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RIVENDEL

Neo-Prog • Spain


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Rivendel biography
Excellent neo progressive band from San Sebastian, joined in the middle 80's with a basis in the days of glory of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, KING CRIMSON or GENESIS. The music is symphonic with full keyboard arrangements. "The Meaning" is made of three long suites: a very composed Progressive music, with complex constructions alterning sung sequences and instrumental ones. The vocals are in English, Spanish and French.

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Buy RIVENDEL Music


The Meaning by Rivendel (2000-12-31)The Meaning by Rivendel (2000-12-31)
Musea
Audio CD$93.00
D.H.D.D.H.D.
Import
Lednevir Records
Audio CD$18.99
The MeaningThe Meaning
Musea 2003
Audio CD$9.99 (used)
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RIVENDEL discography


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

3.36 | 14 ratings
Manifesto
1990
4.16 | 25 ratings
The Meaning
1996
4.00 | 27 ratings
DHD
2015

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

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

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

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

RIVENDEL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 DHD by RIVENDEL album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 27 ratings

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DHD
Rivendel Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Rivendel from Spain took their sweet time in proposing their next opus, a labor of love that took pretty much 19 years to germinate and produce. Their previous neo-prog recording was in 1996 entitled "the Meaning', which met with milquetoast response and then, they rested for a spell. The long gestating "DHD" offers a completely different slant, perhaps not even neo-prog anymore but a rather original and complex form of crossover/symphonic work that is rich, diverse and challenging, as it incorporates a vast panorama of styles that will also immerse in electronics, folk, blues, zeuhl and RIO. There are a whole series of interesting details that make this such a strange animal, such as the lack of any drummer, using only three musicians on three epic tracks, all instrumentals. DHD stands for the latinized version of the Spanish expression decíamos ayer (dicebamus hesterna die) or "we were saying yesterday" is used in Spain when one wishes to make passing acknowledgement of a long silence or absence without actually discussing or even mentioning the interruption. As if those 19 years just went by in a flash!

On the expansive 20 minute + title track, time has melted away with minimal effort and maximum efficiency. Crafty guitarist Tonio Cruz, keyboardist Oscar Bielo and bassman Jose Mari Aguirrezabala provide all the sonic exploration, with perfectly blended instrumental diversity, wah-wah pedalled guitar phrasings, festooned with rolling fuzz organ and burping bass guitar incursions. There are definite Canterbury influences, obviously without the quirky British humor in the lyrics, as Bielo does a fine salute to Ratledge, Stewart and company...As the path develops further, the mood becomes challenging as the dissonance, the quirkiness and the seemingly free jazz elements kick in with resolute fury. Poignant, disturbing as if in some somber sci-fi horror movie soundtrack, the emphasis on disturbance is overt and creative. This will find approval from the real far-out prog fans out there. At the 15 minute mark, there is a definite zeuhl sensation, with a strong expression of glancing unease and even infernal hallucination. It slowly gentles itself out, becoming more fluid and pastoral, as if bridging the chasm of time successfully. Definitely NOT neo-prog!

"Cows on Prairie", is perhaps a song dedicated to the few prog fans like me who inhabit Calgary, Canada, the home of the Stampede and where there are a lot of cows and a lot of prairie! The cowbells effect is awesome, the mooing sounds are very similar to my neighbors' endless moaning (LOL) and the sprinkling of acoustic guitar phrasings adding to the bucolic feel. A dozen minutes of contemplative surrealism, as if Dali was painting some fireball grange in the foreground, keeping his tight Vaselined pencil mustache in full erect regalia. Eerily weird, squalls of mellotron and seagull screams combine to clutter the horizons, meditative and reflective, ghostly romantic and melancholic. Cruz shows off his skills with unabashed zeal, with great picking as well as deft tonal work that borders psychedelia. Pools of e-piano from Bielo add mystery and imagination. Ardent Country music fans must stay away from this psychotic brew or risk being lassoed to the whipping post.

