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L' HERBA D'HAMELÍ

Prog Folk • Spain


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L' Herba d'Hamelí biography
L HERBA D HAMELI were formed in Barcelona in 2001. Their music is constantly meandering through various prog rock styles; from symphonic prog to jazz-rock but they were always faithful to their own Catalan Folk. During the 2001-2008 period, they self-released four albums, had various turbulent line-up changes and had hundreds of live performances.

'La dansa de les rates' saw the light of the day in 2001; with Dani on bass, Llibert on mandolin and acoustic guitar, Albert on electric guitar and Guillem on drums. Heavily influenced by classic prog bands such are JETHRO TULL, CAMEL and KING CRIMSON as bandmembers themselves stated, as well as medieval music, Catalan Folk and a Catalan artists, such is L'COMPANIYA ELECTRICA DHARMA.

The band was reinforced with Carles Pinos on keyboards and George Marquillas on violin, the band's sonic picture developed and shifted towards more elaborated approach, emphasising all aspects of Catalan Folk. The second album, 'Cançons de casa sons de carrer' was released in 2004, followed by 'L'aplec dels bojos' which saw the light of the day in 2006.

The year 2007 was turbulent for band's existence, since many line-up changes occured. Ariadne and Victor (on violin and saxophone respectively) had left the band; the band continued to rehearse with various musicians until finally Tusquellas Fernando (guitar) and Guida Maymí (flute) shared their duties in the band, followed with Valentí Pinós (guitar, vocals) and Ricard Rius (guitar).

'Inversa visual' was released in 2009, another album with trademark band's style fusioning symphonic progressive rock and Catalan Prog Folk.

The band is currently working as a sextet, with the following members: Carles Pinós (keyboards, vocals), Dani Fabré (bass, vocals), Guillem Roma (percussion), Valentí Pinós (electric guitar), Ricard Rius (vocals and acoustic guitar), Guida Maymó (flute).

It's quite pointless to pin-point L'HERBA D'HAMELI musical style: certainly, they're mixing folk (with emphasis on Catalan folk) with prog rock music of its heyday, but such categorisations won't do justice - since the band is not a generic product of contemporary prog styles fusion - their work is a labour of love, honest, varying from simple to more elaborated, toe-tapping and charming, utilising the variety of instruments to widen their musical palette: violin, keyboards, guitars, mandolin, bag pipes, flute. Well worth giving a try for every Prog Folk enthusiast.

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L' HERBA D'HAMELÍ discography


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

L' HERBA D'HAMELÍ top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.31 | 4 ratings
La Dansa De Les Rates
2001
3.77 | 4 ratings
Cançons de casa sons de carrer
2004
3.08 | 3 ratings
L'aplec dels bojos
2006
3.91 | 20 ratings
Inversa Visual
2009
2.95 | 13 ratings
Girafes A Sibèria
2011

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L' HERBA D'HAMELÍ Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Girafes A Sibèria by HERBA D'HAMELÍ, L' album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.95 | 13 ratings

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Girafes A Sibèria
L' Herba d'Hamelí Prog Folk

Review by Progulator

2 stars The Catalan symphonic act, Herb D'Hameli has delivered, in my estimation, an enjoyable, yet fairly standard progressive album in the 70′s symphonic style. This is an album that doesn't really take any risks, but is an enjoyable listen from start to finish. There are some very nice jazz fusion elements present and the vocals are solid, definitely above standard. Although the multitude of grotesque eyeballs which make up the cover art immediately grabbed my attention, I ended up hoping for a bit more when it came to the mix; a more crisp, dynamic approach (a la Wobbler) would have suited this album very well and taken the enjoyability level up several notches. Regardless, in the end, those who are interested in the scene of Spanish or Catalan progressive should definitely check this out.

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 La Dansa De Les Rates by HERBA D'HAMELÍ, L' album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.31 | 4 ratings

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La Dansa De Les Rates
L' Herba d'Hamelí Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars A Catalan group from Barcelona, found in 2001 with guitarist Albert Nardi, bassist Dani Fabre, drummer Guillem Roma and multi-instrumentalist Llibert Ribo as the original crew.The obcure name of the band propably is derived from the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, which is a great story to be read.The same year the group released indepedently its debut ''La dansa de les rates''.

