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Rivendel Sisyfos album cover
3.74 | 69 ratings | 4 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Charon Crossing the Styx / El Paso de la Laguna Estigia (12:09)
2. Sisyphus & Merope I / Sísifo y Mérope I (1:57)
3. The Istmian Games / Los Juegos Ístmicos (5:31)
4. Sisyphus & Merope II / Sísifo y Mérope II (1:48)
5. Greek Salad / Ensalada Griega (7:01)
6. Sisyphus in Styx / Sísifo en Estigia (6:37)
7. The Anger of Zeus / La Ira de Zeus (3:34)
8. Sisyphus and the Rock / Sísifo y la Roca (12:41)

Total Time 52:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Toño Cruz / guitars
- Oscar Belío / Mellotron, organ, pianos, synths
- Jose Mari Aguirrezabala / bass, EWI
- Xabi Martinez / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Angel Ontalva painting

CD Lednevir Records ‎- LRDC004 (2018, Spain)

Digital album

Thanks to salmancis for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RIVENDEL Sisyfos ratings distribution

(69 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

RIVENDEL Sisyfos reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars On the strength of their latest instrumental album, 2018's `Sisyfos', and actually their fourth work since forming in the mid-Eighties, it might be a bit of a struggle to not instantly dismiss Spanish act Rivendel as being a mere King Crimson clone. Absolutely Robert Fripp's legendary eclectic prog group is a massive influence on this concept album about the Greek myth, with the album overloaded with endless scratchy Mellotron, tortured sustained guitar wailing and rattling percussion, but admittedly the band occasionally take things further by incorporating elements of spacerock, Seventies horror movie soundtracks and even little hints of the earlier `krautrock' period of Tangerine Dream before the programming took over.

Opener `Charon Crossing the Styx' gradually unfolds over twelve minutes, a dreamy and mysterious spacerocker that also holds a definite lurking sense of unease. Mellow guitar ruminations and placid icy synths slowly come to life with rambunctious drum thrashing, and the heavily improvised piece might not have sounded out of place on an Oresund Space Collective album. `Sisyphus & Merope I' is a sedate chiming guitar shimmer of delicate reflection that could almost have popped up on an Italian giallo soundtrack when its ghostly Mellotron choir starts to rise. The playful `The Istmian Games' could almost be retitled `The Indoor Games' in the way it captures the same loopy mindset of King Crimson's `Lizard' album from 1970 with its devilish keyboard mischievousness and Frippian guitar grinding, and `Sisyphus & Merope II' is a further reprise of the first shorter spectral interlude.

For `Greek Salad', think of the wild old Crimson improvisations - all slithering bass murmurs, clanging percussion crashes, heavy staccato piano stabs, lurching guitar grooves with occasional buzzsaw-like eruptions and monolithic horn-like Mellotron blasts. The lulling `Sisyphus in Styx' holds unhurried ambient synth/organ builds and clouds of serene Mellotron caresses ala early Tangerine Dream before serrated guitars and chilly 'Tron shards start to infiltrate, and the blistering `The Anger of Zeus' is feral and violent. Best of all is the closer `Sisyphus and the Rock', loaded with eerie percussion tinkering, psychedelic spacy electronics, a filthier stoner rock snarl to the guitars and a stalking imposing heaviness constantly stomping down as if wandering off from a Goblin soundtrack.

Perhaps there's not a lot of depth to `Sisyfos', and some stretches prove to be a little unengaging, but its gloriously dirty surface noise and heavy atmosphere is still very addictive, and the sparse production gives the album a satisfying grit. There might not be much in the way of originality, but if you're happy to hear an album that picks up where King Crimson leaves off and you simply don't mind a disc that's often a case of just `more of the same', `Sisyfos' has plenty going for it.

Three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars RIVENDEL are a Spanish band who released two studio albums in the 90's only to disappear for 19 years returning with "DHD" in 2015. They are back but different as they have become this all instrumental band focussed on soundscapes and less structured music. "Sisyfos" continues in the same vein as "DHD" but is darker and with a mythological concept to it. Cool that the artwork was done by Angel Ontalva guitarist for Spain's OCTOBER EQUUS. In fact the booklet is an eight panel poster style with the one side being the cover art. I have a strong feeling that Angel enjoyed this album.

They have added a drummer after going without one on "DHD". The keyboardist adds so much with the organ, synths and mellotron to these dark soundscapes and of course the guitarist brings some inventive and experimental expressions to table including a lot of Fripp-like angular moments but also some really tortured leads. This is spacey, mechanical and avant sounding soundscape music expressing a story from Greek mythology.

This is such a uniform recording that it's hard to pick favourites out as one song blends into the next in similar styled music. They seem to mesh that dark early PINK FLOYD period with the muscular and experimental side of KING CRIMSON. Again like "DHD" this is headphone music and I just have to say that I'm so glad I own the last three albums by this band, they are very creative if nothing else. And there is a love/ hate thing going on with these last two releases amongst music fans. Let your mind go as your hear the start of "Charon Crossing The Styx" with the water splashing with the spacey winds as floating organ joins in. Some deep pulses join in along with some sparse acoustic guitar and mellotron later at 2 minutes. The volume is going up then drums before 4 minutes and it's getting experimental. The guitar is angular and more upfront 7 minutes in and especially after 9 1/2 minutes. It turns spacey late to end it.

We get two short piece called "Sisyfus & Merope I and II" before and after "The Isthmian Games". Both short pieces are releaxed with keys that echo and some flute-like sounds and picked guitar. Trippy with mellotron. The song they surround is more upfront with scraping guitar, drums and pulsating organ as bass joins in too. Check out the guitar melody after 3 1/2 minutes. So much going on a minute later my head is spinning. Man "Greek Salad" is a little different as we get horn-like sounds, some piano and it's actually catchy after 4 1/2 minutes. The angular guitar cries out after 5 minutes then a barrage of avant sounds.

"Sisyfus In Styx" is such a cool sounding piece, so spacey throughout. "The Anger Of Zeus" opens with ear piercing guitar before a stampede of drums and sound kick in. This song delves into avant territory after a minute. Feels like getting swarmed by sound just before 3 minutes. The closer like the opener is over 12 minutes and the two longest songs on here. I like the way this slowly builds with Fripp-like guitar and cymbals for a couple of minutes then they amp it up. The guitar is growling here and mellotron floods the soundscape at 3 1/2 minutes as it settles back. The mellotron sounds great 5 minutes in then the guitar starts to impress getting inventive. The mellotron and guitar take turns showing off. An experimental ending to a dark but interesting trip. Easily 4 stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This Spanish band published two strong albums some twenty years ago. It seems that they reformed a few years ago. It's the same people on board but now their music has become bold and matured a lot. "Sisyfos" is a conceptual album based on the Sisyphus greek myth, the man who thought that he was ... (read more)

Report this review (#1915472) | Posted by St_V | Wednesday, April 18, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars WOW. What an album this last output from the Spanish band Rivendel. When I wrote a comment on the previous album, DHD, I said that It was their best effort until then, but I have to confess that this one is even better and, more than this, much more personal and interesting. For the first time in ... (read more)

Report this review (#1913771) | Posted by Daledebil | Wednesday, April 11, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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