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CHAC MOOL

Prog Folk • Mexico


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Chac Mool biography
Mexican progressive rock band from the early 80's, featured Jorge Reyes in guitar/flute and Carlos Alvarado in keyboards. Their music is progressive in nature with well-written lyrics, some in the poetic side and some with caustic critics to society. The music is characterized by a strong use of the keyboards and lyrical flutes with a strong bass and a reliable drummer, unfortunately, as most mexican groups they lack a good singer. As in all Hispanic groups, the exotic flavour comes from the Spanish vocals and in the Latin sensivity, the compositions emotional' aspect.

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Nadie En EspecialNadie En Especial
Import
Discos Momia
Audio CD$19.99
En Vivo 1980 - Official BootlegEn Vivo 1980 - Official Bootleg
Import · Authorized bootleg · Original recording · Limited Edition
Momia
Audio CD$39.99 (used)
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CHAC MOOL Caricia Digital WEA Rare Latin Rock USD $6.00 [0 bids]
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CHAC MOOL discography


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

3.16 | 25 ratings
Nadie en Especial
1980
3.27 | 15 ratings
Sueños de Metal
1981
1.30 | 9 ratings
Caricia Digital
1984
3.85 | 8 ratings
El Mensajero de los Dioses
2000

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

2.11 | 7 ratings
Cintas en Directo
1982

CHAC MOOL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

CHAC MOOL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nadie en Especial  by CHAC MOOL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.16 | 25 ratings

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Nadie en Especial
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Mexican progressive rock band Chac Mool delivered their Spanish-language debut album in 1980, `Nadie en Especial', a mix of atmospheric rock songs, sometimes enhanced with ethnic and exotic qualities, symphonic reaches and light folk elements, and it's proven to be an interesting if somewhat frustrating work! Sadly what holds the album back are Mauricio Bieletto's just serviceable vocals that are frequently a bit dreary, and there's barely a truly memorable tune to be found on the majority of the disc. The band, however, at least dowsed the entire disc in thick Mellotron and spacey synths ala bands like Eloy and Pulsar that at least make everything sound more exciting and colourful, even if it's a kind of superficial surface gloss, but they still achieve a few moments of real greatness throughout.

The wisps of fizzing electronics and machine noise around middle-eastern flavours that begins the seven minute opener `Un Mundo Feliz' almost remind of Agitation Free's first few albums, but the piece reveals itself to be a softly grooving but slightly unengaging rocker not far away from German band Jane with a touch of the Alan Parsons Project. Carlos Alvarado's plentiful swirling synths make the unremarkable song of ` En Visitante' and its unlovable group-chorus vocal that little bit more bearable, but thankfully the grander title-track `Nadie en Enspecial' offers a warmer and more urgent lead vocal, Jorge Reyes' electric guitar that broods with danger and dramatic Mellotron passages over Armando Suarez's thick bass that reminds of Eloy at their best. The intense `Salamandra' closes the first side with a droning vocal, regal Mellotron choirs and shimmering Pink Floyd-like guitar reaches, and there's a lovely passage of Jorge's drifting flute over bubbling panning spacey synth drifts.

Eastern flavours mix with airy electronics throughout Side 2's `Aymara', sounding like a mix of Kitaro and his early Far East Family Band in parts, and it includes everything from Vocoder-treated spoken word passages, reflective meditative flutes that carry a spirited folk Deuter-like quality, eerie Mellotron veils, weeping cello and even effusive Klaus Schulze-flavoured backgrounds. `El Dia en Que Murio el Rey Camaleon' has lengthy instrumental stretches across a range of tempos with plenty of extended spacey passages of wavering synths, Carlos Castro's punchy drumming, a mysterious flute interlude and even a psych-era Beatles-like chorus, wrapping on a scorching burst of Mellotron majesty. `Bienvenidos al fin del Mundo' is a sterling symphonic closer with frequent reprises of big booming Mellotron themes, although some tormented screeching in the middle is extremely intrusive and off-putting, and a bizarre fade back in after a perfect closing moment with a further abrupt cut-off is equally jarring.

