Italy's De La Muerte is a young band, formed only last year. But the have their first self-titled album and a label gig. Not bad. They also have somewhat of a novel twist for their lyrical themes. At least I don't know of another band doing it. They take inspiration for their songs from the Nuestra Seņora de la Santa Muerte, or Our Lady of Holy Death, cult in Mexico. A corruption of Roman Catholicism and the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it's a favorite of the Mexican drug lords. Nuestra Seņora de la Santa Muerte is considered the patron saint of crime, criminals, and the dispossessed.
It all sounds rather ghastly, grim, and dangerous. (Think of Denzel Washington's Man On Fire.) It makes sense that De La Muetre would put these ideas to the sound of heavy metal. Their take on the classic genre is to simply be aggressive, hard, heavy and often pummeling in their approach. Yet, underneath all this ravaging metal is solid rock groove. For instance, Die n' Roll is a total speed metal monster, but with toe-tapping groove.
Alternatively, the tempo backs down on Fallen Angel or Silver Bullet, with the rhythm section rocking and rolling, and the guitar leads flying. While the groove is definitely the thing in De La Muerte's arsenal, they can reduce things to being plain heavy metal thumping as with Secret Witness. Yet, in the later third it has light breakdown, only to come roaring back. Something similar, I'm Not A Legend has this nice, almost bluesy, smooth guitar lead, followed by vocals, over a quieter introduction. This then develops into another steady metal number with strong riffs and big drums. There's also some notable, but small, symphonic elements within several songs, like the opening Tequila Funeral and closing Sorrow, probably done with guitar synths rather than keyboards. The wildcard in all this is Gianluca Mastrangelo's vocals. Definitely a traditional metal vocalist, strong with some screamo tendencies, but even in the few quieter moments you can't understand him. Generally, De La Muerte's debut is a robust one, defining their heavy metal sound and lyrical concepts, even if they can get a tad predictable in the end.
De La Muerte's debut is a robust one, defining their heavy metal sound and lyrical concepts, even if they can get a tad predictable in the end.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]