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ABRETE GANDUL

Eclectic Prog • Chile


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Abrete Gandul biography
Ábrete Gandul is a Chilean band which was conceived in 1999 as a initiative of guitarist and singer Mauricio Dell (a.k.a. Dr. Octava). Having written several compositions, Mauricio talked with an old drummer friend, Antonio Arcea, with whom he had common ideas, and they decided to form a band.
Bass player Pablo Garcia joined them along the road and with this "Trio" they made a studio record, which is based on Dr. Octava`s compositions five compositions.
After this recording session, Rodrigo Maccioni joined, and added the band an acoustic guitar and a transversal flute. Pablo Garcia was also replaced by Rodrigo Garcia. This was actually the first Abrete Gandul`s line up.
They started to perform in local pubs and other places on Santiago de Chile. Besides their repertoire, they used to make lots of improvisations which helped the band to gain some respect and create a particular style of music.
In December 2000 their first album "¿ Bichos = Dichos?, was released, and it shows the variety of styles they play; rock, jazz, folk and even pop, always searching for experimental sound. The album has a couple of instrumental improvisations on it as well, in addition to some complete songs.
In late 2002, due to elusive motives, Dr. Octava and Rodrigo Garcia left the band. Despite the big change, the band continued with the name of Abrete Gandul, but without a doubt with a very different focus; bassist Pedro Santander joined the band, and in the middle of 2003 guitarist Rodrigo Pinto and keyboardist Jaime Acuña were integrated into the band, which by now was without vocals, but always with an experimental sound.
With this 5 member line up, Abrete Gandul has developed a new repertoire which has been performed during 2004 in several locations around Chile.
As years went by, the band was lest with one less guitarist (the one who didn't play flute as well), but ÁBRETE GANDUL went on and ultimately released their thrid studio effort "Enjambre Sísmico" in mid 2011. The band's sound remained solid despite the sightly deminished number of its members.

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Enjambre SismicoEnjambre Sismico
Fading Records/AltRock
Audio CD$18.99 (used)
Cuentos Para DormirCuentos Para Dormir
Import
Producciones Kraftwerk
Audio CD$21.99

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ABRETE GANDUL discography


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ABRETE GANDUL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.82 | 9 ratings
¿Bichos=Dichos?
2000
3.73 | 22 ratings
Cuentos Para Dormir
2005
3.81 | 22 ratings
Enjambre Sismico
2011

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ABRETE GANDUL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Enjambre Sismico by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.81 | 22 ratings

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Enjambre Sismico
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars A very impressive AvantGarde/RIO band from Santiago, Chile, Abrete Gandul's 2011 album Enjambre Sismico sounds as much as a KING CRIMSON (plus flute and more prominent synthesizers) adventure as it does the rest of the AltrOck Productions cast--which it does. "Marejeda" is more ambient New Age, "Consecuencia Natural" and "...y ahora Qué" are both very jazzy--though of very different styles, "Convergencia Caótica" is very spacey/psychedelic (and RPI sounding), and my favorite, "Intangible"(7:55) (10/10) is full of heavy, powerful chord sequences and treated guitars and synths, but the rest could easily pass for King Crimson inventions of the past twenty years.

A solid four star effort of well-composed and well-performed music from some very talented musicians. Definitely a band to keep following.

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 Enjambre Sismico by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.81 | 22 ratings

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Enjambre Sismico
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The third album from this Chilean power house.

The music is instrumental eclectic prog somewhere between Gentle Giant, King Crimson..... and now; a big chunk of fusion too. In short; Abrete Gandul has moved more towards fusion than on their two previous albums. The end result is an album which is pretty close to the Canterbury Scene too.

The music here is driven forward by guitars, keyboards and in particular; bass guitars. The latter one is both used in the background and as a solo instrument.

The result is a strong instrumental album which really does not hit home in my estimations. The music ebbs and flows. But it still lacks an important ingredient; great melodies. Despite of this, it is still a good album from a very promising band. But I hope they will deliver on their promise next time.

