|The album is dragged down by the inability of Reino Ermitano to know when to quit.|
If you’re sick of hearing about bands bringing back old-school doom, or if you’re sick of hearing about female-fronted doom metal bands, then move on. For the rest of you, Reino Ermitaño and their album Veneración del Fuego just might catch your fancy. They could just be the best Spanish-language doom band outside of Japan.|
Kicking things off with a Sabbathian riff, they let you know right away that they’re playing old-school doom. It’s not all Sabbath-inspired, but the vast majority of it could be decades-old, from the brooding “El Rito” to the crunchy “Desangrándote.” The only strange thing about most of the record is the vocal style. Where Corrupted’s lyrics are often in Spanish (for no apparent reason), Tania Duarte’s clean singing voice sounds Japanese to me (also for no apparent reason). For comparison, check out Gonin-Ish or Onmyo-Za. It’s neither bad nor good, but it is unusual.
I’ve hinted that there are some strange elements to this record, and they might seem like complete curveballs considering how traditional the rest is. “Cuando la Luz te Encuentre” has some distorted strings (cello, I believe), and they sound very cool. After a drum solo, they plunge into a psychedelic guitar solo with the strings returning in atonal form. Or take “Sangre India” with its psychedelic overtones and flute. More of this experimentation would be quite welcome.
The album is dragged down by the band’s inability to know when to quit. Many of the songs are too long and plodding, and they drag the solos out like they’re showing off to their musician friends. Opener “Qimera” is the worst offender on both of these fronts. The album is over an hour, but could easily have been culled to 40 minutes.
Still, there are strong glimmers of hope. The heavy, raw production, with live-sounding vocals, is very good. They may have too many songs that stick around too long, but they also have some very strong material, like “Sangre India,” “Desangrándote,” and “Soy el Lobo.”
If they learn how to put more tape on the cutting room floor, and go after that experimental angle more, Reino Ermitaño could produce something very interesting. As it is, Veneración del Fuego is a fairly solid effort, with a little too much fat.
Check out http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/ for more metal reviews and commentary from Kelly Hoffart aka Full Metal Attorney.
Click HERE to discuss this review on the doom-metal forum.
2. El Sueño del Condor
3. Sobre las Ruinas
5. Cuando la Luz te Encuentre
6. Soy el Lobo
7. El Rito
8. Vente al Fuego
9. Sangra India
10. Cadáver, Semilla, Renacer
Duration : Approx. 66 minutes
Visit the Reino Ermitaño bandpage.