El Adversario is the second album from Chilean heavy metal band MELOMANIAK, compiling of 12 tracks, with a run-time of 40 minutes. Never having had the pleasure of listening to MELOMANIAK previously, I had no idea how much of a punch this band would pack – and that is quite a big one.
El Adversario allows no time for preparation for what is to come as it hits you instantly with twenty seconds of fast tempo, hair raising guitar riffs. The opening track, Melomaniak, is a three-minute instrumental containing extended guitar solos, expert drumming and head banging breakdowns. Nothing too dissimilar to what we have heard before, but unique enough to want to continue listening to the rest of the album.
Considering I am not, by any stretch, fluent in the Spanish language so it proved difficult to understand any of the lyrics on the album. However, this did not stop me enjoying it one little bit! Due to the album’s diverse sound, I found it hard to even fathom a guess at what is being sung about, but it is still very easy to appreciate Claudio Melo’s wide vocal range. Everything from the screams to the rolling R sounds demonstrates Claudio Melo’s great range of vocal capabilities.
The second track, Adversario, almost feels as though it is an extension of MELOMANIAK due to the use of the segue (who doesn’t appreciate a good segue?). The occasional punk influences can be heard throughout MELOMANIAK, as well as the rest of the album, which is certainly not a bad thing!
Checking out the rest of the album was an experience. A favourite segment of the album for me is the groovy bass line, performed by Fernando Forttes,on the track Bajo Fuego. It adds a different aspect to the album’s sound and certainly put a smile on my face. A hearty bass line is always an added bonus!
There are two tracks on the album which instantly gained my approval; Mal Nacido and Regüeón. These tracks have the most impressive openings on the entire album. I instantly found myself head banging to them. A minute and a quarter into Regüeón, a silly, yet pivotal moment on the album for me, as a break occurs and ‘Yeah, baby’ is said in a seductive manner. Maybe this was not intentionally meant to be funny, yet I found myself laughing way more than I should have been.
Half way through the album is a slower track, titled Estrella Negra, which features huge guitar riffs. The song is a welcomed change of pace and provides a chance to catch a breath. A steady drum beat and a predominant bass line, accompanied with the aforementioned guitar riffs are a recipe for success.
The second half of the album continues in heavy hitting fashion, just like the first 5 tracks of the album, with fast paced drums; an abundance of guitar solos; breakdowns galore and an extremely satisfying range of vocals. MELOMANIAK really are a talented band!
El Adversario is not a groundbreaking album in my opinion, as I would liken it to many big names in the metal industry (PANTERA, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE to name a few), but they definitely have their own take on the style and have produced a very good album! One thing I love about listening to bands from across the globe is hearing the unique sounds that can be identified with a specific country or continent. Unfortunately, although the album is great, I felt it lacked in culture and originality. It does, however, stand as living proof that spoken language is not the only method of great communication.
Words: Jack Andrews
El Adversario is out now.
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