3 stars

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 Enjambre Sismico by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.81 | 22 ratings

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Enjambre Sismico
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Enjambre Sismico' - Abrete Gandul (8/10)

Chile has been a great place for new prog rock in recent years, and Abrete Gandul is another band from the South American region that I have found myself really enjoying over the past while. Here is an exciting prog fusion band that feeds on dynamic and jazzy overtones for lunch, breakfast, and midnight snack. Their third album 'Enjambre Sismico' shows this group at what may be their best yet, an ever-changing flow of music that will keep the listener engaged throughout. I have never considered myself to be a fan of this particular style of music, but Abrete Gandul has found themselves a new fan.

This music is entirely instrumental, with the band instead letting their instruments do all of the talking. In a way, this lets the band say alot more with their music, freed of the constraints of having to write in parts for singers to shine in. Throughout this album, there are plenty of recognizable hooks, but the main attraction is simply the way that the musicians play. Each member from the saxophonist to guitarist and especially the beautifully intricate drum work are all done incredibly. To make it better, 'Enjambre Sismico' has a very organic sense of production to it. Although the sound is not always totally clear, there is quite a bit of feeling here; I get the impression of a rainforest on a sunny morning after a storm; there's mud everywhere, but it's rather beautiful.

The songwriting here takes several listens to get into and make memorable, but there are certainly hooks in the music, and this is something that I often found lacking in the prog fusion style of music. '...Y Ahora Que?' is a great example of this, managing to form a very charming lick around a schizophrenic and odd time signature. The band plays together wonderfully, with musicians bouncing their performance off of one another. Sonically, my favourite parts of this music are the drums (played here by Antonio Arceu) and the jazzy explorations of the saxophones. The solos sometimes ramble on a bit, but there is still that sense that this has all been thought out. One thing I could never criticize Abrete Gandul for is staying in one place for too long; this is a band that keeps moving along in their ideas. Even in the improvisations, I was hearing hooks that kept popping up, and it kept things interesting. This is easily the best prog fusion album I have heard thus far in the year; Abrete Gandul are a band to look out for.

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 Enjambre Sismico by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.81 | 22 ratings

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Enjambre Sismico
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars With their third album, the Chilean band Abrete Gandul are now signed to the superb Italian label AltrOck with its roster of forward-thinking, experimental and progressive bands (this album is on Fading Records, a division of AltrOck). Hopefully, this will give this talented instrumental progressive rock band their much-deserved exposure.

Much like their fellow label mates, they too create music that is informed by various sources and styles, and use that to create their own sound. This album is wonderfully produced, every instrument is heard clearly and the sound crisp.

This in turn allows the listener to appreciate the musicianship demonstrated here. In fact, I think I found a new favourite drummer. The drumming is of high caliber throughout the album. Drummer Antonio Arceu is pouring his guts here, going in various directions, and being more than just a meter counter for the band. He creates rhythms and patterns that elevate the pieces. Arceu's drumming is perfectly suited for the band's dynamics as he goes from full on complex blasting to subtle percussion work when the song requires it. Jaime Acuna on keyboards provides the tunes their much-needed layering and vibe. With his keyboards, he not only paints the music with the accompanying notes and chords but also with cool sound effects. Pedro Santander's bass is heavy and gruff sounding, but played in a groovy manner. Rodrigo Maccioni's guitar changes from delicate to forceful and assertive and gives the determining tone to the music. His effects are a great addition to the tracks, as they take them a notch higher. His flute playing is also of note and it softens a bit the hard edge of this album (as is evident in Colapso). Leo Arias' (Akineton Retard) saxophone work in the three pieces he plays in (particularly his long solo in Consecuencia Natural) is a joy t listen to.

Their music is jazzy, dynamic and aggressive. It is intricate and always on the move, always striving and pushing forward. Even in slower parts such as in the opening of Marejada, there is not much lingering about as the tune quickly picks up pace and moves on naturally to the next segment. Abrete Gandul don't like being stagnant for too long. They keep galloping forward in each piece, even by making small changes, but the propulsive rhythm is constant.

They have a good balance of melody development and creation of atmosphere. A good example of that is found in Convergencia Caotica. Indeed, they give equal emphasis to the melodic content as to the vibe and feeling of each piece (hence the importance of the keyboards and the guitar effects).

As others have noted King Crimson (Red era) is something of a reference point (in this album as well as the previous ones). One can hear the influence in the music's aggressiveness, the roughness of the guitar tone and the occasional angularity of the compositions. But along with those characteristics, the melodic side is always present, as is a certain jazzy vibe, an upbeat spirit that seems to fight a darker facet in their music. Indeed, I hear a battle between aggression and tenderness, between harshness and warmth. Again, the piece Marejada is a good example of this, as we have a back and forth between an aggressive and rough side and a gentler and more buoyant and optimistic side.

In Abrete Gandul's music I find the portrayal of the daily struggle that we each face. The obstacles in our way and our power of spirit that is needed to overcome them. Their music depicts well how aggressive and hectic our world can be and how tough one must be to survive and navigate through it to prosper. Depending on where you come from and where you live, this message will get across to you or not. Abrete Gandul's music is powerful, hard-hitting but contains elements of hope and tenderness. Their melodies are well developed and intricate, as are the sounds that envelope it. Enjambre Sismico is a stellar album.

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 ¿Bichos=Dichos? by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.82 | 9 ratings

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¿Bichos=Dichos?
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The debut album which includes every species of birds and every species of fish.

A wildly eclectic mix, this debut album from Abrete Gandul. A band whose second album rightly is highly regarded. But that was after a major revamp of their lineup. A lineup mostly not present on this album, their debut album.

The first thing that really hits me is the very annoying in-your-face vocals. The vocalist is a good vocalist, but he uses his voice totally wrong on this album and his partly yodeling, hysterical vocals is far too prominent in the mix. It is really hard to look past this vocals and it is hard to take this album seriously with vocals like that. When even the half at sleep office cat here gets an expression of total terror in his face and makes a run for the door, you get the picture. Me too want to do a runner.

....... Which is a pity because there is a lot to enjoy if you can get past the vocals. Some flutes, a lot of good half-accoustic guitars and some excellent bass and drums. That's on the latter part of the album and well after the listener has given up on this album. There are also a lot of avant-garde jazz here too. Music wise, I get the feeling that there is several different albums within this album. The band does not have any focus and tries to cram in too much in one album. Which is not too unusual in debut albums from South America, I have noted. Pop and avant-garde jazz does not mix on one album.

Hence, this is not a quality product. It goes from great to the lowest lows in a matter of a few minutes. And I have problems looking past the vocals. Hence my verdict.

2 stars

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 Cuentos Para Dormir by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.73 | 22 ratings

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Cuentos Para Dormir
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Another excellent band from Chile who deserve a lot more recognition.

This is their second album. Their first album was a fine effort, I have heard. It seems like they are approaching full bloom on this album. Abrete Gandul is listed as an eclectic prog band and eclectic prog is what we get here. A mix of Gentle Giant and King Crimson, no less. But a lot of jazz and fusion time signatures is also added to the mix. The melodies are twisted and unpredictable. This is entirely an instrumental album, but it is far from easy listening stuff.

The music is very complicated and the fine art of creating great, everlasting melodies gets a bit lost in the translation. As I am coming in from the metal scene, this album reminds me a heck of a lot about the first two Atheist albums when it comes to complexity. Actually, fans of Atheist will love this album. But Abrete Gandul is no death metal band or anywhere near metal. They are just heavy eclectic prog.

The quality is very good, but the art of good melody making has been lost somewhere in the process. So a very strong three points is sufficient. But I have taken a mental note of this band and will revisit their albums on a regular basis + keep an eye open for them.

3.5 stars

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 Cuentos Para Dormir by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.73 | 22 ratings

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Cuentos Para Dormir
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars One more interesting album from a Sourh American band!

