Jaen Kief is a great progressive rock band from Colombia embarking on the region's traditional sounds and blending the results with the hallmarks of progressive rock. Though this album was originally released in 2003, it has been reissued by the French label Musea earlier this year.
All the information in the booklet being in Spanish, it is hard to infer much, so this review will be entirely about the music. The band has two vocalists, one of them being a great female singer, and even though they both have their parts, the album generally follows an instrumental path to express itself. The instrumentation is varied, utilising flutes, acoustic guitars, saxophones, pianos, and all kinds of strings, along with soaring synths, electric guitars, and hammering drum and bass work. The disc contains a total of fifteen tracks, but there are actually seven songs on it. Both "Momento Gris" and "Duerme Bien" are comprised of several sub-titles, equaling over twenty-plus minutes, which is roughly half of the total running time.
"Momento Gris", divided into seven parts, begins and ends with identical guitar lines that recall late-70's Pink Floyd. Lots of acoustic guitars and wordless vocal melodies accompany the tense, somewhat cinematic instrumentation. It takes a while for the bass and drums to enter the scene, but when they do, the piece transforms into a beautiful symphonic prog element, utilising eerie sounds and ethnic percussion on "Part III" and some Latin-flavoured fretwork on "Part IV". This song also features strong male vocals atop a driving piano lead. "Part V" begins with a crazy flute jam before slowing down to pick up gently picked acoustic guitars. On "Duerme Bien", the shredding melodic guitars of "Dos Mundos" are woven into the magnificent keyboard playing of "Dama de la Noche", vaguely similar to the brilliant keyboard intro of Eternity X's The Edge.
Highlights also include the gorgeous vocal duet on "El Juego de Unas Sombras", a menacing piece marked by epic-scale arrangements and fusion-like instrumental breaks. The last song "Brujo Negro" puts forth the band members' technical prowess, bleeding into an extended bass and drum solo respectively, and merging slow acoustic guitars with heavy electric leads. The addition of rising Mellotron parts and effective church bells adds to the overall atmosphere of this record.
One thing about the booklet is amazing. There are pictures of the band members taken during their childhood with their instruments in their hands; it's really funny. Jaen Kief offers a strong mix of folk, classical and symphonic prog with Spanish lyrics and is well worth checking out.
- In Promptu - De Pronto
- Momento Gris (I. Parte Uno)
- Momento Gris (II. Parte Dos)
- Momento Gris (III. Parte Tres)
- Momento Gris (IV. Parte Quattro)
- Momento Gris (V. Parte Cinque)
- Momento Gris (VI. Parte Sei)
- Momento Gris (VII. Parte Siete)
- El Juego De Unas Sombras
- Duerme Bien (I. Dos Mundos)
- Duerme Bien (II. Dama De La Noche)
- Duerme Bien (III. Duerme Bien)
- Brujo Negro