As mentioned by other reviewers, there is a definite Kafka?esque quality here, a sense of foreboding that inspired other writers such as Poe, De Maupassant, my fave Theophile Gauthier and many others who did seek out deeper realms of the mind and body, where reality and fantasy often copulated unashamedly. This sentiment is perfectly evoked on the final track, the "Metropolis" of Fritz Lang fame, a Utopian world of benign dictatorship with idealistic zeal and yet total subservience among the mistreated workers underground. The clash of the privileged elite above and the starving masses below. The music serves as an apocalyptic soundtrack that would do the classic movie justice. The mood is almost Magma ?like (without Vander's tectonic drumming), where derelict synthesizers duel with distraught flute, choppy guitars that echo incessantly, rasping bass and despairing dissonance.

This is not AOR, easy listening morning drive radio or a series of ballads. Its NOT neo-prog . The music on DHD is demanding, bitchy, nervous and relentless, requiring patience, observation, open-mindedness and a certain appreciation of the 'beyond'. Big surprise, this!

4.5 Moments in Time

 DHD by RIVENDEL album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 27 ratings

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DHD
Rivendel Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Heaven

5 stars After listening three times this album I'm still very surprised. First track (+ than 20 min) begins like warm, organic symphonic prog. But very different elements slowly make presence. From blues to electronics, from RIO to chamber, even Zeulh. The music becomes a labyrinth where the listener visits different corridors and chambers. Still everything is related somehow, a part of the whole thing. But you can't find the keys to put things together until the closing parts of the song. Ashtounding! Second track (12 minutes) seems much more calmed, even ambient music. But there's a feeling of inconvenience, a dissonance here and there. A feeling of no escape, like if you are on a Kafka or a Lovecraft story. That's the general feeling of this album. Third track (+10 minutes) is once again a very different proposal. It seems like a sound motion of the fight between industrial machinery and oppresed workers Or this is what the tittle, Metropolis, suggests. In the middle part of the song there's a terrible fight where once again Rivendel become deliciously chaotic. But in the end it looks that there's not a real winner for this battle. A very interesting album that is far from the prog mainstream. Like another reviewer says, this has absolutely no relation with neo-prog (as the band is tagged). Very recommended but be aware that this is not an easy listen.
 DHD by RIVENDEL album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 27 ratings

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DHD
Rivendel Neo-Prog

Review by Daledebil

5 stars The first thing I must say is that this album must be taken off from the classification of neo-prog. This is not. Maybe "ecleptic rock" or "avant rock" is a better identification. After nearly 20 years comes this third album from the Donosti (Spain) band, Rivendel. If you have already listened to some of their two previous albums.. forget them. This follows a completely different path. Only three tracks. All instrumentals. One of them last more than 20 minutes and two over 10, involving a whole kaleidoscope of sounds where multiple references appear in a more conceptual than literal way. In my opinion, nowadays, it is virtually impossible that a group practising fully instrumental music posseses a "completely original sound". Perhaps this is neither the case, but, even when you can find references, I think that Rivendel, with this album, have got an universe which is more particular than the one they offered in the previous discs. I said "references", and, it's true, here you can find echoes from David Gilmour (more than Pink Floyd) at the beginning of the first track or, even,Tangerine Dream further in the same track. In the second one you can find sounds from the most atmospheric side of Pink Floyd. But they are only sound flashes integrated on a completely differente unit. Anyway, my favorite track is the last one, "(die von maschinerive) Metropolis". A track where they play a strange game with the tension between impressionists and expressionists sounds. References that probably are more explicits if you take a look to the cover, where Jose Mari Aguirrezabala has used images from the Wiene's film: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari . An special reference to the instrumental palette. Bass, keyboards and guitar. No drums anyway. This is important because the sound in this album is very particular. An instrumental album like this, rather than show its content in the first listen, trends to "suggest" moods and, in this regard, it's easy to imagine it as a struggle between darkness and light. If there is a moment that exemplifies the album for me it is the end of that first track. You can imagine that moment as a canvas where Monet and Kirchner were painting together. Congratulations, Rivendel. This is by far its better album. An album you must listen to.
 The Meaning by RIVENDEL album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.16 | 25 ratings

