Exposé Online banner

El Reloj — El Reloj (AKA Second Album)
(Record Runner RR-0160-2, 1976/1996, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, 1999-11-01:

El Reloj (AKA Second Album) Cover art

El Reloj is an Argentine group influenced by the more harder rocking bands of the early 70s like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Their sound on their first album is a dual-guitar rock that keeps a mainstream focus, while doing so in a fairly complex manner. On both reissues, Record Runner has the done the unusual, putting the band’s singles as bonus tracks at the beginning of the CDs. On the first album, two singles are added, the first is all original and the second early versions of two album tracks. These songs get to the point, with either guitar-driven passages, or the occasional ballad, with Eduardo Frezza’s voice sounding uncannily like Marc Storace from the heavy metal group Krokus. While the album itself has its fair share of good melody and great guitar soloing, the overall effect, even in the longer tracks, is fairly dull and rarely compelling. If it had English lyrics, much of it would have fit comfortably on rock radio.

Their second album, from 1976, is a completely different story. The bonus single, outtakes from the same year as the debut, is of equal interest to the first CD, but starting with “Al Borde del Abismo,” the band did a major overhaul on the compositional level. Combining progressive song structures with their already hard-edged sound, El Reloj created a major success with their second album, where every song is a refined classic. The dynamic “Tema Triste” reminds one of contemporaries Crucis. The nearly 11-minute “La Ciudad Desconocida” is a progressive rock tour de force, its phases including many staggered and elaborate rhythm structures mixed with passionately sung lyrical sections. The short but powerful “Aquel Triangulo” incorporates Crimson-like angularity into an amazingly complex fabric. After “Harto y Confundido” and the dynamic low, acoustic guitar piece “Tema de Todas las Epocas,” El Reloj turns up the intensity for the last two tracks, the amazing “Aquella Dulce Victoria” and “Egolatria” a Crucis-like trade off, with great guitar and synth soloing. Overall, one of the best progressive rock albums of the 70s.


by Mike McLatchey, 2018-07-12:

[Second album revisted]

This is an album I played to death when the Record Runner CD came out in the mid 90s (can't speak for later re-issues). El Reloj was essentially what you would get if an Argentine group decided to play Crimsonesque progressive rock in the language of the first or second Led Zeppelin album. Superficially everything is early 70s rock. You have a singer who has that tenor Robert Plant thing going (although he actually reminds me of a lot of late 70s and early 80s metal singers from bands like Krokus and Armored Saint and the like), a really raw guitar sound and a punctuated heaviness without even a remote hint of the symphonic. But the writing is just staggered riff after riff with the occasional song fragment or jam thrown in, very little of it is played straight and most riffs only play a few times before developing into something new. The preparation for this kind of compositional madness must have taken days of practice sessions and doesn't seem to have that much precedent from their first album which is played a lot straighter. Hell, they might even call this math rock nowadays if it was metal tones. But despite the rhythmic complexity of it all, everything is very memorable, which is why it really caught fire with my 20 something self. I absolutely can not stop air drumming everything around me when it plays and it still sounds amazing to this very day. Only one song in this group is a long one, the spiky and classic "La Ciudad Desconocida," but I'd also give shout outs to "Tema Triste" and "Aquella Dulce Victoria," which are virtual musical roller coaster rides. The band captured the music perfectly on the cover, a virtual balancing act over an abyss. Anyway I'm not sure how easily findable this is anymore outside of boots, but it's well worth searching out.


Filed under: Reissues , 1996 releases, 1976 releases

Related artist(s): El Reloj

More info

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Yeti Rain - Discarnate – It doesn’t take more than one look at the booklet cover and about 15 seconds of the first piece to know this isn’t like anything else that Unicorn has put out before; nor is it like any of the...  (2008) » Read more

Happy Family - Happy Family – Happy Family recently created a stir in the prog world without ever releasing an album. They are one of those rare few who received a great deal of hype, not by record dealers, but rather by fans. At...  (1995) » Read more

Christian Vander - A Tous les Enfants... – Vander's most recent release, and perhaps the most surprising. This is music dedicated to children, and written with the child in mind. The whole package is basically a children's book,...  (1995) » Read more

Oblivion Sun - Oblivion Sun – About fifteen seconds into the opening cut (or maybe even sooner), the astute listener will be reminded of the great Happy the Man, and for good reason – two of that band’s main composers...  (2008) » Read more

New Sun - Fractured – New Sun is a heavily Crimson-influenced band with two lead effects-based guitars and a solid rhythm section. DL Erickson holds down the rhythm patterns and also takes a few solos in the vein of the...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues