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EL RELOJ

Eclectic Prog • Argentina


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El Reloj biography
If I had to say which is the quintessential band of Argentinean Progressive Rock, I would say without doubt EL RELOJ (The Clock), they were the ones who opened the door for the prolific Progressive movement in this South American country despite the fact they were never a pure Symphonic band which was always the preeminent style.

The band, mainly inspired in DEEP PURPLE with a clear Symphonic structure and style was originally formed by Eduardo Frezza and Willy Gardi in 1970 from the ashes of two bands called "LAGRIMA" (Tear) and "LOS ANGELES SALVAJES" (The Wild Angels) from a small city called Rosario, EL RELOJ made their debut in a movie theater called "El Monumental" with the record of 1,100 seats and a lot of people in the street who wasn't able to reach a ticket.

The original lineup was formed by Luis Valenti (Keyboards and vocals), Willy Gardi (Guitar), Osvaldo Zabala (Guitar), Eduardo Freza (Bass and Vocals) and Juan Espósito (Drums), soon joins Eduardo "Tucata" Suarez as second guitar who leaves the band and is replaced by Gregorio Felipes.

Before a very importants concert in the Olimpia Theater, Gregorio Felipes is killed in a car accident by a drunk policeman officer who escapes, despite their grieve, the band still makes the show as a tribute for their partner before 1,500 souls and abandon the stage for a long period of time.

Is not until 1973 that they release their first single "El Mandato" (The Commandment) and "Vuelve el Día a Reinar" (The Day Reigns Again) which was a moderate success. The next year they release their biggest hit "Alguien en Quien Confiar" (Somebody Else To Trust In) and "Blues del Atardecer" (Sunset Blues) that sold more than 100,000 copies, a record for a native Rock band in those days.

In 1975 they release the first LP called "El Reloj" with clear Deep Purple influence but listening again after some years I noticed they had more of the Uriah Heep's mystic and proggy sound, even Luis Valenti sounds pretty much like David Byron.

This album contains old and new material by the band but as in most South America it was hard to get sponsored when you were a local band, so that's the reason it had to wait so much, the budget was so tied that they couldn't afford the art cover with "The Melted Clocks" by Dali.

In 1976 their style changes dramatically and they approach to a Symphonic sound with their second LP called "El Reloj II" which rises the popularity of the band incr...
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Coleccion Rock NacionalColeccion Rock Nacional
Import
Sony Bmg Europe 2004
Audio CD$15.00
$80.14 (used)
Cronologia ICronologia I
B.M.G. Records
Audio CD$22.31
El Reloj/IIEl Reloj/II
Import
Sunny Pierrot
Audio CD$21.99
First AlbumFirst Album
Record Runner
Audio CD$22.29
$19.95 (used)
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EL RELOJ discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

EL RELOJ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 17 ratings
El Reloj
1975
4.19 | 20 ratings
El Reloj II (aka Al Borde del Abismo or Segundo Album)
1976
2.00 | 2 ratings
La Esencia Es La Misma
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Santos Y Verdugos
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Hombre De Hoy
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mercado De Almas
2002

EL RELOJ Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
En Concierto
2011

EL RELOJ Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EL RELOJ Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EL RELOJ Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

EL RELOJ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 El Reloj II (aka Al Borde del Abismo or Segundo Album) by RELOJ, EL album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.19 | 20 ratings

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El Reloj II (aka Al Borde del Abismo or Segundo Album)
El Reloj Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I can't get over how much better this album is over their debut. They are still a hard rocking band but the songs are much more interesting, in fact i'd say they've improved in every area.

"Al Borde Del Abismo" gets things started and it hits the ground running. Vocals before a minute and they come and go. I like when it settles 2 minutes in then builds. "Tema Triste" is a top three. There's something dark and powerful about this one that is so appealing. A calm with vocal melodies before 3 minutes. Such a great track. "La Ciudad Desconocida" is the longest track at over 10 1/2 minutes and also a top three for me. Violin early in this one as the organ floats in. A change around 2 1/2 minutes with intricate guitar and drums taking over. Vocals a minute later. Excellent stuff. It turns heavy then picks up 7 1/2 minutes in. Nice. The organ helps out late. "Aquel Triangulo" has a good heavy intro then the organ joins in. Ripping vocals 2 minutes in.

