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Bijou — El Profeta
(Musea FGBG 4570.AR, 2003, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01

El Profeta Cover art

Bijou is a Spanish instrumental symphonic prog quintet featuring your standard rhythm section, keyboards, and dual guitars, and while their sound is expansive, melodic, and respectfully bombastic across the nine tracks presented (three of which comprise the 24-minute title suite), there is certainly a lot more that two guitars could do in a band like this than shadow the keyboardist and throw in some melodic solos and punctuation here and there. Certainly one guitarist could have done the job just fine. For his part, Ruben Garcia is an inventive keyboard player who brings a variety of sounds and textures to the table and has a solid hand in most of the compositions; Likewise bassist Alberto Mateos brings energy and passion, both at the bottom end as well as higher up in the mix, and also has a strong hand in the writing. There are no vocals, though I think a strong vocalist out front would certainly help their cause; it’s not that the sound is missing anything, more like a need for more variation within it. As it is, at one hour El Profeta is a bit of a long listen for this writer, though I’m sure there are many readers who would find Bijou’s brand of purely instrumental prog-rock very much to their liking.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Bijou

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