This is the second album of Abrete Gandul, a band from Chile who was born in the late 90s- early 00s, a band whose name was the first thing that caught my attention, so I wanted to know their music. Their debut album was released in 2000, and this second record named "Cuentos para Dormir" saw the light in 2005.

This album features nine songs and a total time of 56 minutes. It kicks off with "No se metan con el Capitán Problema". The King Crimson tendencies are obvious since the first moments. The guitars and even the soundscapes remind me to some kind of Thrak moments. Later the song changes and a flute appears adding an extra flavor, in moments the song turns heavier but later slows down and continues as it began. At half the song there is a nice guitar solo and great use of keyboards. Great first track.

"Al fin y al cabo" opens with a happy-mood style due to those kinds of jazzy guitars. The rhythm is very friendly and nice, so anyone could easily enjoy this track. The bass work is very interesting and there is also a wind instrument over there. A couple of minutes later an aggressive guitar appears and the mood totally changes. Again, another Crimson reminiscence can be appreciated here. I dare say their were Abrete Gandul's stronger influence.

"Hay que volver a los Chinos (de nuevo)" I would say "hay que volver a la Discipline-era de nuevo" (We have to comeback to the Discipline era, again) You will understand why I said this, the guitars show that obvious influence. However, the song changes in moments but that Crimsonian element is almost always present. But let me tell you, that despite that big influence, Abrete Gandul is far from being a KC copycat, not at all. "Alguien Intrascendente" could have been the second part of the previous song, because it begins with a similar sound, though later it has some changes, both songs could fit in as one long track. Pretty nice instrumental music so far.

"Dr. Finger" is an interesting longer track with excellent guitars and keyboards, the sound in moments is symphonic, though the tag of eclectic prog is really accurate with this band, at least with this album. After two minutes, there is a nice guitar solo that marks the end of the first part of the song. Later it stops and new bass lines start with a softer rhythm and more relaxing mood. There is also a piano here, and with the sound of a flute, the song really turns gently and friendly. Just before minute six, there is a minor stop that will give pass to a guitar solo. There is also a synth effect as background so the atmosphere is quite nice. The last minutes are a bit heavier and emotional. What a great composition, an excellent song.

"Primanocte" has a soft and delicate start with guitar and flute. Later it progresses and accelerates a little bit, though it slows down seconds later, again. This structure continues for a couple of minutes until it makes another change. The addition of piano puts a gentler sound on it. There is stop before minute three, and then a new structure begins to be built up.

"La Ira (?de la novia de Byron) is a nine-minute song that takes again those Crimsonian guitar figures along with the synth effects as background. The atmosphere is nervous and dark in some moments, creating some kind of tension. To be terribly honest, this time I would say that this song could have fit in Thrak, because the sound is really similar. Later the song make some changes, and very interesting ones, the atmosphere keeps being tense and chaotic, the sound produced by keyboards and those strong guitars make it even better. Another great track.

"Dilemma" is the shortest track here. A gentle flute and keyboard oriented track at first, later with the addition of the guitars, puts again that KC flavor on it. And the last song is the longest one, entitled "Disminuyendote" it reunites all the Abrete Gandul sounds, I mean, it could be like a compilation of all the previous songs. This track would be an exceptional example of the band's music.

This is a very interesting album, though in moments it could sound repetitive, I believe they managed to combine their own style, with the clear KC influence, and the result was this sophomore and eclectic record. Another example of the excellent music created in Chile. My final grade is four stars.

Enjoy it!

