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Reino Ermitaņo : Brujas Del Mar

It seems to me that freedom is what Reino Ermitaņo's brand of doom is really all about. The freedom of the marginalized, the freedom of the outsider, the freedom of the alienated, and first and foremost the freedom of the individual to somehow remove society's strictures in the interest of pure self expression, to use all of one's gifts in pursuit of the lost chord, as it were. This is why Reino Ermitaņo ('Hermit kingdom') doesn't sound quite like anyone else; they've absorbed a Heinz 57 mixture of musical influences like a parched sponge, and have in turn produced a characteristic sound that is a synergy of all the group's members. And after all, isn't that what being a successful group is all about? Damned straight!

A while back Reino' produced a remarkably professional full-length demo, complete with custom artwork, that still stands as one of the best I've ever heard. They mixed a wide variety of instruments and moods into a heavy riffing doom framework overlaid with female vocals that really worked, and in doing so impressed just about everybody who heard it. The musicianship and songwriting were far beyond the norm; how ironic to think that there are musicians of such ability struggling in the Peruvian underground while folks with far less talent get the big bucks in the northern hemisphere. But then, playing doom of any variety is not about getting rich.

Ideally it's about honest expression, and those that were into the group's eponymous CD will be happy to learn that all the things that made it a success are back with 'Brujas del Mar' (translating to 'witches of the sea'). The mandolin strumming, the doomy power chords, the light and the dark are all here, only a bit heavier and harder than before. They move effortlessly between moods, frequently in the same song. 'Curandero De Una Realidad Incierta' opens with a doomy riff St. Vitus or Acid King would be proud of, with vocalist Tania Duarte going a bit more over the top than she has before, combining Lori Acid King doominess with distorted old crone singing that sounds like ole' Meg Knuklebones from the classic Ridley Scott film Legend. 'Voragine' is a hard rocker with a doom chorus and some fine guitar playing, while 'Magdalena' has a pretty, acoustic vibe which seems to rise like a vision straight out of the Pacific Ocean to hover high above Peru's Andes mountains. But pounding doom is never far away; 'Crepuscular' and 'Hoy, La Tarde' are excellent cases in point.

So what influences add up to a sound like this? Try 'Sabbath, Pentagram, St. Vitus, Celtic Frost, Witchcraft and Acid King added to a solid foundation in the classics composed of the likes of Budgie, 'Tull, and Motörhead, then add in a host of Peruvian bands you've never heard of. Hell, even the cover (by bassist Marcos Coifman) adds to the effect, with it's aquatic brujas swimming languidly through the sea like doomed Modiglianis. The fact is, this music also conveys a sense of spirituality and freedom, feelings that no list of musical influences could accurately describe. For that, you'll just have to get the disc for yourself. Let's doom!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Intro: La Corte
2. Curandero De Una Realidad Incierta
3. Voragine
4. Elipses
5. Alajpacha
6. Crepuscular
7. El Fauno
8. Hoy, La Tarde
9. Oraculo
10. Rosas del Reves
11. Oceania
12. Magdalena Del Mar

Duration : Approx. 59 minutes.

Visit the Reino Ermitaņo bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
Forever Autumn
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