The strong folky content of the album strengthens the possible origin of the band's name, as ''La dansa de les rates'' has an evident medieval flavor, always supported by the solid guitar work of Nardi.The music is led by the nostalgic flute work, the secure use of 12-string guitars and mandolin, all performed by Ribo, and the occasional electric bursts.Vocals come possibly in the Catalan language, but they come out a bit colorless and without any particular passion.The tracks' structures are based on the constant switches between Medieval-styled Folk Rock and guitar-driven Rock music, but these sound quite loose without a high deegree of coherence.The band tries to deliver some intense and moving themes of a folky nature, but the result is not really conveincing.The best parts of the album are definitely the nice textures created by the electric guitars and flute interplays, much in the vein of JETHRO TULL or Italian bands such as OSANNA or JUMBO.Ribo is credited also the use of organ, but the only keyboard sound I can detect is somekind of synthesizer in a couple of tracks.

The potential is certainly there.More tight ideas and a more balanced sound would definitely improve L' Herba d'Hameli's style.Still there are some chances this work could be deeply appreaciated by lovers of electric Prog Folk...2.5 stars.

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 Inversa Visual by HERBA D'HAMELÍ, L' album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.91 | 20 ratings

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Inversa Visual
L' Herba d'Hamelí Prog Folk

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I really have enjoyed this one over the last week or so. This Spanish band is listed under Folk but this particular album has very little to do with that. The music is just so enjoyable and the flute is a nice touch too. I thought of RPI especially during the last track and also the Brazilian band VIOLETA DI OUTONO on the opener which is my favourite song on here.

And speaking of that opener "El Llarg Revolt" it's also the epic clocking in at over 17 minutes. The opening is so beautiful and then it picks up and gets fuller followed by vocals. So good ! It kicks in before 3 minutes to an uptempo instrumental. Then it settles back to that beautiful sound before 5 minutes. Nice bass 6 1/2 minutes in. It settles again to a vocal led piece before picking up 7 1/2 minutes in. Themes are repeated and it sounds like mellotron before 10 1/2 minutes. Check out the guitar 11 1/2 minutes in then the flute comes in a minute later reminding me of some of my favourite Swedish bands. Vocals are back. Acoustic guitar only before 15 minutes then it kicks back in with vocals. Great, great sounding tune.

"Noves Construccions" hits the ground running as we get this uptempo instrumental. The guitar and synths trade solos then the bass and drums lead around 3 1/2 minutes. The guitar leads 5 minutes in then the flute takes over. "Felacions Del Mediterrani" is really catchy then the guitar comes to the fore 3 minutes in followed by synths. It settles some with percussion but not for long. "Picant Pedra" along with the opening track are by far my favourites of the four songs. Marching styled drums and a powerful soundscape early on before it settles a minute in. Vocals follow. Man this sounds good. Flute joins in then we get this excellent instrumental section after 4 minutes. Nice. Vocals are back 5 1/2 minutes in then we get this strong RPI flavour 7 1/2 minutes in.

I can't recommend this high enough. Everything is just so well done. A solid 4 stars.

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 Inversa Visual by HERBA D'HAMELÍ, L' album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.91 | 20 ratings

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Inversa Visual
L' Herba d'Hamelí Prog Folk

Review by usa prog music

4 stars Formed in 2001, L'Herba D'Hameli (Hamelin Herb) is part of the Catalan contemporary prog landscape that includes Gurth, Urban Trapeze and RC2. If Gurth was influenced by King Crimson, Urban Trapeze by ELP, and RC2 crossed the pond from Venezuela, well, this Hamelin Grass seems to be the Catalan version of Camel. In fact, in the liner notes of Inversa Visual (Reverse Visual), the band even gives thanks to, I think, Jordi of Urban Trapeze, for guidance and support. This is the fourth release of the band. The previous three were: La dansa de les rates (The Dance of the Rats, based on the popular story The Pied Piper of Hamelin) 2001, Cançons de casa sons de carrer (House Songs and Street Sounds) 2004, L'aplec dels bojos (The Pilgrimage of the Crazy) 2006.

At slightly over 40 minutes, it would have been a reasonably long album back in the '70s; at least longer than a Gentle Giant album. But nowadays it's just more than half of a full-length CD. Each of the previous three releases had between eight and eleven tracks. This one has only four. If you miss one of the bands that kept the prog flame alive in the '90s, Finisterre, you may find some of their style in this album. And it's a real pleasure to hear the lyrics in a language that swings between Spanish and Italian.

