Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 3/23/2005
posted on 10/2005 By:
Without a doubt, this is one of the strangest albums I’ve had to review. It’s the kind of music that immediately makes me think it French, for some reason. Although in actuality, they come from just south of there, in Spain. What Rex Devs plays is a bizarre style of off-the-wall blackish metal. They routinely mix four vocal styles: one is a textbook black metal raspy screech, another is a deep growler usually given in fast cadence, a third is a female voice that sings delicately and higher-pitched, and the fourth is a woman’s talking voice, sounding like a foreign newscast. The lyrics are not in English, a fact which is easily determined by the sounds and accents of the indiscernible vocals.
They’re music is equally as jumbled, crossing trebly black metal tremolo-picked riffing with cheesy organs and synthesizers, which are quite loud in the overall mix. The production is very clean, but too thin on the metal instruments, and by that I mean the guitars and drums, which leaves the keyboards to set the mood. Bouncy folk or viking-metal melodies are the norm, especially from the synths, resulting in an overall package which immediately reminds me of one band – early period …And Oceans. Particularly, I’m reminded of the Dynamic Gallery of Thoughts album, before they went industrial on us. The avantgarde music of Ensoph may compare as well.
Zodiaco may be a concept album, considering that all of the songs are named after the twelve signs of the zodiac, in addition to an intro and closing track. This certainly makes it easy to name your songs, at least. “Aries” has some interesting melodies, even if the vocals get a bit overwhelming. The Viking influence is strong here, while still being one of the heavier tracks on the album. “Leo” starts off out-of-character, with an old-school speed/thrash metal riff which leads into ominous keyboard lines. It’s only fitting that this song starts out the hardest, seeing as how I’m a Leo. Conversely, songs like “Virgo” have no business here, being seven minutes long, sounding mostly like a Nightwish ballad, but with harsh black metal vocals laid on top.
This is one of those albums that is a chore to score. Rex Devs put a lot of work into it, producing about 80 minutes of professional music. I imagine that the band succeeded in writing the album they were seeking to write, but they are playing a style of metal that lacks much of a base. While there is little that is blatantly flawed about Zodiaco, there is little that draws me back to it. Regardless of my views, if you’re into weird but well-done, keyboard-heavy, extreme metal with widely-varying vocal work, then Rex Devs is your band.
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