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RAEL

Neo-Prog • Argentina


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Rael biography
It's getting to a point that a Genesis clone will appear from anywhere at anytime...doesn't it? It's a way that a group of musicians can pay tribute to their heroes. Argentinian band, RAEL, are part of this not-so-elite group.

RAEL were established in 1985 when a group of friends came together to play the music that was deeply embedded within. Bands such as Pink Floyd, Marillion, King Crimson, Procol Harum and Genesis.

The band consisted of Marcos Ribas (bass, bass pedals and guitars), Mario Perkins (guitars), Daniel Rawsi (drums), Ignacio Rodriguez (vocal), Francisco Perkins (keyboards) and Eugenio Solanet (keyboards). They quickly made an impression on the listeners and were invited to play at parties and schools. These little 'shows' reached even further and suddenly RAEL were making a commotion with the press.

The band made the decision to pattern their sound after Genesis, which is natural considering the similar timbre between Gabriel and lead vocalist Ignacio Rodriguez. The group had a vertiginous development and they went fast to perform in the most important theatres of Argentina's main city, Buenos Aires, and also playing at the "Obras Sanitarias" stadium considered for many, the Mecca of Argentinean rock.

In 1992, RAEL recorded a CD of original material entitled Mascaras Urbanas (later to be re-edited by France's Musea Records in 1997), which received very good reviews internationally. In 1993 they were given the opportunity to open for both Steve Hackett and Rick Wakeman. Later that same year they traveled to Chilé to perform at Santiago de Chile; however, shortly thereafter RAEL disbanded.

Eric Walker

Rael official website

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Buy RAEL Music


Mascaras UrbanasMascaras Urbanas
Musea 2003
Audio CD$19.95 (used)
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RAEL discography


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

3.21 | 40 ratings
Mascaras Urbanas
1992

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RAEL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars actualy 3.5 stars

Rael from Argentina, this unnoticed and forgotten band so called clone of Gnesis, really make a good impression on me. They release a single album in 1992 named Mascaras urbanas (it sounds so great in spanish the title of the album) aka Urban masks and traced 5 years after by mighty french label Musea and re issued. They had the chance to promeote their album and open for greats as Steve Hackett or Rick Wakeman they disbanded a year later in 1993 and gone into oblivion I might say. Well Rael playes something between symphonic prog not far from genesis fame with traces of neo prog , not bad at all, really here are some fantastic moments , specially on guitar and keyboards. While are far from being original Rael delivers some great moments like opening track , title track , nice keyboards here. Also the vocal department , not the strongest part of the album, the voice of Ignacio Rodriguez is pleasent most of the time and have also sung in both english and spanish, nice, no complains from me , even is nothing spectacular. Very smooth keyboards on Peregrinos del Tiempo or Pilgrims of time, mid tempo piece sung in spanish, really good, elegant piece. The similarities with Genesis , to me at least is sporadicaly because some pieces doesn't sound at all like Gnesis, maybe in places with bands such Marillion more towards neo then symphonic and the voice is much closer to Fish then to Gabriel the perfect example is Icarus. So all in all, nice album that I really like, nothing is roundbreaking here but is pleasent most of the time. I think this band desearves a little better attention. 3 towards 3.5 stars.

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 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars What would it take for the brave meerkats at comparethemeerkat.com to invade the offices at their copycats comparethemarket.com and bite the nuts of their owners ?

What would it take for Steve Rothery and Peter Gabriel to raid the homes of Rael, burn their instruments and put them in a black dungeon at Ballytullonion Castle for the next 75 years for copying their sound ?

Answers on £ 50 banknotes, please.

I am a big fan of bands like The Watch. A band whose albums is full of cracking good melodies despite of their sound being a copycat of Genesis. Rael on the other hand is copying the sound of both Misplaced Childhood and some melody lines from Lamb Lies Down On Broadway..... and that's all. The melodies here are pretty poor. Make that; very poor. Left is the good Marillion and Genesis sound. Period. In short, this album falls flat to the ground as a parachuting rhino.

The musicians and the vocals are great though. The melodies is bereft of any quality. Not to mention; originality. The only saving grace is a couple of minutes of quality and the Spanish vocals. Enough said.

2 stars

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 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars The first time I listened RAEL noticed immediately I was before an excellent band, but maybe because the unfair fame of GENESIS clones they had, never gave "Mascaras Urbanas" the attention it deserves.

After some time gave them another chance and found that a silly prejudice made leave his excellent band away, it's obvious they have some connections with GENESIS, but in no way they are clones or anything similar, just a band that inspired their music in icons of the genre they love that came before them, but at the end, everybody receives inspiration from somebody, and this guys had a lot to offer.

The album starts with "Mascaras Urbanas" (Urban Masks), an extremely good theme with a very unique sound, I honestly don't feel any GENESIS influence, and the vocals (in Spanish) have more similarities with FISH than with PETER GABRIEL,.but unlike both bands the massive use of choirs makes the difference.