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 ¿Bichos=Dichos? by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.82 | 9 ratings

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¿Bichos=Dichos?
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Before their fabulous sohpomore release "Cuentos Para Dormir', Chilean band Ábrete Gandul has a different line-up and bore a different musical direction, mostly signalled by the peculiar vision of guitarist-vocalist Doctor Octava. His eclectic melting pot of hard rock, semi-Crimsonian prog, psychedelia, pop and fusion was the focal point of the repertoire wefind in "¿Bichos = Dichos?", and the singing style showed a tota laccord with it - humorous, satyrical, funny in a surrealistic manner. In perspective, this work is not that cohesive, but it certainly reveals a boldness to expand the language of rock and enough talent to see it through with a convincing degree of success. The eponymous track opens up the album as some sort of light-hearted Primus: that is, a motif developed between comedy and cabaret moods, which is performed with a Crimsonian twist and whose lyrics deconstruct popular proverbs. I interpret this as a counter-cultural manifesto, but well, that's just me. 'Quiero Apagarte' is a pop ballad bathed in bluesy perfurmes - the final expansion finds teh band goign to jazzy realms, adding some ethereal sonorities while at it. 'Hay que Volver a los Chinos' is the first version of a track that will reappear in the second album: this first version doesn't bear as much power, but it surely displays a clever mixture of jazz- rock and psychedelia, as inherently demanded by the track's own compositional nucleus. 'Gracias Niños' returns to the humorous debuachery that had prior been exposed in the opener, delivering a sort of Zappaesque ambiences through a mostly poppish basis. A similar thing we will find later on 'Alarmadilla', albeit with a more complex set of mood and rhythm shifts. 'Estamos de Suerte' is more focused on decidedly progressive realms, bearing a confluence of psychedelia, avant-garde jazz and free-form: the flute is featured notably, contributing mainly pastoral sounds a-la Van Leer while the lead guitar states Barrett-like spacey flows. Wow!! 'Quiero Apagarte' returns as a live rendition, with a more muscular vibe. 'Procesión' is another example of the progressive element that the band would eventually emphasize more deeply: in the context of this debut album, 'Procesión' offers a challenging mixture of space-rock and free-jazz in a very distturbing way (and I mean it in a positive way). Just when the whole ensemble sets a recognizable framework, the track's mood becomes ethereal and lyrical - it is a pity that this song isn't longer. La Matadera' closes down the album on a melancholic note, as if teh singer feared a fatal end: indeed, it is an efefctive elegy. This is how this album ends: it is a work full of surprises, interesting variations, a work full of appealing promises of prog rock that ultimately were capitalized by the band for their second release... but that is a mater for another review.

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 ¿Bichos=Dichos? by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.82 | 9 ratings

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¿Bichos=Dichos?
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The Chilean experimental rock scene seems endless and ABRETE GANDUL are another nice example of it.Hailing from the capital of Chile,Santiago,they were formed in 1999 with an aim to discover the different angles rock music had to offer.Featuring Mauricio Dell (aka Doctor Octava) on vocals/guitars, Rodrigo Maccioni on guitars/flutes, Antonio Arceu on drums and Rodrigo Garcia on bass (with Pablo Garcia delivering some fretless bass in a couple of tracks),they released ''¿Bichos=Dichos?'' a year later as a private press,while the same year they paricipated in numerous important gigs around the country.

This is certainly a work,which can get very experimental at times,blending rock, and avant-garde music with jazz and flute-based folk themes.The basis of their music is mid-70's/early-80's KING CRIMSON,that means a guitar/bass-driven complicated rock music with lots of breaks and changing tempos.Though,the overall result reminds little of KING CRIMSON.While ROBERT FRIPP was undoubtfully the main figure on KING CRIMSON's releases,here Doctor Octava leaves a lot of space to the other musicians to explore their instruments.One of them is Rodrigo Carcia,who's hypnotic and heavy bass lines dominate the album,while drummer Antonio Arceu has also his moments with his free imrovisational drumming.Doctor Octava's work is definitely in the vein of Mr. FRIPP delivering complicated chords all the time with only a touch of melody here and there.For those who expect a totally instrumental album,this is not the case here.However,maybe this work would be better without them.Octava's voice is really weak and what exactly the man tries to do is really a question.His vocals are quite humurous, theatrical, almost sarcastic at times,but he rather pronounces the lyrics than actually sings.This is the weakest point of this release for sure.

For those who like the cosmic,trully complex,''inhuman'' face of KING CRIMSON or the bands who followed their steps (BI KYO RYAN,TRYO,DIFICIL EQUILIBRIO),this is your thing.Of course ABRETE GANDUL are very far from creating the masters' unique sound,but they are worth a try.

