Released: 2002, Locomotive Music
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
If I considered live albums as candidates on my year’s end “Best Of” lists, then this album would win Album Of The Year 2002, hands down. FOLKTERGEIST is the latest release, an 18-track double CD-live album by the best band to come out of Spain.
I was fortunate enough to discover Mago De Oz through some MP3s and purchased their double-album studio release of 2001, FINISTERRA, and I instantly fell in love with their folk-traditional metal style. Mago De Oz combines the best of folk metal, such as Skyclad’s finest, with some great power-traditional metal leads and rhythms. What really makes Mago De Oz special, however, is the addition of two extra band members, a violinist a flautist who give the band another dimension that few other bands can match. The lyrics also are written entirely in Spanish. Although my understanding of the Spanish language has deteriorated over the past few years, my appreciation of this release is undiminished. This is due, at least in part, to the inherent beauty of the Spanish language; it is a language for poets. Sitting down for a while, I was finally able to decipher some of the lyrics and was rather impressed by their quality. On this release, the listener will find quite a variety of styles ranging from slow ballads, fast-paced power metal, and pure folk jams. The guitarwork here is very good, and at several points during the CD, I could swear that some of the melodic leads and solos came directly off one of Iron Maiden’s golden classic albums. In addition, the production on this album is flawless; the recording captures every note, in addition to the interaction of the crowd with the performance. Most impressive on this disc is “Hasta Que El Cuerpo Aguante” (I believe this translates, roughly, to “Until The Body Holds”?), which features thousands of fans singing along to one of the folkiest songs on either disc. Other great songs on the disc include “Satania,” “Jesus De Chamberi,” and my personal favourite Mago De Oz track, “Fiesta Pagana.”
Unfortunately, I cannot read in the text where and when this album was recorded, which leads me to believe that it is compiled from various recordings from Mago De Oz’s extensive tour of Spain and Europe during 2000 and 2001. I was most impressed to learn of the band’s large following in Spain. When I read in the liner that the crowds at some of the shows ranged from 16,000 to 35,000 fans (In comparison, Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings hockey franchise, sells out games to about 19,000 fans). Reading their webpage, I found out that FOLKTERGEIST, released on 05-27-2002, has already sold gold in Spain.
FOLKTERGEIST is a most amazing album from a band that has quickly gained my appreciation as one of the best bands that I have heard in some time. I recommend this album most highly.
Visit their webpage (in Spanish) at http://magodeoz.com