The vocals come in quickly on "Harto Y Confundido". Love how this sounds. Guitar to the fore after 2 minutes then the vocals return a minute later. It settles late. "Tema De Todas Las Epocas" is a short tune with acoustic guitar throughout. Back to the fire and brimstone on "Aquella Dulce Victoria". The guitar is strummed before 1 1/2 minutes then it picks back up some with the electric guitar returning. "Egolatria" is my other top three. This is an uptempo rocker. Nasty guitar here. The organ and drums lead after 2 1/2 minutes. Great sound.

If you like hard rocking music with a Latin flavour then you need to hear this.

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 El Reloj by RELOJ, EL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.42 | 17 ratings

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El Reloj
El Reloj Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When I first heard this album I thought I was listening to an early seventies Hard Rock band from Italy. Well this is 1975 and they are from Argentina. What do I know ? Anyway this is very much a straight-forward rocker with some prominant organ making me think that DEEP PURPLE may have been a big influence. The vocals sound like they are double tracked a lot which i'm not a fan of.

"El Viejo Serafin" opens with some atmosphere and it's kind of haunting, especially when the creepy water sounds come in. It kicks in briefly after 2 minutes but then becomes a good hard rocking track although i'm not big on the vocals here. "Mas Furte Que El Hombre" has some excellent instrumental sections. "Hijo Del Sol Y La Tierra" is better, at least the vocals are and I like the way his voice warbles. Some ripping guitar before 3 minutes pretty much to the end. Nice.

"Alguien Mas En Quien Confiar" opens with organ then it kicks in to a full sound with vocals after a minute. Lots of prominant guitar follows. "Blues De A Tardecer" is organ and vocal led with quite a few tempo changes but overall this is slower paced. A drum solo before 5 minutes too. "Haciendo Blues Y Jazz" brings back those warbly vocals I like in this the uptempo closer.

So a good album but not much here for the Prog fan to chew on.

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 El Reloj II (aka Al Borde del Abismo or Segundo Album) by RELOJ, EL album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.19 | 20 ratings

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El Reloj II (aka Al Borde del Abismo or Segundo Album)
El Reloj Eclectic Prog

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Wild fire from Argentina

I can't believe that it has been 5 years since the last review of this little thing. Man you've got a powerful album coming your way, if you choose to acquire El Reloj's second outing. Of the few Argentinean albums in my collection, I rank this magnificent album along with Bubu's Anabelas, Pescado Rabioso's Artaud and Luis Alberto Spinetta's debut as my absolute faves. Though different in textures and feel - I would say that the vocals of El Reloj sound a lot like Spinetta, if the guy had chosen to walk the progressive hard rock path. To those of you who are unfamiliar with either one of these artists, then imagine a sweeter and slightly more sensuous South American version of Robert Plant.

To start off, I'd like to recapture a bit about El Reloj's rather bumpy start into the musical lands. Already early on in their career these guys faced what very easily could have been the end of the band, as guitarist Gregorio Felipes were killed en route to a concert back in 1970 at the Olimpia Theater. The terrible accident involved a car crash and a drunk police officer, who managed to steer clear from any subsequent accusations. Incredibly the band pulled through and did the gig in front of 1500 people the same night. The reason why I mention this is not because I wish to induce a series of misty eyed reactions and the following empathic buy. No it has infinitely more to do with me trying to convey what I truly feel must be one of the main engines behind this band. I feel a turbulent, jagged and hectic energy associated with El Reloj. Maybe more like a sonic guided rage that shows itself in every piece of the puzzle, whether that is the furiously pumping drums, those sensuous yet highly manic vocals or the eruptive masses of shredding guitars - it's always there, this rage.

The sound of these guys as a whole is not that far from other hard rocking proggers of the time, such as Uriah Heep and Atomic Rooster, although El Reloj sound completely different. I realize the contradiction of this sentence, but I still claim there to be what I'd personally call "influences"(although I'm using the term loosely here) from the aforementioned bands - yet you'll find a distinctive nerve - a melodic sense and flow to this band which feels totally original and endemic to the South American peninsula. What comes closest in terms of reference to the European progster is perhaps the melodic feel of the early and more gritty RPI acts. There's something there that rings a bell - most definitely yes, and if you are sitting out there with a huge boner on for that particular scene, then you should be placing your order of this magnificent album as soon as possible.

