goes to the soaring synth solo that goes along the middle guitar lead on to the last sung verse). 'Il Duomo' and 'Imaginary Sky' are more closely related to current neo-prog, always with a proper touch of sophistication provided by the weird adornments that are incorporated here and there. But nothing in this album is as weird as the sequence of tracks 7-10: think of a hybrid of Isildur's bane and a less scary Art Zoyd and you will get the picture. On the opposite side of things, 'Gigante' (a beautiful classical guitar solo piece) and 'All Ages Tears' bring moments of sheer serenity. The closing track 'Conspiración' is an amazing 10-minute prog journey that goes places constantly on the wings of a basic jazz-oriented motif: echoes of Happy the Man, Yes, 80s King Crimson and Pat Metheny Group keep on appearing and getting recycled in a modern filter. This is the least 'composed' number in the album, but it never drags around or meanders pointlessly: all four musicians work really hard at their interplaying in order to keep the main musical ideas and its further variations firmly rooted in a fluid unity. The modern essence of this repertoire lies in no small degree on the use of digital keyboard effects and occasional drum loops, which do not replace the warmth of human instrumentation, but help it to increase its expressiveness and develop it to its full potential. It's incredible how such an amount of varied musical sources can be so coherently integrated in an album's full amalgam, but again, this is the stuff that most prog masterpieces are made of - variety and integrality. 4.5 stars for "The Agony and the Ecstasy" and countless blessings for Témpano.
Review by semismart
5 stars Even with the advent of the enigmatic Hugo Chavez, not everything coming out of Venezuela is bad. At least on this one occasion, some very interesting progressive rock music has emanated from across the Caribbean - the formerly friendly confines of Venezuela

There's a reason that Tempano's, Agony and the Ecstasy, has tended to garner solid five star reviews. The reason is simple, it is a solid five star album.

I bought The Agony and the Ecstasy on a lark. I had never heard a note by Tempano but the reviews sounded good, so I put them on my wish list, where it must have sat for a good year or so. It finally made it from my wish list to my cart, when after the last Xmas I received a large gift certificate from my daughter. When placing my order, I ran out of items I wanted but I didn't want to leave a credit balance.

When I received The Agony and the Ecstasy I played it on my computer while I was doing some typing upon it. I didn't expect much, but it didn't take long before I was paying more attention to Tempano's music then my typing. Within an hour I had pulled up Tempano on a website and ordered their other two available releases.

What kind of music does Tempano play? Though, they are from Venezuela, there seems to be very little Latin influences. I noticed a little in only one song, Il Duomo and it is fabulous. The Agony and the Ecstasy contains fifteen highly varied songs running from 56 seconds to ten minutes. Overall the album is sixty-five plus minutes. There are some vocals but the album is more instrumental. The songs range from symphonic prog rock, to movie score sounding contemporary music, to something just short of jazz, while the tempos run the gamut from easy going to medium fast, yet everything they play is smooth . smooth as Venezuelan Oil.


I really believe that if you like progressive rock music, this album specifically and Tempano in general, is for you. The variety of the music is really astounding, as is the variety of instruments. Now, I'm no musician but even I can appreciate unusual instruments being used. Look for bongos, xylophones, flutes, trumpets, sound effects and various synthesized instruments. In a nutshell this is one of the most diversified and original bands I've heard in a while.

Similar Bands: Iluvatar, Clepsydra, Riverside, Tangent

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I first heard Témpano on the 2005 COLOSSUS/MUSEA RECORDS project, Odyssey: The Greatest Tale. They were great there. So, I went on an exploratory search for more Témpano. The stuff I found was okay. I've never been a fan of electric 'acoustic' guitars, gated drums, and the kind of keyboards they use throughout The Agony and the Ecstacy, and much of their music sounds simple upon first listening. Luckily, I did not give up there. Each successive listening has revealed more of the group's mastery of the "Less is More" principle--and also revealed more subtleties and nuances that are usually the signs of a more band made up of more mature members. This is, so far, my favorite Témpano studio album. A lot of PINK FLOYD similarities--especially the guitar work (both acoustic and electric).

Album highlights: 6. "Timeless Time" (9/10) and 14. "Imaginary Sky" (8/10).

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. Better than the previous album "Childhood's End" but I still prefer their seventies debut. Some excellent instrumental sections on this one but I find this record a little inconsistant.

"Twisted Mind" is a top two with the impressive instrumental work including the bass, guitar and drums all of which are top notch here. "Bonfire" turns heavy 30 seconds in then settles back as contrasts continue. "Just In A Second" opens with acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. A fuller sound follows then a calm before 3 minutes before it kicks back in. Not a fan of this one. It ends with the sounds of thunder. "Gigante" is a short acoustic guitar piece. "Pieta" featues sounds that come and go before the guitar leads late. "Timeless Time" is led by strummed guitar, a beat and reserved vocals eventually. It does get fuller. "Attimo Infinito" opens with spoken words and samples. Piano after 1 1/2 minutes then a heavy pulsating sound comes in as the song keeps changing. It blends into "Intermezio" which has more of the same really.

"La Porta Di Santo Spirito" kicks in at 30 seconds then settles back before 1 1/2 minutes with string-like sounds and pinao. It blends into "Giudizio Universale" as sounds again come and go with tempo shifts. "Il Duomo" has some nice bass in it when it picks up. Vocals join in too.Good sound here.Vocals stop before 3 minutes and an excellent instrumental section takes over. Contrasts continue. "Final Agony" is ballad-like. Not a fan. "All Ages Tears" opens with piano and flute and a classical vibe. "Imaginary Sky" is mellow as reserved vocals join in. Some nice guitar 4 minutes in then the vocals and earlier sound return. "Conspiracion" is the other top two. So yes it starts and ends really well for me. Atmosphere early as a beat with bass and guitar take over. Excellent track.

I really prefer it when he's not singing and the band let's loose. A good album that fails to impress me overall.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars Utter and complete disappointment. I am familiar with only their later stuff (Selective Memory), but basing my estimation that there was early era, then commercial era and much later "this" era of goodness, I was expecting something as good as SM. Guess again I suppose. Too much spoken word here, too many experimentation parts (that works only half of the time), not enough melody (remember Selective Memory), mostly reverting to Avantgarde. That may work with Univers Zero (quite similar at times), but not here with the Venezuelans. But to be honest, it's not a bad album per se, it's just not what I've expected, not what I usually like, but there are qualities that I don't dare to bury under too low rating, hence 3 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars THIS IS JUST FANTASTIC!!! I know these guys since very young. They was neighbours. Pedro was Luisiana´s boy friend then Carmen´s, Miguel Angel was Clara´s, Gerardo lived in Macaracuay and had this huge chevy Malibu. And I can tell u guys .... they all very tallented. Pedro is one of the best rad ... (read more)

Report this review (#141181) | Posted by sandylane | Sunday, September 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Great album, is amazing, im venezuelan and i feel so proud that these guys made this great album, they are legends in my country, they had a bad moment (some pop songs that i dont like too much), but they'r back to their roots, making this super album ultra prog, with some lyrics in italian, engli ... (read more)

Report this review (#135527) | Posted by Iommi | Thursday, August 30, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars If Atabal Yemal and Childhood's End are PHENOMENAL this one is really something BIG. The sound clarity, the production, the design, everything from begining to end is simply great, one of the best albums I have ever heard in prog rock, and with over 30 years listening to prog rock this is a sol ... (read more)

Report this review (#16021) | Posted by | Thursday, July 1, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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