Thankfully the positives far outweigh the earlier-mentioned cons on this disc, and if you're not worried too much about slightly forgettable tunes (it could be worse, there's nothing that actually screams too overly commercial or insultingly radio- aimed), then `Nadie en Especial' has much to offer, and it's one that the Mellotron freaks should especially enjoy!

Three and a half stars.

 Sueños de Metal  by CHAC MOOL album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.27 | 15 ratings

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Sueños de Metal
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 1981 was a good year for Chac Mool and they even flirted with playing alongside Queen in Puebla, but financial conflicts with the promoter prevented what would be a lifetime experience for the group.Anyway, there were no particular reasons for them to slow down, they were still under contract with Phillips and they secured a second album that same year with ''Suenos de metal'', recorded at Estudios Golden.

Looking at the Glam Rock-like frontcover, considering the year of releaseand even listening to the opening track ''Paranoia'' and its rhythmic, synth-based, almost Space/Electronic sound one would expect a huge drawback from the band, but fortunately this was not the case.With ''Kandahar'' Chac Mood presented a trully original mix of Folk, Symphonic Rock and Space Music with archaic flutes, soft piano and cosmic synths, surrounded by poetic lyrics and wrapped up in a varied mood, while ''Brillo de luna'' follows a more Prog Folk vein with slow, psychedelic electric guitar and melancholic flute.''Libertad'' is a weird piece, where orcestral moves meet with heavy bass, sharper electric textures and spacious synthesizers, ending with a nice dramatic section.With ''Que buena razon'' the band sinks again into a diverse, folky enviroment with an orchestral background, very original music with a symphonic arrangement, sentimental vocals and rich instrumentation.The 9-min. closer ''Sombras de la noche'' is among the darkest pieces written by the group.An odd, trippy listening experience of nostalgic flutes with pre-Hispanic orientations, doomy rhythms, powerful symphonic strings and cosmic synthesizers.Personal and intricate approach on Rock music, moreover showered by another sensitive singing effort by Mauricio Bieletto.

The strongest among Chac Mool's early albums.Space Rock meets Mexican Folk meets Orchestral Rock in a trippy and consistent album.Warmly recommended.

 Sueños de Metal  by CHAC MOOL album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.27 | 15 ratings

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Sueños de Metal
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Nadie es Profeta en su Tierra" ("Nobody is Prophet in their Own Land"), as an old Mexican saying says. That means that (as I understand it): "sometimes the most severe criticism of your work comes from the people of your own country".

I have to say that that I never have listened (until now) to a full album by this Mexican Progressive Rock band. I only listened to several songs from their albums, and I learned about their history because a Cultural TV channel in my city broadcasted a very good documentary done about them some years ago. I also in the early eighties knew about them thanks to some articles written about them in some Mexican Rock magazines and I saw their albums in the record shops. But that`s all. In 1980- 1981, as a teenager, I wanted to attend one of their concerts in a venue called "La Carpa Geodésica" in my city (which I don`t know if still exists), but at that time Rock music in Mexico, particularly Rock concerts, were a bit like "out of the law", and having attended at least two Rock concerts in my city by that time, where there were riots (not very serious, but somewhat violent, but fortunately nothing happened to my friends and me) I was a bit "scared" to attend Rock concerts in my city again, with or without justification in the particular case of Chac Mool. Fortunately, by the late eighties the situation changed and Rock music here became more or less "approved by the law" and one could attend Rock concerts with more confidence about security. I`m going to write about each song in this album:

"Paranoia": more close to Pop rock music with lyrics which in some parts sound to me as a bit funny.

"Kandahar": a very Progressive Rock song with very good arrangements, very good keyboards atmospheres and a very good flute solo. This is maybe the best song in this album. In general, all the members of the band play very well in this song.

"Brillo de Luna": with good musical atmospheres in general. It has some "Pre-Hispanic" musical influences, but still with some influence by bands like the seventies version of King Crimson and a bit of Jethro Tull in the style of the flute playing.

