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Album Review: DE LA TIERRA De La Tierra

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The topic of ‘supergroup’ or ‘all-star’ band conjures some images of epic failures and some distinguished triumphs; De La Tierra being billed this way immediately became a turn off to the band. Imagining a South American version of Chickenfoot or something terrible like that came to mind, but when their eponymous debut album began, it became clear that this might be something we have never heard before… yet at the same time familiar.

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De La Tierra features Andreas Kisser of Sepultura , Andrés Giménez, former leader of A.N.I.M.A.L., Sr. Flavio, bassist of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, and Alex González, drummer of Maná. All bands who have quite a bit of clout in the Southern hemisphere, with varied sounds from nu metal, rock and even ska. They don't necessarily appear to be the cloth from which a ground breaking heavy metal album would be sewn, although that was what they had set out to do from their first discussions nearly eight years ago.

Their discussion started with the group beginning as a power trio, but quickly led them to tap a more metal foundation with Kisser manning the guitar duties, producing the album themselves and recording in several different studios, but bent on creating something different. First and foremost their decision to record in Spanish and Portuguese cannot be ignored. Not being bilingual can be a pain sometimes, but friends who are tell of inspired lyrics that are hopeful and powerful. It automatically separates itself from common releases on the modern day shelves.

Musically they glide gently in on an acoustic opening track builds into Kissers guitar tone on “Somos Uno” and rips open its unmistakable signature, that bouncy rhythmic thing that only Kisser can seem to replicate. The structures of the songs are straight forward rock/metal songs, nothing complicated, but once the vocals kick in in their native tongue you get bent in a totally different direction. Not hearing this style done in this language in recent memory most definitely sets it apart, but the mind immediately flashing back to less grindier bits of Brujeria, although De La Tierra does not come close to their extremity. This could have been a tough selling point, but the metalcore sing scream style will have you singing along with the first single “Maldita Historia” even if you don’t speak the language.

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The most head-cocking thing is the direction they took their song writing: heavy verses and singable choruses, very hook-driven melodic songs that are really listenable, but unfortunately may lack some of the longevity. Once you get past the novelty of listening to De La Tierra, they fall into the trap of repeating much of what they had done on previous songs and it sounds like you skipped back to earlier in the album. For a first effort of a pet project from some obviously good musicians, this is a decent album, but if you are out to find groundbreaking, toe-curling orgasmic metal, you will have to keep going; a potentially great band who still has to discover where they are headed.

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