Yes it's true that for some seconds the keyboards remind of BANKS, but along most of the song, their sound is absolutely unique, and the guitar sound is far more aggressive and less atmospheric than STEVE HACKETT'S so at least in this track, the fame of clones is undeserved, an excellent song to open a good album.

"Vientos del Este" (Eastern Winds) is a different story, the vocals and keys remind of GABRIEL era GENESIS, but not to a particular song, maybe the mood of "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway", but nothing specific. Even when more atmospheric and extremely dramatic as the Charterhouse School boys, there's an extra element they ad that makes the sound original even when not unique.At the end the use of Mellotron choirs makes it extremely beautiful.

"La Tierra del Pecado" (The Land of Sin" reminds me more of MARILLION than anybody else, but we can't expect anything else from a Neo Prog band formed in 1985. The use of keyboards is simply superb and the interplay with the guitar is very pleasant.

"Sombras en Ixtlan" (Shadows in Ixtlan) is a classical Neo Prog track, with lush but simpler keyboards and use of strong guitars in the vein of "Rothery", not my cup of tea because is a bit too slow for me, but can't deny that we are before a band that knows their business.

"Peregrinos del Tiempo" (Pilgrims of Time) is a totally different specie, for the first time the band presents us the typical Argentinean Symphonic soft sound in the vein of "PABLO EL ENTERRADOR" with a bit of "SUI GENERIS", even the vocals sound close to the interplay between CHARLY GARCÍA and NITO MESTRE. Incredibly the guys seem equally comfortable singing in Spanish and in English, something unusual for musicians of a country with strong and unique accent.

If I didn't knew that "Ignacio Rodriguez" is the vocalist of RAEL, I could have said it was FISH, because the vocal range is extremely close to the one of the Scottish vocalist. Of course the classical Neo Prog style of "Icarus" makes this effect much more evident, nice but not great song.

"Momo" is he longest track of the album and the closer this guys get to GENESIS, more because of the radical changes and theatrical singing that for the music itself, Even the interplay between guitar and keys is similar to the one between HACKETT and BANKS, excellent song, really one of their most Progressive efforts.

The album ends with "Escapando de mi Imaginación" (Escaping from my Imagination), one of heir most original works, absolutely dramatic with a hint of Latin Folk, simply delightful, and better because it's sung in Spanish because this style wouldn't match so perfectly with English.

Now, I'm in great trouble wit the rating, but having noticed that RAEL knew the difference between copying and being influenced and show extreme versatility combining different styles and moods, I have to give them a strong rating. Not 5 stars because here are 2 tracks out of the 8 that are bellow average, but the rest of their music is really good, so I will go with 4 stars.

Sadly they split after releasing their debut.

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 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The first time I heard this I was a little surprised at how much this Argentinian band sounded like Gabriel-era GENESIS. The singer is almost accent free and some of the songs he even sings in Spanish. I was ready to dismiss them as just another GENESIS clone, but after many listens I can hear that these guys have given very close attention to detail, and even more importantly to me is that this music moves me just like the Gabriel-era GENESIS moves me.

"Mascaras Urbanas" the title track opens with keyboards and a beat as vocals join in quickly. The keys are very Banks-like and the guitar sounds so good before 3 minutes. Great start. "Vientos Del Este" opens with atmosphere before these Gabriel-like vocals join in with a beat. The guitar follows. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes with spoken words before it kicks back in a minute later. "La Tierra Del Pecado" gets fuller before a minute. Once again this is GENESIS 101 and it sounds so good. I like the melancholic synths before 3 minutes.

"Sombras En Lxtlan" opens with someone knocking on a door then that door creeking open. Reserved vocals and a mellow sound take over. "Peregrinos Del Tiempo" puts the focus on the Spanish vocals. Just a beautiful ballad-like track. "Icarus" opens with guitar and a beat as the vocals join in. Mellotron before 2 minutes and what sounds like aboe before 4 minutes. "Mono" features acoustic guitar and vocals early. The vocals do get theatrical before 3 1/2 minutes. It gets pretty uplifting before 7 minutes to the end. "Escapando De Mi Imaginacion" is a cool song with drums, atmosphere and vocals.

For me an easy 4 stars. A pleasure to listen to.

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 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by jude111

4 stars Okay, here's the lowdown: everyone who *loves* "Selling England by the Pound" needs to get a copy of this CD ASAP, for one track: "Momo." This is THE VERY BEST Genesis-sounding song I've ever heard, and to be honest, it is better than some of the weaker tracks on that masterpiece (i.e. "More Fool Me," "Epping Forest," "After the Ordeal"). Rael's track "Momo" approaches the best tracks on SELLING ENGLAND.

