Jaime Scalpello: Vocals
Richard Pilnik: Guitars
Rodrigo Godoy: Bass and Vocals
Jaime Rosas: Keyboards
Alex von Chrismar: Drums
Recorded and mixed at Magna Studios, Santiago, Chile
between september and december, 2001.
Masterized by Juan Anderson
Photographs by Marco Orellana
Second engineer: Osvaldo Cueto
Graphic concept: Jaime Scalpello
Visual Art by Andres Quilodran
Produced, recorded and mixed by Rodrigo Godoy
Originally released by Mylodon records on May, 2002
Entrance is a very good neo-progressive band from Chile. The standard of their musicianship is very high, and the vocals, although sung in Spanish are very clear and powerful. They are not afraid to tackle longer pieces, and develop the songs into suites. The first track 'Lobo Estepario' actually comprises four tracks and is around twenty-three minutes long, whilst the three part 'Bi-Axis' clocks in at around ten and a half. The other three tracks vary between just under five to just under twelve. Throughout there is a lot of light and shade involved, with some quite intense musical passages where the musicians all take time to shine. You can only hope, if your Spanish is as non-existent as mine, that they are not singing about anything dodgy!
Seriously though, if you don't mind not being able to follow the lyrics, this is an excellent album. It really should be in the frame for CRS album of the year because of the bands all round impressive performances!
Bernard, Law Wondrous Stories Magazine, England
This is the second CD from the Chilean five piece band Entrance. The name of the keyboard player sounds familiar to me, it's Jaime Rosas who is now playing with his own band The Jaime Rosas Cuarteto (I have reviewed his albums with the Cuarteto and Trio). His sounds reminds me of Japanese keyboard wizards, obvious classically trained, fluent and often bombastic. On this CD Jaime got room to showcases his impressive abilities, already in the opener "Lobo Estepario" (four parts) delivering a sumptuous church organ sound, flashy synthesizer flights and spectacular interplay with the fiery electric guitar in "Odisea" (part 1), lush keyboards, sensational synthesizer work and Rick Wakeman like play in "Despertar" (part 2), wonderful classical orchestrations, piano and strings in the dreamy "Dos almas" (part 3) and spectacular keyboard work featuring organ and synthesizers in the bombastic "Mil almas" (part 4). The vocals are strong, often warm and a typical South-American overtone. The guitarplay (from twanging to fiery and heavy) and the rhythm-section are also worth mentioning. The other four compositions (between 4 and 12 minutes) are "Alas fugaces" (alternating with passionate vocals), "Bi-axis" (a Dream Theater inspired climate with propulsive guitar riffs, biting electric guitar and amazing duels between guitar and keyboards), "Tabatha" (sensitive electric guitar solo, beautiful piano work and emotional vocals) and "Vertigo 2002" (dynamic progrock like Rush and Gerard with a propulsive rhythm-section, great interplay, fiery electric guitar and swirling organ and slashy synthesizer runs). It's not music that will gain an award for elaborate compositional skills but it's very entertaining, often bombastic progrock from very good musicians. And it contains more emotion than bands like Dream Theater, Rush and Gerard because of the inspired Spanish vocals.
Erik Neuteboom, Prog Archives, England
With their second studio album, Entrance benefited from the entry of new members on three departments: both rhythm roles and lead vocals. The renewed line-up was at the time more willing to stick to Jaime Rosas' progressive nature, and simultaneously, guitarist Pilnik became friendlier with the idea of adding a higher level of sophistication to his punchy style. And that's how Entrance came from being a prog metal band more concerned with the metal aspect to becoming a more solidly progressive oriented prog metal band. The ballsy overall sound remains the same, yet the material reveals a decided attitude to deliver a more mature and complex set of arrangements and expansions from the main melodic ideas. The opening four part suite, based on Hesse's literary masterpiece "Steppenwolf", sets things clearly from the offset. The fiery, cleverly complex part 1 'Odisea' displays a well-ordained combination of Wakemanesque restless keyboard flourishes, ballsy guitar riffing and soloing, a tight rhythm section and an efficient singer who can use his natural romantic timber as a medium of emotional deliveries. For part 2 'Despertar' the fire is slightly decreased, but the progressive complexity remains unchanged. Part 3 'Dos Almas' is a vocal-keyboard duo in which Rosas and Scalpello deliver an effective marriage of melancholy and serenity: the vocals and the piano phrases work for and with each other. Finally, part 4 'Mil Almas' recaptures the bombastic vibe of 'Odisea' and ultimately takes the whole suite to an attractive climax. Rosas, who had already recorded his solo album "Virgo", is obviously a composer who is confident with his vision as a vehicle for Entrance's maturation.
A bit less ambitious but equally impressive rearding melodies, orchestrations and interplaying is his other composition 'Bi-Axis', a 3-part suite. Actually this one sounds more cohesive in the linkage between all sections, while 'Lobo Estepario' was more like a soundtrack to a story through its different chapters. Between the two is a very good new version of a track from the debut album: with this line-up, the energy comprised in the original version (IMHO, the best song from "Entrance") is carried out with an enhanced exquisiteness. 'Tabatha' is a power ballad adorned with cosmic keyboard nuances: nowhere else in this album does Scalpello sing in such a moving way, portraying sadness with strength of character. The closure 'Vértigo 2002' is the most patent rocker, keeping its vibe loyal to the usual patterns of prog metal: catchy melodies, riffs arranged on complex rhythm patterns and tempo shifts, amazing pyrotechnics on guitar and synth, powerful drumming, complex bass lines. Whilke Scalpello sing his lines, the instrumentation fluids very solidly all the way. A very attractive end for a very good album: "En la Tierra" won't disappoint those symph prog lovers who don't mind a bit of extra rock nor those prog metal fans who are curious about what is done in the genre outside the Anglophile and European contexts. 3.5-4 stars for this one.
