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JINETES NEGROS

Progressive Metal • Argentina


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Jinetes Negros biography
In 1999, ANIMA's keyboardist Octavio Stampalia and vocalist marcelo Ezcurra put together a new project with the help of a guitarist, bassist and drummer. JINETES NEGROS (a name based on a poem by Nené Dinzeo meaning "Black Riders") have released a couple of accessible prog albums, rather song based but nicely enhanced by Sampalia's keyboards and the effective use of choruses provided by a dozen singers.

With its Wakeman-like keyboard flights, their first (eponymous) album is more likely to please progsters, with parts running the harder edge à la ELP. The grandiose, large-scale impression provided by both the choirs and the simulated orchestral textures (keyboards) give the album a 'rock opera' feel, akin to musicals such as "Les Misérables". The musicianship is solid throughout, especially Sampalia's keyboard play. More like a hard-rock album in disguise, their second effort entitled "Chronos" is more mainstream, with a few symphonic prog trimmings here and there - and minus the impressive choirs of the first CD. It is a concept album based on 12 works of Salvador Dali with surreal lyrics to match. Because both albums are highly song oriented, it pays to understand Spanish to fully appreciate the material.

Fans of NEXUS will find some common ground, here, as well fans of early to mid-70's Rick Wakeman.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Tawa SariraTawa Sarira
Viajero Inmovil
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JINETES NEGROS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.67 | 18 ratings
El Jinete Negro
2000
2.94 | 16 ratings
Chronos
2001
4.05 | 34 ratings
Omniem
2008
3.92 | 103 ratings
Tawa Sarira
2013

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JINETES NEGROS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chronos by JINETES NEGROS album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.94 | 16 ratings

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Chronos
Jinetes Negros Progressive Metal

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars In 2001 Octavio Stampalia and his Jinetes Negros moved on to a second, conceptually more ambitious album, entitled ''Chronos''.Impressed by the calendar of Salvador Dali, published in 2000 by the Foundation of his wife Gala Dali, Stampalia decided to dedicate the next work of Jinetes Negros to him with 12 tracks, each covering a month of the year and the relative painting of Dali with surrealistic lyrics surrounding the music.The album was released independently, re-issued in 2004 on Viajero Inmovil.

It seems the calendar of Dali inspired Stampalia not only thematically but also musically, as ''Chronos'' is a much more consistent work than Jinetes Negros' debut, even if the general mix of Classical-influenced Prog with hard-edged music is again the main principle the new album is built on.This time though there is an evident, tight balance between bombastic segments, atmospheric lyricism, Hard Prog vibes and decent melodies to result an interesting work.Keyboards are offered through grandiose, orchestral textures or more virtuosic exercises in an E.L.P. vein, played mainly on synthesizers and organ, while the guitar work ranges from mascular riffs to excellent solos.Not very original material, but every track in here (all range between 4 and 5 minutes) has something to offer to the listener.The music is rather accesible and the vocals are stronger, more expressive and fortunately varied with a different approach on each track.Some Hard-rockin' solos seem again to be a bit out of place, but even these are often surrounded by Stampalia's interesting keyboard parts.Another issue seems to be the limited instrumental passages, as Stampalia sounds like a talented man, who could have delivered some nice instrumental performances, but this depends on the concept and, on the other hand, the music even so remains tight and energetic from start to the very end.

Vocal-driven Hard/Symphonic Prog with a nice concept idea around.Recommended, especially to fans of more upbeat Prog adventures with a thematical link.

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 Tawa Sarira by JINETES NEGROS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 103 ratings

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Tawa Sarira
Jinetes Negros Progressive Metal

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Jinetos Negros, an Argentinian prog metal band, first came to my attention when it was sitting lovingly on a proggers list of the best 10 albums for 2013. Naturally this album "Tawa Sarira" intrigued me but I was surprised at the musical direction of the band, whose name incidentally means Black Riders, taken from a poem by Nené Dinzeo. First and foremost it is not a prog metal band in any sense of the word, at least not this album. Metal denotes at least some distorted guitar riffing and heavy rhythms in drums and bass and it delivers neither. Instead this one is replete with violin, orchestra, piano breaks and Gentle Giant whimsy complete with melodic high register voices.

There is a semblance of distortion on the guitars in 'Corazón y Naranjas' but the overall style is heavy prog at best. The voice harmonies are pleasant and I like the way the band blend piano with rock guitars. Octavio Stampalia is a great keyboard player and I like the style of guitarists Marcelo Ezcurra, also on vocals, and Eduardo Penney. The drums are courtesy of Ricardo Penney, backed on bass by Alex Yamashiro.