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 Cuentos Para Dormir by ABRETE GANDUL album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.73 | 22 ratings

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Cuentos Para Dormir
Abrete Gandul Eclectic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Sophomore release by this fabulous Chilean band called Ábrete Gandul after undergoing a major line- up change with the departure of one of the original guitarists: "Cuentos Para Dormir" finds the band adjusted to an exclusively instrumental format and working solidly on an enhanced hardening of their experimental prog sound, and may I add that I like the band better (no disregard for the excellent debut album, whatsoever). Not unlike a host of other great compatriot bands (Ergo Sum, Tryo, Exsimio, Koiak, Autómata, Flotante, Mar de Robles, Estigma,.), Ábrete Gandul bears and flaunts a particular way to absorb the King Crimson influence and exploit the psychedelic potential in an inventive way. Ábrete Gandul are specifically related to Estigma and Ergo Sum, since they tend to create clever mixtures of powerful, neurotic displays (Crimsonian with slight connections to heavy prog) and ethereal, colorful nuances (jazzy and fusion). Despite the evident technical competence of all members, the band's sound is not based on pyrotechnics but on articulations: the two guitarists preferentially concentrate on complementing each other's harmonic bases and counterpoints; the keyboardist states lots of atmospheres in order to fill spaces; the rhythm duo handles the tempo and mood shifts with total ease. The opener 'No Se Metan con el Capitán Problema' gets started with a brief intro of spacey synth before the main body gives way to a series of 80s Crimson counterpoints, with a jazzy rhythmic foundation that turns a bit Fighter in the rockier moments. This pertinent opener states a preparation for 'Al Fin y al Cabo', a piece that focuses on the jazz element, including a ceremonious intro that reminds us of Present-meets-Naikaku. 'Hay que Volver a los Chinos (De Nuevo)' can be described as a missing track from 81-84 era King Crimson refurbished and rearranged by musicians from Mahavishnu Orchestra in a relaxing situation. Of course, some tense passages must emerge in some strategic places. it's almost a higher statute! 'Alguin Intrascendente' is not an intrascendent piece at all, but a beautiful example of Ábrete Gandul exploring the jazzier side of their musical realms. The candid melodic drive developed in the piece is occasionally seasoned by a magnificent, sober bass solo; meanwhile, the drummer states a cleverly complex foundation without going over the top. 'Dr. Finger' seems to go for a similar trend, but the accentuation of Crimsonian vibrations is easy to notice, as well. There are also a few passages in which the bands states a hard jazz-rock dynamics (like "Flex-able"- era Steve Vai) in an interesting contrast against the more atmospheric installments (including a beautiful flute solo, very Focus-like). The conclusive climax is simply hypnotic. 'Primanocte' starts on a mid-tempo note, until teh second half brings a more intense ambiente, sounding like Gordian Knot- meets-Djam Karet. 'La Ira (. de la Novia de Byron)' brings back a combination of moods from tracks 1 and 3: the band takes good advantage of the 9 minute span, generating epic moments that mix Crimsonian neurosis, cacophonic space-rock and heavy prog. 'Dilema' is a brief yet varied piece that uses sources from Baroque, jazz-rock, funk and chamber-rock. Its main mission is to serve as a prelude to 'Disminuyéndote', the monster track that occupies the album's last 9 ½ minutes. Tha band turns into similarities with Flotante and Estigma: some parts on rhythm guitar, bass and keyboard remind me of Gentle Giant and Soft Machine. The section that begins at minute 4 states a cosmic aura that borders with the creepy: from then onward, the piece is developed through a sustained climax built on a tense crescendo, culminating on a powerful ending for this great album. "Cuentos Para Dormir" is a real exciting album that shows how alive the prog rock genre remains in these days. Latin American bands never cease to bring relevant inputs for the world of art-rock.

(Review dedicated to my Chilean friend Fabio Salas Zúñiga).

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