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BIJOU

Neo-Prog • Spain


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Bijou biography
Versatile neo-prog outfit from Zamora, Spain, whose sole album reveals strong musicianship, rare compositional abilities and much originality. They are not as experimental as fellow Spanish progsters PSICOTROPIA, yet in no way do they resemble your usual PENDRAGON / JADIS / MARILLION / IQ emulators. The only fitting comparison would perhaps be TWELFTH NIGHT, with tinges of 80's era RUSH. After a two-year unsuccessful search for a vocalist, they decided to go all instrumental and make the best of their two guitarists, keyboard player, bassist and drummer.

The highly melodic album "El Profeta" (1993) puts the accent on keyboards although every musician pinches in masterfully while never losing sight of the overall effect. Most tracks average 6 minutes except for the last one, a 24-minute epic full of unexpected twists and turns, exquisite musical phrases and varied time signatures. The sound, if not perfect, is still above average considering the album is a low-budget, self-produced recording.

Tasteful, well executed, eclectic and definitely recommended if you're into the better neo-prog.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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BIJOU discography


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3.59 | 10 ratings
El Profeta
2005

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BIJOU Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 El Profeta by BIJOU album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.59 | 10 ratings

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El Profeta
Bijou Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A very pleasent surprise coming from Spain. Bijou is a young spanish band formed in early this decade and released so far a single album in 2005 named El profeta. The album is entirely instrumental and a damn good one from first piece to the last. Bijou plays something between neo prog a la Galleon and more recent heavy prog arrangements not far from Everon , but also incorporeded very well some symphonic prog elements just to complete the whole picture in a nice and catchy album. Very well balanced release, with no fillers here, just winners, every piece shows the talent of this unknow band from our days. The band succeded with only one album to bring something realy intristing, with bombastic orchestration who melted very good with more mellow ones, the twin guitar of Nacho Morán and Álvaro García did a very good job. Now the cherry on the cake here is the keyboard passages, simply excelent work made by Rubén García, lush and very wonderful keyboards combinations here. El profeta worth to be descovered by a wider public because they worth it. Very nice are the oriental interludes (more the arabic ones) with the all instruments , that gives a nice mood and smooth atmosphere. The best piece is Imaginació - a good example of how solid musicianship is here. In the end a recommended album for sure, energic and well produce release aswell. I don't understand why they are so unknow, only 3 votes and reviews so far, is beyond me. 4 stars easy, a pleasent surprise coming from land of toreadors.

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 El Profeta by BIJOU album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.59 | 10 ratings

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El Profeta
Bijou Neo-Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Moderator

3 stars A heavy and beautiful gem has come from South Europe!

From the very start, a beautiful keyboard solo must move us. Los Albores del Fuego Imperecedero is a very strong message from BIJOU. I can pay for only listening to the first keyboard solo...this sound, im my humble opinion, might impress Spanish symphonic progressive rock on us (of course, maybe overestimated). On the contrary, the first impressive phrase might make the latter phrases and songs somewhat dim. No, no, the whole album is so great. The latter of the first track has heavy but lyrical and melanchoric sounds with aggressive keyboard, sharp-edged guitar and bass, and drums with heavy punchs and kicks. El Camino a Casa is a straight rock song...sadly with slightly dizzy drummings. In Encuentros again attacks an amazingly brilliant keyboard solo. In all cases, the beautiful and massive keyboard sounds can stretch other instruments I consider. On Imaginació, it's very interesting and important that heavy and loud guitars try to battle with a keyboard backing. Surprisingly, backing keyboard sounds run forward through all other instruments and at last guitars and percussions are exploded aggressively in front of a keyboard. Triste Euforia is exactly opposite of the previous track and is euphoria of us with BIJOU, I always feel. After Sueño en la Noche de los Tiempos a bit pop ballad, the mastersuite El Profeta will get started. Colourful sounds with a beautiful synth, heavy rhythm sections and heavier guitars, are so terrific...although over 25-minute song is too long for me to keep my mind in... South flavour here is so mysterious and brings us to the third world. However, sadly the impression of the first track is too strong and passionate for me to keep my mind in...