"El Llarg Revolt" ("Along the Curve") is a 17+ minute long exploration of a cycle that could be a phase or even an entire life. An opening flute (Guida Maymó) and piano (Carles Pinós) slow duet is joined by bass (Dani Fabré), electric guitar (Valentí Pinós), drums (Guillem Roma), and vocals (Ricard Rius). Two and a half minutes later, the tempo becomes slightly faster, an instrumental pattern emerges and a vocalisation is added a la The Snow Goose. Two minutes later, the flute laments along the mellotron and the vocalisation, only to make room for the Camel's typical gallop. By the start of the second third of the track, the opening funky theme is reprised. It changes into another Camelism about halfway through the track. The lament resumes in the last third of the track. It gives way to a miniature acoustic guitar solo by Ricard Rius. Guida Maymó was part of the band in 2007 and rejoined recently, which was good to enrich their musical expression but the sometimes shy flute parts and the backing vocals of Dani Fabré and Carles Pinós do not always feel, do not always follow or counterpoint the fluidity of Valentí Pinós's electric guitar's discourse.

The 6.5 minute long instrumental with vocals, "Noves Construccions" ("New Buildings"), contrasts a bit with its very title and intentions of reinvention. Fast but repetitive with the exception of a drums'n'bass solo, it reminds me of Finisterre, Camel and Solaris.

"Fel-lacions del Mediterrani" (pun on "Mediterranean Facilities/Plants/Fellatio"?) was inspired by a song of another Catalan group, Iceberg, "Les alegries del Mediterrani" ("The Joys of the Mediterranean"), from the album "Sentiments" 1977. This 8-minute long instrumental mixes jazzy feelings with Iberian harmonies, Camelisms, and a theme that reminds of Corte dei miracoli. Halfway through the song, Guillem Roma delights the listener with a cascade of drum rolls that turns the song into almost a pavane.

The only other song with vocals on the album, "Picant Pedra" ("Hot Stone") is an 8.5+ minute long philosophical reflection on human existence. A mellotron curtain and a rhythm section flirting with a bolero prepare the entrance of the lyrics, at which point you think you hear early Premiata Forneria Marconi. A bass riff leads into tension building but the song ends in the same pop style.

The graphic artwork of Josep Ventura, reminding me of famous Catalan artist Salvador Dali, should help sell this album. I don't know if it marks a step back in the group's career or if the music has always been like this on the group's past releases. I'm now more curious about those and especially about the very first one.

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 L'aplec dels bojos by HERBA D'HAMELÍ, L' album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.08 | 3 ratings

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L'aplec dels bojos
L' Herba d'Hamelí Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Their unreleased album, made available as a free download.

Herba D Hameli has arrived in the rather stagnant folk scene as a fresh breath of air. Their three albums is superb. Their mix of jazz and folk is excellent. L'aplec dels bojos though was not officially released, but can be found as a free download from their website.

On this, their third recording, the Herba D Hameli comes across as a mix of Jethro Tull and a swinging jazz band......... with strong elements from the likes of Caravan. The approach on this album is very much the same as the Canterbury scene bands. The use of Hammond organs is very much like Caravan.

There is a great deal of warmth and humour in the songs. The musicianship is as high as on the rest of their albums. The vocals is pleasing. The song material is slightly weaker than their three official albums though. But this would still have been a good album. It is a borderline between three and four stars. I would give it three stars. Herba D Hameli is an excellent band and it says everything about their standards that they scrapped an album which most others would had been proud of.

3.5 stars

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 Inversa Visual by HERBA D'HAMELÍ, L' album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.91 | 20 ratings

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Inversa Visual
L' Herba d'Hamelí Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars A change of style and a massive surprise.

L Herba d Hamelí had some changes of members before the recording of this album and the end result was a change of direction. Only time will tell if this change of direction is permanent or not. Anyway; L Herba d Hamelí ditched the jazz/folk rock vibes and their affinity to Jethro Tull and harder rock. This old sound was replaced with a mix of homage to both the Italian Symphonic Rock bands (RPI) like PFM and Le Orme. In addition to the RPI influences, L Herba d Hamelí also drew in influences from Yes and Genesis. The Katalan folk music influences are still here though, but toned down a bit. Most of all, we get four wonderful songs here.

