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Released: 2011, Indie
These guys are newcomers in the global Power Metal scene. This Bolivian quartet put out a demo several years back and has now offered the world their debut album called PREMONICION. The Bolivian traditional Metal scene isn’t huge by any means with only a couple dozen of bands in this style but there is some quality coming from the nation following the liberalization of the nation in the mid-90’s. Bolivia, like many South American nations didn’t really get a start creating Metal music as a cultural commodity until almost 20 years after Europe and North America, and the local scene, centered around the three main cities La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, is strong and productive and growing.
Armadura to my ears is one of the bright lights coming from Bolivia. Like many bands on that great continent they draw heavily on their influences and have yet to develop a distinct, individual sound. However, upon further investigation bands like Armadura are incorporating some regional elements into their classic sound that make for an exciting and dynamic listening experience. What caught my ear were the use of many pan-pipe/flutes into the Metal mix, something I had never heard before. The entire back half of the song ‘Sin Hogar’ is a mix of military style tattoo drums, simple snare rolls and panflute sometimes called a zampona.
In addition there is some flamenco/Spanish guitar scattered about the album, making it quite unique. The only other time I can really think of hearing acoustic flamenco guitar mixed with Metal is on the early Conception albums like THE LAST SUNSET. That might seem odd as Conception was from Norway but the sound was there. It seems more authentic and natural to hear those guitar styles fully integrated on PREMONICION.
The Metal component of the album is strong and proficient but not world-class…yet. The lyrics are not in English which may be a hindrance to the enjoyment by some, but that has never bothered me personally. The songs are traditionally composed, simplistic Power Metal, fast to mid-paced and conventionally arranged. The performances are up to par and the production is average. A better production might bring out the nuances and a good producer might be able to push the band to achieve more. The vocals of Rodrigo have a bit of gruffness but he could use refinement to develop his range and evolve beyond his ‘talking’ style into a pure singer.
PREMONICION is a solid and recommended debut album. It has enough flair and diversity to make them a contender in a crowded and competitive genre.
2. Fin del Balance
4. Flying higher
5. Sin Hogar
6. Hacia ti
7. Viviendo un infierno
8. Aliento Universal
9. Ama sua, ama llulla, ama khella
Rodrigo Tejerina - Vocals
Ivan Mendez Cossio - Guitars
Franz Thamez Rossel - Guitars
Marco A. Sanchez Martinez - Bass
Boris Mendez Cossio - Drums
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