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Heavy Prog • Chile

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Estigma biography
Hailing from Concepción, Chilean ensemble ESTIGMAS have been one of the most active prog bands in their country since their inception in the early 2000s. The band's sound is definitely ballsy and powerful, which in no small degree is due to the dual guitars, but it is also to be considered the robust scheme provided by the rhythm section. Magically enough, the flute can easily find its way to make its melodic lines and flourishes get noticed. ESTIGMA's musical ideology is based on the reconstruction of Chilean folk textures and rhythms in a context of progressive rock's aggressive side. Their gusto for conceptually driven music has led them to release two concept albums so far: "Rañi Killen" in 2006 and "Retrato de un Sueño" in 2008. Both releases have gained them critical praise as well as a reasonable expansion of their cult following. Between the first and second album there have been important variations in the band's line-up, but they have not affected the natural evolution of ESTIGMA's essential style.

Why this artist must be listed in :
ESTIGMA is recommended to all who love hard-driven prog fusion (especially from Chile, such as ERGO SUM, MAR DE ROBLES, KOIAK), as well as heavy prog with eclectic influences based on folk and psychedelia.

Rañi Killen, studio album (2006)
Retrato de un Sueño, studio (2008)

Estigma official website

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ESTIGMA Videos (YouTube and more)

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Piel De Barro [Us Import] by EstigmaPiel De Barro [Us Import] by Estigma
El Che
Audio CD$85.09
Retrato De Un SuenoRetrato De Un Sueno
Mylodon Records
Audio CD$19.07
$14.95 (used)
Piel De BarroPiel De Barro
El Che Records 2005
Audio CD$8.00
$0.99 (used)
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ESTIGMA discography

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

3.53 | 7 ratings
Rañi Killen
3.77 | 11 ratings
Retrato de un Sueño

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

ESTIGMA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rañi Killen by ESTIGMA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.53 | 7 ratings

Rañi Killen
Estigma Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Another entry in an ever-growing Chilean modern Prog wave, Estigma were found in 2001 and come from the city of Concepcion.During the mid-00's they recorded their debut album ''Rani Killen'' at the Antarktika Studios in their hometwon with Ricardo Navarrete on vocals/guitar, Nestor Santibanez on bass, Felipe Moreira on guitar, Roberto Espinoza on flute/woodwinds and Richard Velasquez on drums.The album was released indepedently in 2005.

The main characteristic of Estigma's sound is the interesting mix of modern Psych/Prog Rock with jazzy and Fusion elements, while occasionally the group grounds on more Symphonic Folk Rock fields.The album is filled with ethereal vocals, that come in contrast with the highly adventurous musicianship, which includes both sharp and jazzy guitar workouts, a smooth but very technical rhythm section and a great flute player.The band shows an evident emphasis on constantly shifting between stronger electric moments with guitar on the forefront and obvious references to the music of KING CRIMSON and more laid-back textures with a folsky vibe, led by calm background guitars, dreamy vocal lines and ethereal flutes in the vein of CAMEL, CABEZAS DE CERA and compatriots ERGO SUM.But some furious interplays are also present, based on psychedelic textures, melodic flute drives and a rising rhythm section.Interesting compositions overall with alternations between atmospheric soundscapes and intricate instrumental passages.

A band to keep an eye on.Modern Progressive Rock of good quality with a talented line-up, which comes warmly recommended.

 Rañi Killen by ESTIGMA album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.53 | 7 ratings

Rañi Killen
Estigma Heavy Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Estigma is a very valuable new name in the World of Chile's prog rock: the band closely follows the heritage of Ergo Sum with its mixture of jazz-fusion, Crimsonian prog and relevant heavy rock undertones. Tryo and "MdR"-era Mar de Robles can also serve as accurate points of reference when one wants to begin to explain what Estigma is all about - Estigma incarnates what seemingly has become the trademark sound of Chilean prog-folk. "Rañi Killen" was the band's debut album, and just like the superior follow-up "Retrato de un Sueño", it is a concept-album about dreaming of and longing for social unity in Chile through its cultural and ethnical diversity. Unlike the aforementioned follow-up album, "Rañi Killen" does not emphasize the punch of rock but enhances the melancholic and evocative potentials of the album's concept in predominantly jazzy moods. As a whole, this album is patently ethereal more than it is patently powerful: now, far from dull it is, let's not jump to conclusions going to the opposite extreme. The album's first 8 minutes are occupied by 'Rupai Anti', whose eerie intro is soon followed by a main motif set on a mixture of melodic fusion and controlled psychedelia. 'Estigma' states a somewhat rougher approach, with funk undertones added to the overall scheme: all in all, the ethereal thing prevails eventually. 'Catarsis' is indeed louder, muscular and flirting with the standard of heavy prog (not getting literally into its core); even in the softer sung section, the presence of strategically located riffs states a linkage to the opening motif. 'Rúbrica' returns to the soft element during its main motif, but as a pleasant surprise comes an electrifying interlude that build a powerful thread toward the brief reprise. 'Reactor' retakes the groove displayed in 'Estigma', while 'Alguna Porción' augments the rocking edge with hints to "Discipline"-era KC. 'Jardín Talado' establishes an exquisite combination of ethereal psychedelia and fusion in a way that is already quite familiar to the listener: there is a increased sense of energy, although I feel it is not as explored as it could have been, but all in all, this piece certainly brings something that had been expected from the first songs. 'De Proyectos y Naufragios' and 'Elipse', two tracks that will also appear in the band's sophomore effort, bring the album's most aggressive moments. Between the two is 'Pasajes (Parte II'), an exercise on bucolic intimacy closed down by a drum solo subsequently segued into 'Elipse'. 'Donde Comienza el Día' means 'Where the Day Begins' in Spanish, but this is actually where the album ends. Developing the band's ethereal aspect once again, the spoken lyrics give the song an extra ceremonious touch. The funk-related interlude add variation, while the woodwind flourishes expanding all the way to the end guarantee colorfulness. "Rañi Killen" is a great album, focused on the eerie beauty of fusion-related prog: I personally prefer their second album to this one, but definitely, Estigma's debut album is great, like I said.
 Retrato de un Sueño by ESTIGMA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.77 | 11 ratings