The opening track El Llarg Revolt is well over seventeen minutes long and include passages both similar to Genesis and PFM. This is a pastorial song with a lot of flutes, excellent vocals and some heavy guitars too. It is very RPI and is the best song of the album. The next song Noves Construccions is somewhere between Yes and Le Orme in feel and construction. The use of Moog here is excellent throughout and the Katalan folk music feel is very evident through some flamenco like guitars. Both electrified and acoustic. An excellent song ! The third song Felacions del Mediterrani also have some Genesis and Katalan folk music vibes and is an excellent song too. The album is wrapped up with the eight minutes long Picant Pedra which combines Yes, Le Orme, PFM, Genesis and their Katalan roots in one lingering piece of music.

The quality is excellent throughout. No wonder this album beat of a lot of competition when it was shortlisted to the best foreigner album in the biggest Italian prog rock awards last year. This album is by far the best Spanish prog rock album I have ever heard in my life. I am still missing the real killer track which could had set both the band and this album firmly on the map. But I am not complaining too much. This is an excellent album, bordering to being a masterpiece.

4.5 stars

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 Cançons de casa sons de carrer by HERBA D'HAMELÍ, L' album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.77 | 4 ratings

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Cançons de casa sons de carrer
L' Herba d'Hamelí Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars L Herba D Hameli's second album raises the eyebrows.

The rather cheesy opening seconds of this album gave me a fright. But I did not have to worry because this band soon kicks into gear again. Although not as jazzy and all over the place as on their debut album, this album is by no means a traditional folk rock or even a prog folk album. The main reason for this untraditional slab of music on this album is that it is based on traditional Katalan folk music. A music scene with none or little international exposure. Not at least here in Scotland. When that is said, I am sure that a live performance from this band would had gone down like a storm on one of the many folk rock festivals here in Scotland.

L Herba D Hameli also mix in some rock music like Jethro Tull did on their folk rock albums. But L Herba D Hameli use mandolin and to lesser degree flutes where Jethro Tull just drenches their music in Ian Anderson's flutes. L Herba D Hameli also adds more layers to their music than other folk rock bands does. I guess the good use of jazz structures explains why their music is so multi faceted. In this respect, they reminds me about Flairck. A semi-electric version of Flairck, that is.

The songs are superb throughout. I feel this album is more one-dimensional and more focused on folk rock than the debut album. But the songs are still superb on this album. This is also music you can dance to because it is quite infectious groovy. The best song of the album La dansa de la mort is a good example. The vocals are superb and so is the instrumentation. This album is a free download too and one of the best prog folk albums I have ever heard. This album is an excellent, although free, addition to anyone's record collection as far as I am concerned.

4 stars

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 La Dansa De Les Rates by HERBA D'HAMELÍ, L' album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.31 | 4 ratings

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La Dansa De Les Rates
L' Herba d'Hamelí Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars This is the first ever review of a L Herba D Hameli album in the ProgArchives.

I better use some time on describing their music too. L Herba D Hameli is not a run-of-the- mill folk rock band. Although they have one foot in the Prog Folk category, the other foot is all over the place. This band is truly a progressive band and it's inclusion in PA is more than justified.

La Dansa De Les Rates is their debut album and a good one too. The music here can be compared to Jethro Tull. I guess the music here is also very influenced by Katalan folk music, although I do not know this scene so I do not know. But there are some music here I cannot pinpoint and I guess it is their local folk music. This makes the album stronger in my view. Jazz and fusion is the third major influence on this album.

The music is a mix of pastoral folk, jazz, and rock. There are some heavy Jethro Tull like guitar and flute riffs here. There are also a lot of acoustic guitars and excellent vocals here too. The last third element on this album is long jazz like instrumental passages. The music is also full of contrasts with heavy guitars and flutes following pastoral pieces. The main instruments is acoustic and electric guitars, flute, bass and drums. The music is also supported by cello, mandolin and organ. The sound is mostly organic, acoustic. The vocals is excellent in the meaning of "fitting to this music".

The quality is superb throughout. Both Entreacte (part 1 and part 2) is excellent. The same can be said about La dansa de les rates and La cançó de la cobdícia. The rest of the album is superb too. There is no doubt that this album (and their other albums) is gems just waiting to be dug out from the fertile grounds of Catalonia. This album is a free (legal) download from their homepage and it is highly recommended. I rate this album very highly and gives it four stars.

4 stars

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