"Qué Buena Razón": with some Folk-Rock influences and very good arrangements, but again the Jethro Tull musical influence is very clear in some parts.

"Libertad": more oriented to Pop Rock again, but still Progressive. It has a bit of influence from Premiata Forneria Marconi.

"Sombras de la Noche": a good Progressive Rock song with good atmospheres at the start of the song. It has very good arrangements. It is one of the best songs from this album. It includes some mandolin playing, and a guitar solo (the only song on which the guitar has a prominent place doing a solo).

Well. In conclusion I have to say that this band was a very good Progressive Rock band. But there were some "problems": the lack of a good lead singer (the vocals are in tune but are thin and it is not very easy to understand the lyrics even if they are written in the Spanish language; maybe the sound mixing of the vocals in particular is not very good). The late guitarist Jorge Reyes was a better flute player and composer than guitarist and singer (a thing that even some people interviewed in that documentary that I mentioned above recognized). But I have to say that despite all these problems, this album is still very good, and this band really deserves the respect that their Mexican fans give to them.

 Cintas en Directo  by CHAC MOOL album cover Live, 1982
2.11 | 7 ratings

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Cintas en Directo
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Some kind of experimentation from this Mexican band.

Chac Mool was a very representative band from my country, mainly in the 80s, their music was successful at that time, so they could perform in several TV shows and they gained some popularity and nice audience, sadly, their music changed a lot within their albums, first they were playing progressive rock, with some symphonic roots, later a very nice addition of some spacey elements, and finally they turn to pop rubbish. At the 2000 year, the band with different line-up appeared again to create an extraordinary album that I would recommend to anyone. But now, I will talk about their 1982 album called "Cintas en Directo".

This album contains 7 songs and a total time of 35 minutes, so it is relatively short. It opens with "El Fantasma del Museo" and well I have to say that since the first song, we can notice that the recording sound is very poor, sometimes sounding amateurish. This first song is pretty nice, it shows some changes within itself, not very complex but with fine instrumentation, what I like the least are the vocals, but I enjoy several passages.

"Lo Enterraron Vivo" has some good moments, mainly when the keyboard appears, there is a keyboard solo somewhere, and it sounds nice. There are moments where the song's sound is very 80s, you know what I mean.

"Melanie" is a simple song that has some spacey effects which are actually unnecessary, and I don't want to be mean, but the vocals are horrible here, not their best song at all.

"Un Mundo Feliz", in contrast to the previous one, is much better since the very beginning, with some nice effects as background and the first couple of minutes sound as an improvisation, then the song begins to build up an structure, and creates a very nice piece though the music may sound quite simple, I like it.

"Ofrenda" is a song that offers you a kind of electronic, spacey sound, synths effects, bass lines a constant soft drumming and a warm flute sound here and there, creating a very good atmosphere "Un Punto más Allá del Infinito", starts with flute and bass in the same line, it could be a nice song if it hasn't vocals, the music is not that bad, but the vocals in a funny style are horrible, again. The last part of the song is pretty good actually.

"El Rey del Rock" is the last song of the album and it is a live track, very poppish and catchy, honestly nothing to be proud of.

This is a weak Chac Mool album, they made better things but anyway I would not consider this as a bad album either, not as bad as their Caricia Digital. 2.5 stars would be fair, but this time I will low the rating to 2, I only recommend it for fans.

Enjoy it, anyway!

 Caricia Digital  by CHAC MOOL album cover Studio Album, 1984
1.30 | 9 ratings

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Caricia Digital
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

1 stars No wonder that the band will call it quit after this very poor release (even if they will do a come back in 2000, some sixteen years after this "work").

The band released some good stuff in their early works. Floyd, Tull and even Crimson at times were their influences.

With this album (which is very short, fortunately), the band sounds as the poor "Ange" from the eighties. Flat rock music. Nothing interesting at all. Synth pop as well, but not only.