There is a hint of Canterbury at times such as on the jaunty 'Canción del Océano'. The band sing in their own language that may or may not appeal to the mainstream audience but they sing well. On this track the piano is outstanding as virtuoso as Rick Wakeman at times. I like how midway through this there is an orchestra fanfare and medieval sounding keyboards. In fact the track definitely has that medieval Gryphon sound or Wakeman in his Elizabethan mood. There is even a flute to enhance this atmosphere. The sound is uplifting and bright at all times. The style changes at the end with a blistering lead solo. This is a highlight of the album.

Minimalist piano opens 'Suene Tu Milagro' sung with feeling and quiet reflection by Excurra. The violins have a melancholy resonance and the music builds emotionally into orchestrated passages of beauty. A more dramatic orchestrated approach is heard on 'Shawarma' and tribal percussion reminding me of a movie soundtrack. The slicing violins are well performed and the tom toms reminiscent of African music. The singing is more forceful but still maintains a clean tone. The mouth harp is even heard on this and it features a high pitched lead guitar break and a ton of sweeping strings along with some heavier guitars.

'Amada Inmortal' opens with a stirring string section and a wonderful bassline drives it. The swirling synth solo is nicely played and eventually a much heavier guitar distortion comes in. 'Luna de India' is dominated by violins and operatic choral vocals that echo the main vocal. It is rather a grand soundscape but the guitars are present to bring in a rock feel. I like the sound the band generate but still feel lost without knowing the lyrics.

There is a touch of cinematic drama on the rousing 'El Eterno Retorno' with grandiose violins and a building melody. The tune is memorable and I like the way the lead guitar is unleashed to execute a solo in the intro. Later there is a synth solo that sound similar to Rudess' Haken Continuum keyboard fingerboard style. There is a lot of grand piano on this too. It is a more symphonic sound than I had expected overall on the album. 'Esas Trampas' continues the violin orchestration and is accompanied by rather theatrical vocals. It suddenly changes into a heavier style when the guitar riff breaks in.

'Las Cuatro Verdades' has a piano intro, followed by an organic guitar and synth sound. The choral vocals are operatic similar to any rock opera I have heard. There is even a reminder of some of the work of Therion though this is less heavy in that regard. The drums are a showcase on this track well worth checking out. At 2:30 there is a fabulous synth and lead trade off in the instrumental section. The band really radiate a grandiose atmosphere and the imposing presence of the violins are accompanied by flute passages and swirling synth explorations; another highlight of excellent musicianship.

'El Velo' opens with a heartbeat and then some beautiful chiming keyboard flourishes sweep over. the vocals are handled with sensitivity and flair. 'Purgatorio' has a dramatic intro of horns and strings as though it were a film soundtrack. The eerie synth melody works well on the scape of violins and rumbling drums. There is a really nice bassline also and I certainly know I cannot fault the musicianship of the band in these moments. By the time the cool heavy guitar riff enters this is already another highlight of the album. Even the vocals are approached with a heavier style rather than crooned and harmonised. The spoken dialogue intriguing and well supported by operatic chants. A quiet musical interlude follows with astonishing melodic resonance and some distorted guitar crashes before a grinding lightning fingered organ solo dominates. The sound even reminded me of the Hammond sound of the 70s. Towards the end there is a throbbing sound and a finale crescendo with multi tracked vocals and grand melodies. 'Purgatorio' is indeed one of the greatest tracks on this album.

'A los Ojos Bellos' is next with Gothic cathedral pipe organ and delicate horns in the intro. The synths sound like the synth sound in Europe's 'Final Countdown' intro if you remember that retro 80s gem. Again there are Argentine lyrics followed by lead break, piano and some acoustic vibrations. A young female voice is heard in this section that enhances the atmosphere. An angelic choir of voices enters and it feels like the finale as the voices build over stirring lead guitars and a Wakemanish synth fanfare. The pace quickens with heavier guitars and multi tracked vocals. The last track is 'Tawa Sarira Outro', a short piece with wind howling, deep African like chants and clicking sticks as high register vocals sing a pretty melody.

Overall I really enjoyed hearing this operatic symphonic heavy prog album. There is more symphonic elements than I was prepared for but most of my favourite prog is Symphonic so this was a sheer delight to discover. I am still at a loss as to the moniker of metal as I heard none of that, however this is a great exploration of orchestrated symphonic rock that is some of the best Argentinian prog I have heard.

