Jun 22, 2012
Reino Ermitaño - Veneración del Fuego ...
The album starts off with 'Quimera' and it immediately presents the listener with a recurring problem with the tracks on this disc....basically they don't know how to end a song. This is a 9 minute epic that really should end at around the 5 minute mark. All too often, riffs and ideas seem to run their course but they are then extended for another few minutes which kills all the atmosphere that had been built up in the meantime. That is really the only downfall to the album because everything is else is doomy perfection. Sure the band can be plodding but they have a captivating charm that is hard to match in doom metal. The guitar riffs are awesome but are bled to death at times but the vocals of Tania Duarte are better than ever. The mystical, alluring quality to her voice remains strong and even though all the songs have Spanish lyrics, she presents them in such a way that they become a universal language. I can't speak Spanish but I still find myself trying to sing along with some parts of this album, it is impossible not to.
'Quimera' is a classic Reino Ermitano opener despite being all too long but the next two tracks might just be better still. 'El Sueno del Condor' is the albums shortest track and perhaps the most generic but it is also the most assessable and that is followed by 'Sobre las Ruinas' which is delivered in the bands typical, passionate style but with no surprises for the experienced listener of the band. However when track four comes along 'Desangrándote the album starts to become far more adventurous. This track is sabbathian heaviness at its finest and the crunch of the main guitar riff is pure ear-candy for traditional doom metal fans. This track is first real essential track the album has to offer, not that the other tracks are weak, it is just this tune is almost perfect in every detail. It sounds in many respects like Solitude Aeturnus if they have of existed circa 1972, it is sabbathian but with a 70's proggy undertones.
'Cuando la Ruz te Encuentre' is another potential masterpiece that is marred by being too long. This track has a captivating blend of sounds and styles that even includes violin and what sounds like cello but I could be wrong. The track has plodding doom passages, folky interludes, psychedelic leads and even a drum solo so they squeeze a hell of a lot into the 9 minutes of this piece. However it tends to all fall apart in the last few minutes where it simply runs out of steam and just when you think it is going to end, it continues on and on and on. The following track doesn't suffer such issues; 'Soy el Lobo' is just beautiful while staying dark and true to the trad-doom format of melody and emotion. 'El Rito' and 'Vente al Fuego' come next and the quality seems to drop just a little. These two tracks seem by-the-numbers traditional doom and even sound a bit like material they have done before. Seeing that these take up over 13 minutes of playing time, you may find yourself a little restless getting through these two tracks. Neither track is bad but both tracks have no memorable features and seem a little haphazard.
'Sangre India' and a outro piece titled 'Cadáver, Semilla, Renacer' bring the album to an end in a unique way. They blend folk, psychedelic and traditional middle eastern music with traditional doom and for the first time on the album, the extended playing time seems worthwhile. I think this band proves once and for all that doom metal can be a highly intelligent form of music. This album has considerable depth and can be enjoyed multiple times as the album brings new surprises with each spin. Fans of the band will notice, it offers nothing new but that is fine by me but newcomers to the band may hear some of this as generic doom plodding. This album could have potentially been a "doom metal classic" if it wasn't for the all too-long songs and raw production. That production is kind of cool at first but after a while you start to wonder, what it could have been with a huge sound. Regardless, fans of the band should be more than satisfied and for everyone else, if you want to hear something unique in doom, this is a band you can't go past.....8/10
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