This album is very bad. From the opening "Vestir De Rojo" and its "Genesis" while they were three influence to "Piel De Hielo" which almost sounds as a "Police" song. In between, "Tamaño Natural" is probably the weakest. If ever you would use a well known technique (the press next one), you wouldn't listen to a single track of this album entirely. Gosh! What a suffering I need to endure to write objectively about this crappy release.

Because the worst sits along with the poorest. But to mention awful moments woiuld really mean to mention each track of this album. If you feel like listening to some disgusting AOR, feel free to endure "Solo Tienes 16".

This album is one of the best ones for the press next game, that's for sure. Avoid this album by all means. This has nothing to do with folk prog (nor prog actually). If you would like to have a good idea of the music played by this band, just stick to their first two albums.

This one deserves only one star (and it is on the higher end, really). Dreadful vocals all the way through to add to the quality.

Que nos hicieron ???

 Cintas en Directo  by CHAC MOOL album cover Live, 1982
2.11 | 7 ratings

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Cintas en Directo
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "Cintas En Directo" means live tapes.

The band explains that the objective of this record was to show how the band could jam. The album doesn't feature any studio tricks. First takes, that's all. The members were not isolated in a studio room with the idea to show the spontaneity of the band as if they were playing live.

One of my favourite song form this album is by far the beautiful "Un Mundo Feliz" (but it was already released on their debut album). Like all the songs from this release, it sounds raw (a bit too much IMO) but its intro is so poignant.In terms of new songs, the full Tull oriented "Un Punto Más Allá Del Infinito" deserves your attention. One of the good songs.

The poor "Melanie" was recorded during the "Sueños De Metal" sessions. When you listen to it, you understand why it was rejected form the original album. Press next.

There is also one live track on this album, but frankly to listen to "Chac Mool" playing a rock song (or intending to do so) is not the best experience you would like to face. Press next, again.

"Chac Mool" tells us that "Cintas En Directo" represented a refreshing experience for them and that they hoped it will please us".

I cannot really cope with this statement. But the closing number is brilliant. Even if "Chac Mool" is referenced in the prog folk genre, they have recorded some spacey numbers as well. This one is again fully reminiscent of "ASOS" from Floyd. A fantastic trip and by far my fave out here.

Two stars.

 Sueños de Metal  by CHAC MOOL album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.27 | 15 ratings

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Sueños de Metal
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album combines some folk, some symphonic music (which is fine) but also some electro-pop (which is not so fine).

"Paranoia" is one of these type. If you add pretty weak vocals during this song, you get the picture.We are far from their very pleasant and symphonic sounds of their debut album. Actually, this song is very poor and it is a bit strange that it was chosen to open this album. Maybe that its commercial structure was the reason for this...

On the contrary, "Kandahar" combines very strong flute playing which conveys this folk-prog feeling to it. But the sound is somewhat harder. Rather upbeat for the most of it, this song brings us back to their good debut album.

One of my favourite is "Brillo De Luna". A simple and repetitive guitar work provides a strong structure and again, the flute (aaaaargh, I really love this instrument) brings us in another dimension. It is true that Mauricio Billieto is not the best vocalist on earth but this time, I admit that he sounds better than usual. Some good percussion work also enriches this song very effectively.

"Que Buena Razón" is somewhat in the same vein, but it has this inducible flavour of "Living In The Past" during some flute passages. Very pleasant (but I am biased.). It is another song of the big man in the band. Carlos Reyes signs (or co-sign) no less than five of them on this album leaving only "Libertad" to Armando Suárez. But this song is the second weak track. Simple and popish.

On the contrary, the closing and long number "Sombras de la Noche" (shadows of the night) opens with a brilliant and ethnic part (similar to "Aymara" from their first album). It is a great combination of native Mexican music and the symphonic style. It should have been a full instrumental IMO because as soon as the vocals get in, it is not so strong any longer. But since they are rather short, let's not complain too much.