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The Meaning
Rivendel Neo-Prog

Review by St_V

5 stars This album is really good, a better effort that their first one "Manifesto". The three long songs are divided into many different parts. The three suits are quite different, even each one of them are sung in a different language. First one, "La Telarana" is sung in spanish and it's a very lyrical song, with a lot of 12-string, flutes and oboes (or something alike). It remains classic RPI (italian progressive), because of some mediterranian feel. There is also a soprano-like guest voice. It sound beautiful and original. Vey symphonic. The second suite "The Meaning" that gaves tittle to the álbum seems the centerpiece of the álbum. It's the longest one. Every part is different. Guitar based parts follow keyboard based ones and sometimes in between there's is some nice vocal parts. A great opus. The final piece "L'Art Brut" is te shortest one. It's sung in french (?!) and it's the most bizarre song in this album. It seems it's about crazy artista and it's sounds like is! Also a very interesting piece of music. By far, the best Rivendel album in the 90's. I wonder why did they stopped because there is a feeling like if a third effort could have been even better.
 Manifesto by RIVENDEL album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.36 | 14 ratings

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Manifesto
Rivendel Neo-Prog

Review by St_V

4 stars This album has good melodies and structures. Many good ideas but also some problems. Electronic drums are too loud and mechanical on some pieces. Vocals are also a bit forced at some points. Even those youth faults, some parts are very outstanding and emotional. For example the closing part of "The Stairs" and "Joker". Also the intensity of "Fools' Talk". "Jardin Secreto" is a bonus track. This one, sang in spanish I think, sound quite different, more radio friendly tan the others but it's also a nice effort. The second effort from this band "The Meaning" would solve the youth problems of this one.
 Manifesto by RIVENDEL album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.36 | 14 ratings

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Manifesto
Rivendel Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Another band in the line,who fell into obscurity as the time passed by. RIVENDEL came from the town of San Sebastian and were formed around mid-80's, featuring Oscar Belio on keys and vocals,Tono Cruz on guitars and vocals,Jose Mari Aguirrezabala on bass,wind instruments and vocals and Juan Carlos Perez on drums.Their debut ''Manifesto'' was released in 1991 on Lednevir Records,propably a label,behind which were members of RIVENDEL.

Despite having received mediocre critics around the web,''Manifesto'' sound to my ears as a quite original effort,definitely in the neo prog vein,but having a rich sound coming from the mix of melodic distorted guitars and the interesting use of synths and electronic sequencers.It's not far from reality to say that there is sometimes an ambient/electronic feeling throughout the compositions,created by the atmospheric use of synths and the slow-tempo of the music,however the use of drum machines in the album will not satisfy everybody's ear.I can notice as a plus for the band the nice guitar work with influences from MARILLION and even STEVE HACKETT with a touch of ROBERT FRIPP here and there.Vocals are in English with an obvious foreign accent and often they come out with a strong theatrical leaning,not always succesful.All in all,I really can't find a horrible track in here.''Manifesto'' sounds very interesting to my ears despite it's low recording quality and the mistakes a new band makes.Recommended to fans of neo progressive rock with a touch of electronics (but I think it can please a lot more ears than only these)!

 The Meaning by RIVENDEL album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.16 | 25 ratings

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The Meaning
Rivendel Neo-Prog

Review by gerem

4 stars Continuing with the tradition of good Prog from northern Spain, Rivendel affirms with the Meaning the good taste of Spanish prerformers of continuing with the tradition of the classical prog bands that exploded with sound the underground prog scene of the 70's. Very tasteful small peieces of music tightned together to form a unified and unique long piece sung in three different languages. Good deep voice of Ana Loreto, in la Telaraña, the rythmic section is very precise, Toño Cruz's guitar is almost everywhere, but what makes the record delightful is Josemari's bass and wind work. too bad there hasn't been a release lately which Would Confirm Rivendel's quality.For anyone who apreciates Spanish Prog, if you liked Crack or Galadriel you should get this one. Congratulation to Roman who designed the cover: just unfolded the cover and glued it to my wall.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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