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 Omniem by JINETES NEGROS album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.05 | 34 ratings

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Omniem
Jinetes Negros Progressive Metal

Review by hyeronimus

5 stars

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 Tawa Sarira by JINETES NEGROS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.92 | 103 ratings

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Tawa Sarira
Jinetes Negros Progressive Metal

Review by hyeronimus

5 stars The sound of this band, it's especially difficult to locate for me. If you look at ProgArchives, there call him as progressive metal, but although there are moments with close to metal rhythm guitars, for nothing is their overall sound. For this reason, most symphonic, neoprogressive, eclectic, psichedelic / spacerock or crossover bands of today, should also be classified as progressive metal. The overall sound would define it as dye symphonic rock, with large variation between rhythmic and melodic moments and forays into other styles. Instrumentally they have a very good talent, but their vocal level is excellent. Marcelo's voice is versatile, able to move from pure melody to rock strength, almost without realizing it. The chorus of other musicians is also excellent, appear when must do it, and highlight the beauty of this album. Excellent work, not to be missed (5/5).

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 El Jinete Negro by JINETES NEGROS album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.67 | 18 ratings

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El Jinete Negro
Jinetes Negros Progressive Metal

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Sometime in 1999 in Buenos Aires ex-Anima keyboardist Octavio Stampalia along with singer Marcelo Ezcurra formed Jinetes Negros with an aim to perform Symphonic Prog music.The band had also bassist Marcelo Vaccaro, guitarist Pablo Robotti, drummer Christian Colaizzo and percussionist Gerardo Pricolo on board and in 2000 they released the debut private CD ''El jinete negro'', re-released as ''Jinetes Negros'' four years later by Viajero Inmovil.

And sure, there is some evident mood by Stampalia to fill the sound of the band with plenty of symphonic keyboard fireworks, however the result sounds like a less inspiring and more commercial oriented JAIME ROSAS or NEXUS.The album contains eight rather short tracks, which lean heavily on Ezcurra's voice (which is very far from special) and the clear rockin' grooves of the rhythm guitars, eventually offering tracks really accesible but not particularly memorable.Among those easy tunes Stampalia decided to throw some Classical-influenced bombastic keyboards, more evident on the instrumental parts, and most of them are pretty enjoyable.They just not seem to fit with the rockin' attitude the band has chosen, especially on the opening tracks.The later compositions are far more interesting with some nice flute work, well-crafted orchestral parts and atmospheric choirs, though the cheap synth sound will not allow them to escape mediocrity.

''El jinete negro'' is an uneven mix of good Symphonic Rock with flat and cold Hard Rock, where the talent of Stampalia meets the cliche side of rock music.Not particularly recommended...2.5 stars.

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 El Jinete Negro by JINETES NEGROS album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.67 | 18 ratings

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El Jinete Negro
Jinetes Negros Progressive Metal

Review by geezer

4 stars ****1/2

This album is nowadays called Jinetes Negros, not "El Jinete Negro". I believe this change was made when the Viajero Inmovil label issued this album. Before that it was only an independent release.

What a pleasant surprise this album was! This Argentinean group is a project by the keyboardist Octavio Stampalia, who was previously in the group Anima, and the singer Marcelo Ezcurra. According to the liner notes it is music composed for the poem "El Jinete Negro" (The Black Rider) by Nene D'inzeo. Her poems have inspired keyboardist Stampalia. The overall sound is very operatic due to the wonderfully arranged choirs. Besides the normal prog line-up there is some additional flute and violin in some of the tracks. The production quality is of high level as well.

The album starts with the wonderful "El Jinete Negro" with beautiful choir parts. The 2nd track "La Anciana" is more straightforward but excellent as well. There is a videoclip for this track included but I have to say that I don't really like it. But the music is good. The album continues strongly after these tracks and the 4th beautiful track "Floreces, Tiemblas Y Te Vas" being the highlight from the album. The track "Sacro-Cielo", again with beautiful choirs, deserves a mention too.

This album seems to have different covers. The Viajero Inmovil version I have is different, more beautiful might I add and housed in a very nice mini-lp sleeve. This version at least includes the already mentioned videoclip as well as different versions of the tracks "Floreces, Tiemblas Y Te Vas" and "Soldados de Fuego". Mmmmmm....nice!

Conclusion: An impressive album!

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Thanks to The Symphonic Team for the artist addition.

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