Listen, I've got a dozen or so CDs by Genesis clones, all of which I *rarely-to-never listen to*: every CD by the Watch, Citizen Cain, Neuschwanstein, etc. In my humble opinion, these bands do a fair job of mimicking the sound of Genesis, but all suffer from an inability to write great songs.

"Momo" is a great song. Get it, honestly. You will NOT be disapointed.

As for the rest of the album? Truthfully, I've listened to it once or twice, and don't feel the need to listen to it more than that. But "Momo" is on my permanent playlist, and if you love SELLING ENGLAND, I'm betting it will be on yours as well.

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 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I have the weakness of liking bands such as "Neuschwanstein", "The Watch" (or "Night Watch"), "Citizen Cain", "Mangala Vallis" etc. I guess you have the idea. I am usually rather indulgent with such bands when they release good work.

Although the titles of this album are all in Spanish, only some songs are sung in this language. And it is a good news, because to have a Gabriel-like vocals into Spanish is probably not the best you can expect. Just listen to the weak "Peregrinos Del Tiempo" and "Escapando De Mi Imaginación" to be convinced.

The title song and opening number though is slightly better (even if Spanish is used). So, don't be afraid, this album is sung into English and the guy (Ignacio Rodriguez) is not bad at all in this exercise when he does so. I admit, although the musicianship is good, that the compositions are not really strong throughout his album. It is just pleasant work (or irritating if you are allergic to such bands).

The best song of this album is "Momo". A travel through "Cinema Show" and "Dancing Out". I guess that this track is as good as you will ever get from such a band. Very, very close to a genuine Genesis song. But one great song does not make a good album, right ? "Vientos Del Este" is also pleasant as the spacey "La Tierra Del Pecado".

If, like me, you are nostalgic of that era, I would recommend that you'd better stick to the other bands I have mentioned above. They are better than "Rael". Two stars for this album.

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 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Luckily, RAEL are not all-the-way Spanish-singing band (though I DO enjoy this Latin incarnation of GENESIS!!!) As you might guess from their name, they're GENESIS- inspired band as Italian THE WATCH or Scottish CITIZEN CAIN, but RAEL has more sophisticated manner and Neo approach (think of MARILLION or GENESIS 74-78). Having only 1 weak track here ( "Peregrinos del Tiempo"), the album stands very high in sound/songwriting material quality.Catchy opener in 7/8 "Mascaras Urbanas" is made in "Dance on a Volcano"/"Down and Out" vein.The 3-parts "The Land of Sin" has unusually psychedelic and even KCish middle section and wonderful ballad ending.Songs like "Shadows in Ixtlan" and "Escapando de mi Imaginacion"("Escaping from my Imagination" in 13/16 !) are the ones GENESIS never would made - unusually atmospheric and soundscapy.The best tracks here are "Icarus" (think of "lost" GENESIS masterpiece song circa "The Lamb...") and "Momo and the Grey Men" epic (a mix of "Forgotten Sons" and "The Musical Box"!). Extremely recommended for GENESIS-heads and Neo/Art/New Symphonic Prog devotees!

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 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The progrock history contains some famous Genesis clones/Genesis-inspired bands like the German Neuschwanstein, the Japanese Shingetsu, the USA Babylon and the Italian Sensitiva Immagine. Well, you can add the Argentine Rael to this list because their music has very obvious hints from early Genesis. Especially the 2-LP "The lamb lies down on Broadway" often comes to my mind, this could have been some 'legendary lost tapes' with wonderful, very Steve Hackett-like guitarplay. But the vocalist sings mainly in Spanish. This CD features some good tracks with strong breaks, Rael has potential but in general this is not a very exciting album. Perhaps some Genesis freaks will add this to their collection?



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 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by PROGCOM

2 stars A latino version of vintage Genesis with some Spanish vocals, yet without the glorious instrumental developments. It seems as if they wanted to paint an exotic canvas based upon the Lamb. And frankly, Rael are credible miniaturists. However, musically there is not much tension in the air. So expect nothing too adventurous.

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 Mascaras Urbanas by RAEL album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.21 | 40 ratings

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Mascaras Urbanas
Rael Neo-Prog

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What happens when a band re-visits the spirit of a classic like GENESIS' "Lamb Lies Down" with emphasis on building on the creativity already started... is this progressive? As long as it sounds like RAEL then I say who cares. RAEL's "Mascaras Urbanas" is a fine piece of work very much in the spirit of classic GENESIS with some nice influenced musical moments. Songs are actually quite original with a few "borrowed" musical allusions throughout the album. Vocals are well done with most of the lyrics being sung convincingly in English. The instrumentation throughout "Mascaras Urbanas" is exceptional with a nice wide range of instruments. Overall this album is well worth tracking down and fans of GENESIS will need to have this one in their collection in my opinion.

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Thanks to ProgLucky; Eric Walker for the artist addition.

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