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Itoiz Ezekiel album cover
4.10 | 132 ratings | 14 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ezekielen Prophezia (5:10)
2. Ezekielen Esnatzea I (6:01)
3. Ezekielen Esnatzea II (4:37)
4. Ezekiel (3:01)
5. Ezekielen Ikasgaia (6:29)
6. Ezekielen Ametsa (1:52)
7. Ezekielen Erantzuna (4:17)
8. Ezekiel: Ia Maitasun Kanta Bat (5:49)

Total time 37:16

Bonus track on 2009 remaster:
9. Ezekiel (Live) (5:37)

Line-up / Musicians

- Juan Carlos Pérez / guitar, vocals
- Antton Fernandez / keyboards
- Joseba Erkiaga / flute
- Shanti Jimenez / bass, vocals
- Mitxel Logaron / percussion

- Fran Lasuen / violin, mandolin
- Carlos Jimenez / sax, piano
- Joseba Beristain / cuatro
- Itziar Egileor / lead vocals (5)
- Etorkizuna children choir (from Ondarroa) / chorus vocals (4,6)
- Joseba Saenz Ortuondo / choir conductor

Releases information

LP Xoxoa ‎- X-11.130 (1980, Spain)
LP Elkar ‎- KD- 791 (2008, Spain) Remastered ?

CD Elkar ‎- KD-4011 (1994, Spain)
CD Belle Antique ‎- BELLE 091624 (2009, Japan) Remastered by Shuichi Takano with 1 bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ITOIZ Ezekiel ratings distribution

(132 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

ITOIZ Ezekiel reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars Another symphonic gem from the Basque region. The music here is quite beautiful (very Italian, in fact) and emphasizes melodic interplay between Acoustic guitars, HACKETT-ish electric guitar, flutes, and saxes. Most of the tracks have male vocals, while the best tracks have some very beautiful female vocals.
Review by Sean Trane
5 stars While their debut was quite an impressive achievement for a young group, Itoiz decided to up the ante by producing a concept album, the subject (written by group outsider Joseba Alklade) of which will most likely evade almost everyone but the Basque since, they sing in the own native tongue, but forget (unlike their fellow Basque groups) to supply the translation in either French or/and Spanish. While the artwork evokes an exile, the music is certainly much more advanced delving more deeply into jazz and folk than the symphonic influences of the debut. The line is fairly different and actually extended to violin and sax players while it is plainly obvious that JC Perez remains at the driving wheel. As mentioned above, the musical feel is rather different than the symphonic debut and the excursions into the jazz-rock realm are probably the most enthralling while the folk passages are sometimes a bit cheesy, but overall the music excels and even sometimes shines brighter than the sun.

Right from the starting blocks, Itoiz is grabbing you by the hand and forcing you to jog on along the musical trip leading you into what certainly sounds like saga, not a deep-frozen Viking one, one from nation that went out to fish on new world fish banks one thousand years before Columbus discovered it. Unfortunately it is frustrating of not being able to grasp the storyline, especially given to the music factor of this disc, it has a lot of chance to be fascinating.

Listen to the dramatic Ikasgaia and its constantly evolving climates, using shamelessly every single joyful mood and transport it musically, with a superb bass escaping leading and directing the music. That flute would not even exist if the bassist's jazzy-funky-folky groove was not carrying everything with it. And the superb female scatting voice is only one of the highlights leading into the superb acoustic guitar of Amatea and its bizarre medieval twist just contrasting to Erantzuna troubadour-declaiming lyrics. Shit, I wish I spoke Basque, just to be able to profit to the fullest to this masterpiece of folk-inspired music, and it is not the finale that will deny it.

And that's just the second part; the first being just as worthy but the vinyl found its way one my turntable that way. I could tell you about that first side just as lyrically as I did for its flipside (are you still with me?), but rather than flogging your already-conquered curiosities, I'd rather save my words for more discoveries of the genre. But this one is really worth it. Those almost-Celtic ambiances with a slight more southern flavour is likely to enchant all kinds of west Europeans, from the Land Of The Midnight Sun to the Canary Islands.

Itoiz's next album (the only one I have not heard), recorded two years later is reputed to be relatively similar, although slightly softer rock), but the following ones are completely un-prog (almost regressive) sounding like a second or third rate U2, even if politically, they seem more engaged by then. In the meantime, prefer this album over their debut if you enjoy a bit wider-scoped prog music. Your life WILL be better once this disc will be yours.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a very pleasant listen, with acoustic guitar and drums leading the way and lots of tasteful violin, sax and flute added throughout. The male vocals are reserved and are in Spanish, while there are female vocals on a couple of tracks.

"Ezekielen Prophezia" opens with some good electric guitar before settling with fragile male vocals. A beautiful section before 2 minutes including violin.The tempo picks up some. Lots of sax. This is great ! I really like "Ezekielen Esnatzea I" which opens (as most of the songs do)with acoustic guitar, as vocals and drums come in. There is some nice piano to follow with organ in the background. Some prominant bass when the vocals stop. Flute after 2 minutes as the organ continues floating in the background. Sax is up next then a long electic guitar solo. So the overall sound is of intricate and delicate instrumentals and not a wall of sound. "Ezekielen Esnatzea II" opens with acoustic guitar as other intricate sounds come in and then vocals. Nice sax solo 2 minutes in followed by flute then an organ / bass section as drums beat.