This second outing is packed full of steaming hard rock with a boot full of progressive tendencies - in fact a truck load more prog than many of the British bands of said genre were conjuring up around the same time, -which again leads me to one of this album's greatest attributes: Chops. Man oh man do these guys know their way around their instruments. The drummer is easily one of the best and most intricate I have ever heard. He plays everything with ease, like a regular jazz nut - yet what he hits he hits with the force of a small sumo wrestler, and to top it all off - he plays like all of my fave drummers, which means that he is all over the kit - using the toms like it was second nature. Even when the natural structure of the track craves for a steady beat, he is all over the place with wonderful results, whilst still being astonishingly tight. Tight as a rooster's anus - just like the rest of the band actually...

Then we've got the guitars which are played with the virtuosity of a male figure skater using his hands to pirouette around the ice. Jagged, fluent and everything in between - coming very close to the perfect hybrid of Fripp and Page with a teeny tiny twist of spicy salsa thrown in. It's rock n' roll with an infinite amount of melodic twists and turns.

All in all El Reloj's ll boasts a powerful series of hard hitting, virtuosi and at times slightly symphonic tunes that are as prone to melodies as they are to letting the music run wild in a sea of democratically performed musical rides that get my juices flowing like an adolescent labrador pup mounting a teddy bear. 4.5 stars.

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 El Reloj by RELOJ, EL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.42 | 17 ratings

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El Reloj
El Reloj Eclectic Prog

Review by João Paulo

4 stars A nice album from this band from Argentina. A bit of Hard Rock and Jazz fusion. In some parts we remember Led Zeppelin and other's Deep Purple but with more complex organ compositions. Some spacey parts in the begining of the tracks and a hard guitar next, made some strange compositions. Lyrics are in Spanish. Nice bass guitar. Electric guitar compositions fast in some moments. Very good drums works. The fast ritm of some compositions is broken with a calm parts that made a some boring periods in this album. Some tracks have a good emotional finish. It's a nice album in a Argentina collection, that to me, is a special country with some of better progressive music in the world ever made. I give 4 stars but is the begining of a promisse band that made a very good album in second work.

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 El Reloj by RELOJ, EL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.42 | 17 ratings

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El Reloj
El Reloj Eclectic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars From the capital of Argentina, El Reloj (the clock) emerged in 72 and toured the local circuit and recorded a few singles before recording their first album in 75. And as an interesting alternative, Record runner chose to add those singles as bonus, but not at the end, but before the start of the album proper which gives an interesting chronological overview of the band. The downside tio this approach is that the singles are not linked to the album and are first shots (with all the flaws and inconveniences) and therefore catches the listener off-guard since he's bought an album (eventually garnished with bonus tracks as a desert), not a compilation. Graced with an awesome Apocalypse variant artwork, this album is certainly quite a remarkable first shot for a young group.

First the singles: indeed the first two tracks are the 73 single, which sound very muddy (compared to the album proper), but their brand of progressive hard-rock (here reminiscent of Wishbone Ash and Purple) is quite pleasant if a tad naïve and simplistic. The second single is much better recorded and is more "a propos" (prog-wise) still reminding us of a Purplish and proggy Wishbone Ash. Sooooo, El Reloj's first album starts on track 5 and we can certainly feel the difference as we enter the opening Viejo Serafin through a dark and lugubrious intro, before a weird organ and just after a wild bass pull us into an Italian-type of prog, that remains fairly raw, rough and not too refined (in a positive way). The album proposes a string of shorter but not any less fiery tracks, especially when Hijo (Son of the sun and earth) comes around with its wild fast guitar riffs. Although generally of high quality, the album has its weakness (wouldn't dare speaking of flaws in this case), but the lengthy blues (9 mins) is not only out of place, but sounding quite trite and sterile after a bunch of exciting shorter tracks, especially when including the unneeded drum solo. The closing happy and jumpy semi-jazzy Haciendo certainly makes up for that filler track, by showing us a good time and jazz aptitude.

Compared to its successor, El Reloj's debut certainly appears like a rough draft of what's to come and might not be quite as interesting to progheads and certainly anything but essential, but nevertheless it has its charms. If you love the second one, you'd better get an ear on this one, you'll like it as well.

