Release DetailsLABEL Cruz Del Sur Music
RELEASED ON 10/14/2003
Legiones Del Sur
posted on 11/2003 By:
Galloping. Can you ever get enough galloping? Who among us hasn't wished upon a star at some point that every song we heard would gallop? I blame Maiden. The Trooper and Run to the Hills. Actually, I guess you can look to Priest for covering Diamonds and Rust the way they did ... and I guess Joan Baez for writing the song so as to be interpreted the way it was. Fuck it, blame horses for introducing the gallop as an efficient method of locomotion for a hoofed animal of that size. Whoever we can blame, the gallop in all its many incarnations is the chosen style for our Powermetal speaking friends Jezabel, who come to us from Argentina on steeds of steel and with hearts forged in metal glory \m/. God this shit takes me back. There was a time when Powermetal was a type of song that heavy metal bands, usually from Europe would write. Usually it was a one or two-per-record situation, sort of a "blow the roof off this motherfucker" anthem that came before a dark and moody song on side two. Jezabel certainly knows about the galloping anthem. Nearly every song on this record is one. Up tempo, powerchorused and solo-fraught, these are the songs of people who learned their lessons at the feet of Steve Harris. But part of Steve's genius was that his gallopy songs were interspersed with gloomy crushers and straight rockers. Apart from the one mid paced track the constant pummel of the galloping time signature loses effect after a while. By the end of the record I forgot to even listen anymore. I had to replay a few tracks just to be sure I caught everything. I understand that powermetalheads might actually approve of this, though. Being from Argentina, the lyrics are sung in Spanish, a language I cannot speak. And I want to recommend to all Powermetal singers that they follow Jezabel's lead and sing their songs in Spanish as well. When I hear PM lyrics I find myself wishing more than anything that I couldn't understand them, so Jezabel is actually doing me a huge favor. I can't hear whether they are butchering the English language or placing too much emphasis on certain syllables... The gentleman's voice is merely another instrument. I almost want to crank the songwriting score up a point just for this reason. Vocally, he reminds me of a young Geoff Tate, but not quite as nasally, and slightly more tasteful, although he does rely on vibrato far too much. His voice would gain a great deal of emotional authenticity if he would back away from his Adam's apple. Musically the band has ferocious talents. Both guitarists, despite having a dated mix, have flowing, organic leads, duets and solos. The keyboardist gets to go off and displays some nimbleness of his own without dominating any of the tunes - good eye. Metalheads like guitars: keep em up front. The bassist is a monster, with a round, treble-less sound and a style that dances around the incessant power chords and licks. He is a busy motherfucker, but he is not the focus, which is a cool trick if you can work it. He gets a little bass solo which is more musical than flashy, and I dug the fuck out of that. The drummer is top form, but due to the way the drums were produced he can sound a little messier than he really is. That is a big drawback in the production area. The snare drum sounds so canned that you almost get to hating it after awhile. When the drummer rolls the snare steps on itself and the result almost sounds like mistakes. Listen close and you can tell it's not the drummer's fault, though. Other than that I found the production to be a little on the smooth side, but at least it was tasteful. Every member is represented and the songs have a crisp - but dated - sound. Bottom Line: Hey, I don't like power metal anymore. Haven't since...Powerslave, really. But I don't hate it, and this record is a pretty good example. It gets old, it's predictable, and it’s anachronistic. But it’s well played, energetic and unapologetic. I have heard better modern power metal records, but this band has provided a decent outing and an obvious love of the style. I won't listen to it very often, but I bet some of my Steel Beast Metal Heart Warriors of Blood and Honor and Glory would.
Register to post comments.