"Ezekial" opens with delicate acoustic guitar melodies then a childrens choir joins in. "Ezekielen Ikasgaia" opens with piano and acoustic guitar. Female vocals come in as the piano continues. Sax takes over for her vocals as organ, bass and drums support. Flute follows then piano then vocals and acoustic guitar return. "Ezekielen Ametsa" opens with acoustic guitar melodies before female vocals and piano take over. Flute follows. It blends into "Ezekielen Erantzuna" where violin joins the piano and drums. Acoustic guitar then male vocals follow. Sax later. Great song ! "Ezekiel: Ia Maitasun Kantu Bat" opens with violin as bass and flute join in. Male vocals with strummed acoustic guitar follows. The violin, bass and flute return. Electric guitar later.

This did remind me of some of the beautiful seventies Italian albums at times.Tracks one and seven standout from the rest for me. Not being the biggest Prog-Folk fan probably effects my rating here but there were some misses to go along with the hits.

Review by kenethlevine
5 stars While Itoiz' debut was an instantly likable major folk effort with a concentrated minor in symphonic progressive, their sophomore offering is far more eclectic and much harder to penetrate. In addition to a cornucopia of instruments such as electric and acoustic piano and guitar, flutes, organs, violins, and saxophones, and the reappearance of superb voices of both genders, the album's sprawling canvas incorporates several new styles for the group, particular jazzy elements. You could be excused for doubting this kitchen sink approach, because very few bands could pull this off with the skill and vision demonstrated herein. Your upfront investment will be rewarded manifold.

The general pattern of many of the tracks, such as the first three, is a song orientation followed by extensive instrumental excursions featuring the group's full arsenal, and providing for continued discovery over the course of many airings. Of particular note are the rich saxes and organ in "Ezekielen esnatzea II". The pent-up energy that had been withheld during the Franco years remained fully operative throughout this sophomore album. The approach is continued on "Ezekielen ikasgaia" where electric piano substitutes for organ, except the vocals are feminine and at times acrobatic in their versatility. Many folk orientations remain, generally paired with massed or individual children's voices, such as on the title cut and "Ezekielen ametsa". This apparent innocence is egged on by divine flutes even as it is belied by the accessible complexity of the compositions and arrangements.

If I had to choose a favourite, it would probably be the penultimate cut "Ezekielen erantzuna", which casts a sly eye back to the first album without sacrificing the newly found maturity. In addition, it boasts some stunning acoustic guitar work. The backing keyboards are hypnotic, and what sounds like violin sets just a slightly Eastern European - or is it Arabic - mood. This is wisely carried over to the closer, which is highlighted by some stellar lead guitar work.

This is a uniformly consistent album and perhaps the masterpiece of the Basque progressive folk movement. It is a sequence of songs that propose and deliver an indivisible unit, which is nirvana for most progressive fans. My highest and unflinching recommendation.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Hailing from the Basque region of Spain, Itoiz' second album Ezekiel is, as the name implies, a concept album based on the Biblical stories about the prophet Ezekiel. Significantly, the band sing in the Basque language, taking advantage of the new freedoms Spain was enjoying after the recent fall of the fascist regime which had ruled it from the 1930s to the 1970s - under Franco, the different regions of Spain were discouraged from expressing aspects of local culture which were seen as affirming their differences with other regions of Spain, and the Basque language in particular was frowned on.

Itoiz exploit this opportunity to express their culture to the hilt, fusing Basque folk and progressive rock in a distinctive musical vision. Yet, at the same time, the prog side of the equation tends to let the side down from time to time: a tendency to be stuck in the past and plough furrows already exhausted both by folk prog bands outside Spain and Itoiz' flamenco rock contemporaries make the rock side of this folk-rock balance sound somewhat dated once you get past the novelty of the Basque lyrics.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Itoiz is a prog folk band from the Basque Region of Spain. This is the folk side of prog folk, yet it has a very strong jazzy flavor with its flutes, fiddles, saxophones, and pianos joining the acoustic guitars, electric bass, drum kit, and, of course, vocals. Try listening to the following YouTube links: 2. "Ezekielen Esnatzea" (6:02); 5. "Ezekielen Ikasgaia" (6:30); 6. "Ezekielen Ametsa + Ezekielen Erantzuna" (6:10), and; 8. "Ezekiel: Ia maitasun kantu bat" (5:51).