Cesar Inca, Prog Archives, Peru.
Press play, and your walls immediately reverberate with the deep, rumbling echoes of a church organ. After a minute the bass, drums and guitar join in – it's a huge sound, and as the simple riff repeats several times you know this is going to be a really interesting ride. As that thought settles, the lead guitar and a synthesizer come to the fore with a tight passage of brilliantly traded leads. And you're just getting used to that, and the clear, strong vocals kick in. Hold onto your hats, folks, this should be fun! Entrance is a five-piece progressive rock band from Chile. En la Tierra is their second album, and with just one or two minor adjustments they ought to find an enthusiastic fan-base. It is hard-edged progressive rock, reminiscent of the best of the '70s, fairly melodic and very well played. They claim to be heirs of the progressive tradition of Yes, ELP and Genesis, and those influences are very apparent. You will hear the bass guitar – you won't have to listen for it. The sounds produced by Rodrigo Godoy's bass are dominant and played aggressively in the higher registers. But the signature sound in the instrumentals is the tightly combined keyboard / guitar work. Jaime Rosas's keys are very reminiscent of early Wakeman, and his dominant sound is the synthesizer –which is rich and melodic but may be slightly over-used for some tastes. What you'll remember most is Jaime Scalpello's vocals. They are strong mid-range tones with a crystal clear delivery, sung in the style of the best Italian prog. All lyrics are sung in Spanish. This is not an album you would pick up because of its cover-art. The CD's cover is a mess of green and brown with white shapes and the notes and lyrics are printed entirely in Spanish. Now – most progressive rock fans don't mind foreign languages, but we'd like some kind of English-language description in the liner-notes. Aside from the failure to accommodate their English-speaking audience, if there's a criticism it is that the songs lack individuality. The musicianship is stellar and the long multi-part tracks are rich in changes in key, tempo, and time-signature, and there are long intense passages that will tax your energy. Production is good but the mix attempts to force every note of every instrument to front-and-center. A wonderful wall-of-sound is one of the huge rewards of listening to progressive rock, but it can get exhausting after a while. You can't help thinking that the occasional ballad and a more subtle mix would considerably enhance the listening experience. Considering the overall quality of the album, those are minor complaints. Let's leave it at this: The 1970s Italian prog scene is not dead – it is alive and well and living in Chile.
Duncan Glenday, Sea of Tranquility, England.
It can be quite interesting to receive popular music from "exotic" countries. Like this band: Entrance, five guys from Chile. They formed in 1997, and the recent "En La Tierra" is the band's second release. And whenever an album starts with deep church organ sounds, you can bet it's going to be prog rock ...
The music of Entrance is firmly rooted in the "classic" prog rock sound from the late seventies. The band claims to be inspired by band like Yes, ELP, Genesis, Rush, Queen, Journey, Deep Purple and Dream Theater.
The Yes influences are quite strong, particularly in the individual musician's department. Bass guitarist Rodrigo Godoy has that typical low and brutal Squire-sound; Richard Pilnik's electric guitars are very "Howey"; keyboardist Jaime Rosas plays some typical Wakeman thingies (also ELP and some Triumvirat come to mind); and Alex von Chrismar plays loads of those "rattling" drum breaks I always associate with Starcastle (a wellknown Yes clone). Having said this, I must point out that Entrance's music is not typically Yes style, often darker, and with some of the power of ELP thrown in.
The playing is quite good, with a tight band feel. There's a strong emphasis on the instrumental parts. Very characteristic for this band is the combined sound of guitar and keyboard. The word 'solo' seems less appropriate here: often all the players "go crazy" simultaneously (not unlike Yes on their Tormato album).
As for the vocals: Jaime Scalpello sings in Spanish. His voice is difficult to describe: high and powerful, but with some Latin sensuality thrown in (perhaps a bit like Colin Blunstone). I have no idea what he is singing about (my knowledge of this languague is limited to 'OLE' + 'HOLA'). But it sure sounds like he is tackling some Really-Important-and-Dramatical-Issues here! The CD booklet has all the Spanish lyrics, which is good. In fact it's completely in Spanish, which is not so good. (And as for the front cover: it's extremely bad!)
There are 8 tracks on the album. I will not go into a detailed analysis, just a short description. The first 4 pieces belong together (they form an epic called Lobo Estepario). The 4 remaining tracks are also rather 'epics' than song based. I have played the album several times now, but I didn't spot any particular weaker or favourite moments. En La Tierra contains good traditional prog rock, with a modernised sound and style, but without too much "innovation" (or maybe even originality). I particularly liked the instrumental side of the band, which has quite some exciting moments. The song material could be a bit more diverse though, as I find the songs lack some individuality.
Rob Mitchell, The Dutch Progressive Rock Page
En la Tierra was recorded in 2001, so after four years playing with Entrance, we knew what we wanted to do... and we did it. We knew what kind of band we wanted to be in terms of composition, sound, live shows and record label relationship. I composed the four movement suite Lobo Estepario (based in Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf) and co wrote Bi-axis with Jaime Scalpello. We also recorded a new version of Alas Fugaces, which I have composed with Claudio Morice for our debut album. Richard Pilnik contributed with Vertigo and Jaime Scalpello with Tabatha. En la Tierra is all we wanted to be as a band since all the elements we really cared about are present: melody, harmony, structures and the strength only rock music can give. We had a great time making this record and I can still remember the BBQ we had for our private celebration with the band. The music sounded so good, we were all so proud of this work. And we still are... well, maybe not that much about the cover art...