It's a very melodic piece of music with spacey keyboards and powerful bass playing. By far the most interesting song from this good album. A special note for the last section of this beautiful song which combines a passionate guitar work with some good orchestrations.

Three stars. Arriba México.

 Nadie en Especial  by CHAC MOOL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.16 | 25 ratings

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Nadie en Especial
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This very confidential band (at least outside Mexico) plays a pleasant symphonic and spacey music.

Some numbers are tinted with ethnic sounds like "Aymara" which could remind the very ancient times of this beautiful country. A great piece of music to meditate while sitting in front of the Kukulcán pyramid in Chitchen Itzà. Not far from there (200 metres) you can find the little statue of Chac Mool from where the band got its name from.

This is my preferred song from this album. A great combination of Mexican rooted music and a spacey and relaxing part.

This album opens with rare synth sounds. Almost sci-fi and chaotic for two minutes. Fortunately "Un Mundo Feliz" (a happy world) switches to an excellent spacey atmosphere. Floyd is very much present, but it will be a consistent aspect of their music on this album.

"Nade Especial" for instance. It automatically reminds me of the end of "Welcome To The Machine". This album features lots of synthesizers and privileged the instrumental parts. Which is good because I am not always convinced by the lead vocalist (Mauricio Bieletto). His tone of voice is rather uniform and not really captivating.

This is mostly noticeable during "Salamandra". It's a pity because there are lots of very good music featured on this album. Very much space-rock oriented (more than prog folk actually).

Still, a song as "El Día Que Murió El Rey Camaleón" holds any Tull aspects you could imagine. Flute of course is very much the key factor to enhance this feeling. Some improvised moments can also relate this number with Crimson (early period).

The weak point of this band is definitely the vocals. If the singer would be a little more demonstrative and emotional, this album would have been really good. As such I can't go over three stars. Arriba México!

 Nadie en Especial  by CHAC MOOL album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.16 | 25 ratings

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Nadie en Especial
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Chac Mool is (were) a great Mexican band of progressive rock, their latest album El Mensajero de los Dioses was a very good stuff, and with Nadie en Especial, i think are their onlly 2 very prog albums, this is their debut album, and the most well known in Mexico, this album is a very good one, it has 7 studio songs, the songs on Nadie en Especial, but it also has bonus tracks, that bonus tracks were recorded from their first concert in Mexico City, so here we can listen to their early notes, and it is a good experience. The album is not the best, is not the most complex or the best arrangements, but is really good, here we can find a clear Pink Floyd`s influecne, in fact, in one track we can hear some notes as in Have a Cigar, they are quite similar, also, this album has a good mix of instruments as a good keyboard work, some strings like cellos and a bit of flute, is totally a symphonic album, with sthe unique sound of the coming 80`s era, the opening song Un Mundo Feliz and Salamandra are my favorites, after all, this is a good album, but not essential, i cant really suggest it to you. 3 stars
 Sueños de Metal  by CHAC MOOL album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.27 | 15 ratings

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Sueños de Metal
Chac Mool Prog Folk

Review by Tiresias_jeff

3 stars In 1980, I had the oportunity to saw Chac Mool Live in the Tecnológico de Monterrey auditorium (I was stuying there) and they presented a great show not for the scenography but for the good tasty music of their first album... but they played various songs from the second, like "Brillo de Luna", "Que buena razón" (*), or "El rey del Rock" (not issued in this CD). Unfortunately, bad management and differences between parts end with a good Mexican band with international talent, as happened in a same way with "Caifanes"...

The music was really good and at a high level. The tracks written here had the same thematic essence of the songs of the first album (*), and "El Rey Del Rock" was a little exercise of the Rock & Roll kind; but in general, the second recording, lacks of the force, power and creativity of their first effort... It's really a shame that the Record Industry in México don't let the musicians work alone and transform the real message of the music into a selfish mediocre Pop hype, or that the musicians really don't know how to make a team to work out a recording. And that's why, between other reasons, Carlos Santana, is making records in U.S.A. and not in México City. It's a shame, but it's true!...Good Luck!

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