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 El Reloj II (aka Al Borde del Abismo or Segundo Album) by RELOJ, EL album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.19 | 20 ratings

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El Reloj II (aka Al Borde del Abismo or Segundo Album)
El Reloj Eclectic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

5 stars One of South America's better groups, El Reloj had an all too brief recording 70's career and just two albums, their debut being in a much harder rock vein in the Purple line. This one is much proggier and is in my top ten South American records. Just like its predecessor's reissue, the album starts out with bonus tracks (which I always found rather unsettling and non-respectful of the album itself. Fortunately this occurrence is rare enough in prog (I can only think of Germany's Parzival with an even stranger set up where bonus tracks bookend the album tracks.

Nevertheless these bonus tracks are worthy of the album's quality even if they do not sound like they came from the album session, but this is minor and they actually extent the disc length to acceptable duration. And this album is rather unlike a lot of other Argentinean prog album, which have a tendency to sound Italian Symphonic-like prog rock. It is rather more in the line of Bubu's superb sole album, with plenty of power, demented music a bit of a cross between Crimson and ELP, but without Emo's doodlings. The line-up is your standard prog quartet with an added guitarist/violinist, but unfortunately, the violin is not used enough, but the group does not really need it to sound original and unique.

While over half the tracks are sung, the vocals are not overly present and plenty of space is given to the music. If most tracks are rather short (except for an 11-min slightly flawed epic) remaining around the 4-min mark, the album is a very even affair with all tracks being eventful and energetic, if not frantic. In this light, it is rather hard to find one track that is a highlight, so if I must risk myself, it'll be a trio: Tema Triste, Harto Y Confundido and Egolatrio. A real must if you want to check out what Latinos can do in prog, but it is not really representative of their country's output. Nothing wrong with that , on the contrary. Rounded to the upper unit.

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 El Reloj II (aka Al Borde del Abismo or Segundo Album) by RELOJ, EL album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.19 | 20 ratings

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El Reloj II (aka Al Borde del Abismo or Segundo Album)
El Reloj Eclectic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars The iconic Argentinean band EL RELOJ had been playing for over 5 years, they already had personnel changes, one dead member and were only able to release one previous album called "El Reloj". Despite this circumstances they managed to get a very large fan base not only in Argentina but also in all South America and mainly in Perú, something I witnessed.

This fan base was mostly interested in a Hard Rock approach close to a blend between Deep Purple and Uriah Heep with a slight touch of the Symphonic Argentinean personality and their debut album was a compilation of all this years recordings.

But it was time for a change, but not of name because their second release had exactly the same name as the previous "El Reloj", that's why it's known as "II", "Al Borde del Abismo" or "Segundo Album", but the style surely changed, they became a heavy Symphonic band, keeping the influence of the first release that gained so many fans but at the same time they went for a more challenging sound with a certain approach to King Crimson's first two albums and a bit of Italian Symphonic School.

They took the risk of loosing all the popularity they earned through the years so they kept alive the original rough atmosphere and the result was excellent for the band, they became more popular than ever, I would dare to say that "El Reloj II" is probably the grandfather of Latin American Prog Metal and at the same time a Symphonic album.

The songs that describe best this collision of styles are:

"Al Borde del Abismo" (The album is also known by the name of this song which was a successful single prior to the LP Release), still with a clear Purple influence but this time with dramatic changes all along the track, making clear reference to King Crimson, the guitar tandem of Willy Gardi and Osvaldo Zabala is simply outstanding specially for the rhythm guitar often powered by a strong rhythm section and David Byron influenced vocals.

"La Ciudad Desconocida": A dramatic Symphonic Power Ballad very close to Italian School but still with some remembrances to Deep Purple, the vocals sound better than ever showing some similarities with songs like "July Morning" or even "Stairway to Heaven"

Another single "Harto y Confundido" also made it's path to the LP but two other excellent ones "Camino al Estucofen" and "El Hombre y el Perro" released after the first LP were not included in the original release for reasons I ignore, mistake that has been repaired in the remastered edition.

If you love Latin American Prog and want to know the evolution from Heavy Rock to Symphonic Prog in one album, you must get El Reloj II ( "Al Borde del Abismo" "Second Album" or however you want to call it) because it's a great addition for any Proghead and essential for any Argentinean Prog fan.

Four solid stars for a very solid album.

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Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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