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COTO EN PEL

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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Coto En Pel biography
A short-lived band with a noticeable King Crimson influence, COT EN PL were comprised of a quartet of skilled Spanish musicians who produced the lone album "Holocaust". The band's music is characterized by long, languid instrumental works with understated Catalan vocals and mild crescendos. The music is characterized by heavy use of keyboards, particularly mellotron, and lazy guitar arpeggios spread across lengthy tracks.

The band disappeared quietly at the end of the 1970s. Little has been written of the band, although drummer Vicent Cortina did go on to contribute to a number of Mediterranean-inflected bands including the jazz/fusion project SON MEDITERRANEO and most recently as a member of the folk group AL TALL. Keyboard and lead vocalist Pep Llopis has composed or produced a number of award-winning Spanish contemporary dance works and remains active in the Spanish music scene.

COT EN PL deserves a place in progressive music history for their epic-length if modest compositions, and for their symphonic and moody styling.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

Coto En Pel official website

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COTO EN PEL discography


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3.11 | 16 ratings
Holocaust
1978

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COTO EN PEL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Holocaust by COTO EN PEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.11 | 16 ratings

BUY
Holocaust
Coto En Pel Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars This is a decent and mildly intriguing symphonic progressive album with fusion elements that might appeal a great deal to some of us, but not one I ever have a great hankering to hear. While there are disjointed lovely moments and good playing throughout, very little really jumps out and says "I am here and I have something unique to say". Rather blatant references to King Crimson are everywhere, from the guitar stylings to the liberal use of mellotron, hinting at works such as "The Night Watch" and some earlier material without really capturing their magic, yet nonetheless sounding clean and professional if not a little antiseptic in the production.

The band is ultimately most interesting when they meld the long out of vogue early prog stylings to their indigenous traditions, particularly in Lamentacions, which almost sounds like what the contemporary Spanish group Amarok would do over 20 years later. Quite beautiful sounding yet, like the rest of the album, nothing you will find yourself humming or playing over in your head 10 minutes later.

Holocaust Part 1 has more buildup aka progression where the synths and mellotrons trade off against a heavy rhythym guitar and bass. Then a very Frippian wail envelopes the increasingly chaotic undercurrent. Followed by synthesizer sounds from an unwritten horror movie soundtrack, this works pretty well and should appeal to those into the heavier side of symphonic prog.

Other than in Holocaust Part 2 which is actually somewhat overwrought in a Locanda Della Fate kind of way, I think what is missing most from this album is an emotional component, but it could be argued that this is done deliberately to signify the defense mechanisms required to cope with a Holocaust. Not knowing the meaning of the scant lyrics, I cannot actually say whether what is being expressed corroborates with that thesis.

Very much an average album with not enough great moments to lift it above the fray, but also very little that is notably weak. I can neither recommend it wholeheartedly nor diss it mercilessly.

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 Holocaust by COTO EN PEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.11 | 16 ratings

BUY
Holocaust
Coto En Pel Symphonic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars This sole album dates from 78 and is one of the many symphonic albums from the era, but one thing dissociates it from the majority of the albums from the era: unlike most records coming from Spain, it does not have that very Italian feel (although the Spanish singing may be hinting at it, but this is not that obvious) that so many others have, but rather seems to focus on early 70's British influences. Coto En Pel is your standard prog quartet and enjoys lenghty instrumental exchanges and long tracks of an epic nature.

Just three tracks on the album - the title track being split in two parts - but a relative short playtime. Especially considered that the (too) lenghty intro of the first track seem endless even if charming: 4 minutes is simply too long! The rest of the track is a highly melodic symphonic prog in a style between Yes and Crimson. The following shorter track starts with subtle Flamenco influences on guitar, but quickly veers towards a very quiet Crimson (Cascade on the ITWOTP album), but remains subdued and quickly forgotten.

The second side of the vinyl is taken by the 18 min title track divided in two parts and from the first seconds of the track, you are sure that this will be the highlight of the album. Indeed, this is so and although still quite derivative of classic 70's prog giants, this does not seems to hinder the interest for the listener. A lenghty intro (this time very much indispensable) with a great bass meandering between guitar arpeggios and synth layers is followed by soft moanings and gradually picking up to impressive levels until a Moog intervenes and allows for the track to enter the meatier part of the subject. Again the track is heavily influenced by Crimson (a mix of Red era KC and ITCOTCK) but manages to retain a mind of its own. An abrupt end (not that cleverly written, IMHO) of the first part allows for again a rather lenghty build up and again some delightful mellotrons (Epitaph anyone?) and gorgeous arrangements.

Overall a very good album, so much that I will round my rating to the upper unit even if it is not essential for you to have it. However, should you have it in your collection, you shall not regret it!!

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