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Review: Avalanch - El Ángel Caído
El Ángel Caído

Label: Flame Records
Year released: 2001
Tracks: 15
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: October 6, 2002
Reviewed by: Steel Warrior
Readers Rating
El Ángel Caído

Rated 4.75/5 (95%) (8 Votes)

With metal growing and expanding every day, we obviously can expect bands coming from very different countries to express their feelings and thoughts through music. Most of them will use English language to express since it is the universal language. Well, that's not the case with Avalanch. Coming from Spain, the land of bullfighters, olives and "chorizos", this guys decided to express themselves in their native language: Spanish. Avalanch are not newcomers to the metal scene. They exist as a band since the early 90’s having recording 3 previous albums: "La llama Eterna " (1997, Underground Symphony), "Llanto de un heroe" (1999, Donosti Rock) and "Dias de Gloria" (2000, Flame Records, live album).

With their symphonic and super-melodic power metal trademark, they had become as one of the most famous metal bands in their native Spain. And with their latest release, "El Ángel Caído", they have reached the pinnacle. This is not only their best release so far, but the best Spanish power metal album I have heard in my whole life. This album is so magnificent, that it blows almost half of European power metal albums. "El Ángel Caído" is pure melody at its maximum expression, musically and vocally.

Vocalist Victor Garcia is just an awesome singer. His voice is very deep, with a raspy overtone and very capable of hitting the high octaves range. His voice can be described as a mix of Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan. What a reference!!! To complement his excellent voice , Avalanch employs just majestic backing vocals that will remind you of what Shadow Gallery does today and what Queen did in the past. The rhythm section? Awesome also. Bassist Francisco Fidalgo and drummer Alberto Ardines play so tight and precise, almost synchronized giving the album a very compact and heavy feeling.

The guitar work is just out this world. The rythm guitars are very heavy and chunky, melodic and also very precise and tight. Lead guitarist and main songwriter Alberto Rionda, seems that he was a Magna Cum Laude student at "Solo Lessons 101". His solos are very carefully done, very unique and so vibrating that you will hope they will not finish. Add to all this a "not over employed, just necessary" keyboards handled magnificently by Ivan Blanco. So what is the result of the sum of all the parts? Very heavy and melodic guitar riffing ala Iced Earth, vocal harmonies ala Queen, in a up tempo, not so fast, songs. These bands are influences in their sound, but honestly Avalanch sound like Avalanch. Their sound is very unique and cannot be compared with another band.

Album opens with an excellent intro "Hacia La Luz" that will setup the tone of the album. "Tierra de Nadie" follows, with it double-bass drumming and heavy riffing with a lot of passion and melodies shown by vocalist Victor. Track #3, "El Ángel Caído" opens with a very symphonic keyboard passage, heading to a wonderful guitar harmonies. This songs has a rhythm and flow similar to Black Sabbath classic "Heaven and Hell", but when reaching the chorus the Queen backing vocals appears again and the song increase speed. Track #4, "Xana", is like if you mix Iced Earth riffing and add Helloween "Keepers " era melodies and harmonies, with a awesome solo in the middle end of the track. At track#6 , "Levantate y Anda", Iced Earth riffing appears again with vocalist Victor executing his best performance of the album, and with the Queen styled backing vocals showing its maximum force. This is in my opinion the best track on the cd, and one of the best pieces of metal ever listened by these ears. Yep, that good!!

As all this was not enough, the album sound and production are crystal clear, and so perfect that I can't even believe that this album was released in an indie label. So, fellow metallers, we are in front of the best metal album ever came out from Spain, and one of the top releases so far this year in the whole metal movement. I suggest you to get some of your hard earned bucks and buy this majestic release. And for those who don't understand Spanish, get a Spanish-English dictionary ‘cause the lyrics also are magnificent (yes, guys, I speak Spanish and can enjoy this at its maximum. :)

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