Cabezas De Cera - Cabezas De Cera - 2000


Cabezas de Cera is a trio formed by Ramsés Luna (clarinet, saxes and flute), Mauricio Sotelo (stick, bass and guitars) and Francisco Sotelo (percussion).


Mexico saw the arrival of a new wave of progressive rock bands in the last decade, enlarging its musical scene and consolidating the style in the country. It is actually amazing to see that the forerunners of this new Mexican generation, Kromlech, Códice and Cabezas de Cera, have all shown great debut albums and every band in a different style.

The fact is that, even before recording their first CD, they were already known and respected in Mexico City’s progressive rock scene thanks to their high musical skills in concert, which means, that their album had to equal or surpass the quality of the band live. Moreover, the brass-strings-percussion formula is something unusual for their country that makes them completely different to the rest of the Mexican progressive rock bands.

The 9 pieces included on this CD are based on many musical styles: classic rock, symphonic rock, jazz-fusion, Mexican folklore, experimental music, etc. There is always a constant musical communication between the three musicians, and it can even be confirmed with the opening track, "Veintiuno", that shows a harmonized guitar sharing the lead with the wind instruments and the bass while creating at the same time a melodic way that leads to "Gocxila". This is a terrific piece that includes Crimsonian guitars, lively sax that slightly remind of Malherbe‘s lines and a touch of 20th Century orchestral music (Stravinsky) before closing with a free saxophone part. There is also a touch of Mexican music and delicacy with the symphonic flutes of "Encantador de Serpientes" and its folk-rock influence. A very special guest is Nazca’s Jorge Gaitán and his Jean-Luc Ponty-like violin on "Un Pueblo Escondido", one of the most beautiful pieces on this album. "Caravana" is another magnificent piece that includes an experimental section, with Germán Bringas (a free-jazz sax player) sharing the lead with Ramsés’ saxes and flute. There is also an impressive rhythmic effort on "Pretexto a un Texto Fragmentado", a track that is based on percussion and Frippian guitar lines. The percussion also lead "Gitana" along with the saxes, creating a jazzy-underground atmosphere that prepares the way for "Frontera"and a symphonic jazz ambiance and calm. It is actually with the closing track, "Al Aire", that there is a small point: the inclusion of a voice from a radio DJ that conducts his program is not the best complement to the sax melodies and acoustic guitars.

There is one amusing point with this album: the CD is presented on a carton package emulating a product box that also includes, apart from the CD itself, a puzzle with the band’s logo. This is actually quite original.


To sum up, this band was introduced to the international progressive musical scene with an impressive eponymous album likely to please all prog fans (experimental, folk, jazzy or symphonic ones). There is no doubt about their quality and I can only say that these musicians are a very good example for other newcomers, if they could produce such a great album, other people can also do it and enrich the present prog scene. One advice for Cabezas de Cera: keep your minds open, don’t focus on one musical style and be aware that now you have to prove with your next works that an impressive debut album is just the beginning of an impressive career.

author - date - rating - label

Enrique Gómez - February 2001 -   - Angelito Editor