Retrato de un Sueño
Estigma Heavy Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The sophomore release by Chilean band Estigma, entitled "Retrato de un Sueño", perfectly captures the Ergo Sum-meets-Tryo heritage that the band has made one major focus in their own musical voice. After the predominantly ethereal sonorities of their debut album two years earlier, "Retrato de un Sueño" states a more explicitely muscular approach to their prog-folk essence - not that this album doe not contain atmospheric moment, which it certainly does. The line-up has changed quite a bit, but mostly, the band's rougher treatment of their progressive road is due to a natural evolution from the debut album's standard. Another connection with the debut album is the conceptual theme, which reiterates the idea of longing for a tighter unity in the social-ethnical diversity of Chile. Many tracks in the album are introduced by a prologue of soundscapes, which I suspect are sustained minimal chords played on guitar and processed as to sound like cosmic, eerie synths. The album kicks off with the rocking colors set on the first section of 'Ladera de los Cristales', which soon alternate with lyrical, soft passages with pertinent vocal interventions. The powerful magic elaborated by the (very Crimsonian) dual guitars is complemented by the pastorally driven flute lines. 'Viakero Nocturno' delivers a less aggressive mood, sustained on a fusionesque 5/4 tempo that provides an ethereal cadence. 'De Proyectos y Naufragios' not only revives but enhances the hard rock element with clever heaviness and smoking psychedelia, after a constrained prelude: for the last minute, the sung part drowns in a soft stream of reflecvie melancholy. The dialectics of Crimsonian guitars and bucolic flute meet another excellent expression in 'Equinoccios Internos': the handling of contrasts among fierce and soft passages bears a spotless dynamics and a tight consistence. An album's highlight, indeed! 'Pasajes Parte III' bears an intimate spirit with strong telluric roots, in many ways related to 80s Congreso. The flute lines sound like floating from out of a dream and passing by to helpt to fulfill the track's overall sound. 'Elipse' returns to the glory of heavy prog-related prog-fusion that estigma and many other Chilean bands seem to have as their shared trademark. The Zeppelin-meets-Crimson guitars lead the way for the track's development, which is encapsulated in a flow of clever complexity that constantly refurbishes itself all the way toward the end. 'La Némesis de Hesiodoto' takes advantage of the climax created by the preceding track although it lowers down the levels of iron and fire for its development, as well as the rhythmic frenzy. Having said that, let me tell you how punchy the stronger passages are, a real rocking empowerment thats is as robust as it is complex. I seem to notice some reprised riffs from 'Elipse'... anyway, these tow tracks together make a tremendous momentum - two more highlights. 'Sin Títulos, Sin Honores' brings back the band's calmer side, and this means the explicit emphasis on the band's fusion factor. This excursion is quite curious, since its tempo and mood are set on a stylish blues feel. The stereotypical sadness of blues is present here, and teh guys of Estigma use it craftily for their own statement of introspective contemplation. This is a pertinent moment of rest before teh arrival of another explosive statement - 'De Juergas y Pendencias' is the rawest track in the album, making the band lean close to La Desooorden. The album's last 9 ½ minutes are occupied by the title track: with a prioritization of subtle moods and controlled sonorities, the Crimson-inspired power is there in the few stronger interludes that occasionally emerge to generate a sense of moderate tension. The conclusive climax features soaring guitar phrases in a perfect marriage with the hypnotic flute lines. Brillian! A brilliant ending for such a brilliant album - "Retrato de un Sueño" is, IMHO, Estigma's best effort so far, and a fine example of the particular greatness of Chile's progressive rock nowadays.
Thanks to Cesar Inca for the artist addition.

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