|Argentina's Dragonauta has made an astonishing doom album, a set o'tuneage that refuses to be hidebound into received ideas of what "true" or "real" doom really is. These dudes have incorporated their record collector backgrounds and wedded them to their love of doom to create something that is uniquely theirs. This is, after all, what great musicians do, and it's part of what keeps our music community vital and creative.|
In the interest of maintaining that all-important writer/reader trust, I should disclose to you that I've been corresponding with vocalist Federico Wolman for about 3 years now. I was the first person outside Argentina to score a copy of their 'Sabbathy demo, which was later reworked and included on a split with Natas. I also have an unreleased demo from a couple of years ago, which indicated even then that Dragonauta was not going to sit on its 'Sabbath for very long. Anyway, Federico is a man of the highest integrity; it would give him the horrors to think that our friendship would affect this review.
In fact, if anything it raises the bar. In the interest of being fair, I may have been harder on this album than on some unsolicited disc I received in the mail. No matter, because even under a rather severe version of the critic's microscope this album smokes the doom, working its juju until you're addicted enough to play it daily. At least, that's how it's been for me. The album is best characterized as progressive doom, with long songs mixing in every genre from blues to psychedelia to metal to doom to stoner to jazz to flamenco, for God's sake. The astute listener will pick out shards of better-known bands like King Crimson and 'Sabbath, combined with early 70s Argentinian music made by the likes of Vox Dei or El Reloj.
'Bruta-Vu (Hijo del Diablo)' is a good portrait of tuneage to come. It's characterized by Federico's powerful, rough yet melodic vocals, which sound like Tom Warrior wrestling Dave Sherman with Lee Dorrian officiating, mixed into a 5-alarm stew of progressive metal, complete with lots of rhythmic changeups, hot guitar leads, and let's not forget some tasty cowbell. Whew. The pagan 'TomegaPentagram' has some nice guitar reverb reminiscent of that early prog sound, while 'Vidreo Negro' is quite jazzy, with a flamenco guitar outro. 'Anthologia de un Hombre Santo' kicks it old school with an extended drum solo from Ariel Salito straight from your favorite 70s stadium show, while 'N.I.G.' is the doomiest track of all.
Despite the many and varied influences, there's no doubt that this is a top-flight doom album. You can tell these guys took the magic and practice, practice, practice! There's no substitution of attitude for ability here; Dragonauta has earned every doomed note of this album with sweat, knowledge, and chops. If you've heard the split with Natas then be prepared, because this band has developed far beyond the 'Sabbathisms of yore. And don't forget to check out the Hellhound-label style artwork. Let's Doom!!
1. Bruta-Vu (Hijo del Diablo)
3. Vidrio Negro
4. The SuperChrist
5. Antologia de un Hombre Santo
7. Funeral Magico
Duration : Approx. 56 minutes
Visit the Dragonauta bandpage.