Good album I wanna say. Recommended from Spain. :-P

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 El Profeta by BIJOU album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.59 | 10 ratings

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El Profeta
Bijou Neo-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars From Spain, the new instrumental act Bijou offers one of the most interesting instrumental symphonic prog recordings for the last years: "El Profeta" is a most attractive catalogue of catchy compositions, each one of them craftily arranged for the solid interactions between all instrumentalists. The band's symphonic essence is properly incarnated in the use of clear melodic lines and stylish harmonic foundations: regarding these specific factors, the labour of keyboardist Rubén García's proves crucial for the overall articulation of the ensemble's sound. The light-hearted orchestrations provided by García consistently set the band up on the trend of neo-prog, while the dual guitar inputs sometimes lead Bijou closer to Satriani/Vai hard rock territory, but all things considered, the band's main essence is definitely progressive in a modern fashion. The development of the main melodic lines never gets overdone: on the contrary, the guitarists and keyboardist's skills are ordained under the precise demands of each particular theme, and the soloing gets to a moderately indulgent level, always keeping a sense of elegance and a preoccupation for the maintenance of the interaction's fluidity. The stunning opener 'Los Albores del Fuego Imperecedero' and 'Triste Euforia' are perfect examples of the features I've just pointed out - these are two of the most archetypical Bijou numbers. 'El Camino a Casa' explores the hard rock facet further, while tracks 3 & 4 exhibit a well-balanced compromise between symph prog and hard rock. 'Sueño en la Noche de los Tiempos' finds the band leaning closer to contemporary jazz-rock (a la Tribal Tech, CAB) - a special mention goes to bassist Alberto Mateos' individual input for this track, of which he's also the writer. So far, things have proved interesting to excellent in a solid manner, but the best is yet to come. The three-part namesake suite that closes down the album comprises the greatest dose of musical excellence in the album. The colorfulness and energy that is displayed all through the different linked motifs portrays an almost architectural beauty, yet it is performed with evident warmth, in this way, creating an aura of positive vibes in the listener's room. The 'Recuerdos de Invierno' contains some Arabic textures that come to the fore, a thing that serve to introduce some exotic flavours into the sonic landscape. This band is really young, so it is no surprise that their inspired musical ideas is not accompanied by a more challenging treatment of them, but the positive signs of talent and enthusiasm are so powerful that we can only be optimistic about what they may bring in future recordings. Rating: 3.5 stars, very good, almost excellent.

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 El Profeta by BIJOU album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.59 | 10 ratings

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El Profeta
Bijou Neo-Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars PROGHEADS ALERT, THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST OVERLOOKED NEW PROGROCK BEAUTIES!! I discovered this new Spanish band while surfing on a Spanish site. The very positive review seduced me to order it, WHAT A DISCOVERY! Bijou is an instrumental five piece band that plays in the 24-carat symphonic rock tradition with a modern sound. The seven compositions (running time more than 1 hour) are absolutely marvellous: lush and varied keyboards (from sparkling piano to bombastic orchestrations), very moving duo- guitarwork (many sensitive and howling soli, harder-edged riffs or twanging guitars), a splendid and energetic rhythm-section and lots of shifting moods, accellarations and great soli on keyboards and guitar. A very strong point is that Bijou plays wonderful and captivating progrock with an own identity, what an incredible high level for a new band with a debut-CD! The highlight on this CD is the epic titletrack (3 parts, almost 25 minutes) in which they manage to create a very captivating Morish climate featuring keyboards that sounds like the flamenco guitar in the piece "Zambra mora", one of the most Arab inspired flamenco rhythms. I keep my five stars for the next album!? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR ALL PROGROCK AFICIONADOS!!!


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