Release DetailsLABEL Cruz Del Sur Music
RELEASED ON 4/24/2008
posted on 6/2008 By:
Dantesco's debut album, De La Mano De La Muerte, didn't make the huge impact I had hoped it would in the metal scene. Of course those hopes were rather far fetched and I doubted they could entirely come true as the band definitely don't play a style that would garner them such attention. The band works within an interesting niche and creates impeccable music around it, their style being based in doom metal (think Candlemass) but with epic metal stylings (conjuring Manilla Road or Battleroar). Thing is, if that wasn't enough, the band are incredibly over the top, singer Erico La Bestia utilizing a very operatic approach that relies heavily on vibrato... not to mention the lyrics are in Spanish, which instantly turns off many potential English speaking fans who, for whatever reason, find it hard to accept a band singing in another language.
So, Pagano, 2008's follow-up to Dantesco's debut, is recorded and released, to little fanfare of course and I can't help but feel disappointed as one of the better albums of 2008 is looking to be almost entirely ignored by the metal community. As stated earlier, the band's previous album was a great mix of doom with epic metal elements, the vocals and lyrics giving the band a rather unique take on the style. For this album guitarist Daniel Ortiz has been replaced with Dennis Tores and drummer Diablo exchanged for Wampa (don't ask me about those names). One difference I have noticed with the new album is that while the vocals are even more eccentric, musically the band is adding some different elements. The riffing, at times, can be a bit more stoner inspired and in other moments there's some interesting riffing that seems to be like an old school take on more modern influences. Production wise this sophomore effort is rather close to the debut, the guitar sound being pretty simple and not overdone, while the drums have a tendency to dominate the mix here and there, especially the hi-hats.
Opening track, "Santa Cruce Titulus", throws down that epic metal edge the band has right away. Bouncy riffing, with the heavily vibratoed vocals create a perfect rhythmic and melodic pair. It's in "La Ultima Visita De Grendel" where the stomping doom metal really comes out. In some ways the riffing reminds me of the recent Wall of Sleep disc, in that it's still traditionally doom metal but there's touches of some more modern influences at work here, at least before the song hits a more melodic side for the pre-chorus and chorus, where the vocals become rather frantic, jumping from pure shouting to drawn out notes. The song, like the opening track, dips into more melodic sections, much more restrained, held back pieces before hitting the listener with a modern take on an Iron Maiden rock out run. With seven out of the nine songs on the album being longer than 6 minutes it's not surprising to see many of the songs containing many strong deviations from the original theme, more often than not creating a nice balance, rather than a simply distraction that should have been left on its own; Annihilator coming to mind as an example of how not to do the same thing.
The drawn out "Su Sangre Es Mia" is vocal and drum driven. The guitar riffs being sparse single notes, and short melodic runs, leaving lots of extra room for those exceptional vocals to dominate. The long bluesy, emotional solos in this song are something to behold, though quite probably something that will end up being ignored by the vast majority of people that listen to this album. Atmosphere dominates the opening of "Exorcista" before the song changes, picking up the pace with melodic picking, and dual tracked vocals. Of course, with most of Dantesco's songs, change isn't far away, and "Exorcista" is no exception, things get soft, heavy, acoustic, the whole gambit of feelings is thrown down in "Exorcista", much like the rest of the songs on the album; each song becomes a roller coaster of emotions, feelings, and moods.
The album is a combination of different pieces, often put together into full, flowing songs that never skip a beat. Sure, the band can be over the top, overly exaggerated but it's part of the charm in Dantesco. If the band weren't over the top, these songs would fall flat, they'd have no emotion and the album would be lacking. Dantesco are a band that shouldn't be ignored.
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