1. "Ezekielen Prophezia" (5:10) (8/10)

2. "Ezekielen Esnatzea I" (6:01) Nice electric guitar solo. (8.5/10)

3. "Ezekielen Esnatzea II" (4:37) awesome plaintive pastoral opening with a weave of violin, guitar, keyboard and bass. Multiple voices work their way into the weave for a minute before a solo sax takes the lead and the weave smooths out and a blues-rock rhtyhm foundation takes over. Breathy, fast-flitting flute takes over at 2:45, Wurlitzer organ at 3:30. (9/10)

4. "Ezekiel" (3:01) excellent acoustic guitar picking opens this one until a stop at 0:40 signals the entry of the Etorkizuna Children's choir with support from strumming mandolin and picking guitar. Interesting, though the power and melodies of the choir are not as high until the softening and cheering in the third minute. Still, cool song. (9/10)

5. "Ezekielen Ikasgaia" (6:29) picked acoustic guitar is joined by piano (very well recorded, btw) before laying scant support for the operatic voice of mezzo soprano Itziar Egileor. Nice melodies and song arrangement. At 2:30 there is a radical shift into organ-rock band playing a soulful support to solos from alto sax, flute, and electric piano. At 4:27 we return to the opening section of acoustic guitar to support Itziar--this time without piano! Basss and violin and then drums join in as song gets very expressive, vocal becomes very jazzy with some very cool and unusual scatting. Very classy, polished song. Great sound engineering. (9.75/10)

6. "Ezekielen Ametsa" (1:52) solo acoustic guitar intro for a "little girl" vocal and child-like upper register piano support which then turns into Fender Rhodes rock band song to bleed into the next song. (5/5)

7. "Ezekielen Erantzuna" (4:17) carried over from the previous song, the Fender is strong but a very active rhythm section makes for an interesting contrast to the rather bland male vocal over the top. Acoustic guitar solo in the middle before vocals are doubled up for the second half. Now this is cool! Sax and organ join in for solo coupled with electric piano solo to close. (9/10)

8. "Ezekiel: Ia Maitasun Kanta Bat" (5:49) railroad noises before a violin defines the pace and melody for a bass-heavy folk reel. Violin, flute, and sax performing a wave to support the lead melody before cutting out at 1:02. Strummed guitar supports animated lead vocal from Juan Carlos Pérez. Bass and intermittent drum and cymbal support before flute-sax-violin weave fills the instrumental interludes between vocal verses. Weird electric guitar enters around 3:20, providing metronomic counterpoint to everything else going on. I find it annoying. Luckily, it leaves for the fifth minute. Screaming electric guitar solo starts at 4:40 and persists to the end over the jamming musicians beneath. (9/10)

Total time 37:16

4.5 stars; a wonderful example of Prog Folk coming from the Iberian Peninsula, particularly refreshing for its representation of a very specific regional folk tradition (and language).

Latest members reviews

4 stars A must for fans of prog-folk. Good compositions expressed with acoustic and electric guitars sublimely supported by piano, flute, saxophone, violin and keyboards. Interesting collaboration of bass and drums, very rhythmic and protagonists. I do not understand the Basque language is not familia ... (read more)

Report this review (#996342) | Posted by sinslice | Thursday, July 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A beautifull album from this Spanish band of seventies. This band blew the Basque ethnic music with progressive rock. The result of this merger was the realization of a very beautiful album and maybe one of the best of its kind. Who said that the Prog Folk is not pretty and it is boring and dul ... (read more)

Report this review (#763260) | Posted by João Paulo | Monday, June 4, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have heard about this band for a long time, but this is my first ever foray into their world. This is their second album and one which is highly regarded in our community. The music is based in folk music, but there is also strong hints of Camel in their music. I reviewed all the the four ... (read more)

Report this review (#394028) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, February 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars An outstanding album from the Basque Country. And specially meritorious if we notice that during the early 80's, Spanish music was not at its best: due to the euphoria of having escaped from the censorship that ruled until 1975, Spanish musicians were occupied composing dead easy techno-pop songs ... (read more)

Report this review (#205696) | Posted by Blackdog | Saturday, March 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ezekiel is a very unique album, sung in Bask language, Itoiz performance makes that the singing stays as a complement (even that is not bad at all) and let the instruments to speak. You will know what I'm talking about once you hear it. I compare Ezekiel with Les cinq saisons of Harmonium: Cha ... (read more)

Report this review (#159659) | Posted by progmex_addict | Thursday, January 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars An absolute delight of an album - blending folk influences with jazz and symphonic tendancies to create a unique flowing mix of uplifting prog-folk. The melodies are excellent and the playing superb - violin,flute,piano organ and guitar solos feature thorughout and are never less than excellent. ... (read more)

Report this review (#155725) | Posted by barp | Monday, December 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of a kind folk album that puts everything into a folk/rock fusion which may remind one of Goran Bregovic's works. This gypsy- style work not only has it all, but on top of it it adds a song, "Ezekielen ikasgaia", for which there is probably no way to find words to express the inner beauty of ... (read more)

Report this review (#138740) | Posted by Nao/Gilles | Monday, September 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Itoiz was a prog symphonic pop band from mutriku in Euskal Herria (Vasque Country). They started playing together the music they liked GENESIS, FLOYD,ZEPPELIN etc.. but in that era 1974 they they couldn't play their stuff so they had to do covers to earn money. Whatever Ezequiel is their second a ... (read more)

Report this review (#22232) | Posted by scumtotheleader | Thursday, May 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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