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Review: Mägo de Oz - Gaia
Mägo de Oz

Label: Locomotive Music
Year released: 2003
Duration: 72:25
Tracks: 12
Genre: Folk Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: April 20, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers Rating

Rated 3.89/5 (77.78%) (9 Votes)

Three years after the awesomeness of Finisterra, Mägo de Oz come back with what it is the beginning of a planned trilogy. Musically they still follow the same style but on this album it is a bit more expanded. There is an orchestral feeling attached to the songs – they always had a classical element but by listening to the beautiful instrumental intro "Obertura MDXX" I noticed they're more in the forefront. Not only that but the orchestral passages on the songs are longer as well yet somehow it enhances the songs rather than distract you from them.

After the intro, Gaia strikes with the title track and it is one of the best songs that the band has made and an instant classic. From there the songwriting remains fairly consistent, displaying that unique style with songs like "La Costa del Silencio", "Alma" and "Van a Rodar Cabezas". When the band tries to slow down, they are not as good, evidenced by the boring ballads "El Árbol de la Triste Noche" and "La Rosa de los Vientos". But all that is forgiven as the album closes with "La Venganza de Gaia", oddly like the title track it clocks at 11:03, both are equally as good and are a great example of how Folk Metal should sound like (they are always at their best when making these types of songs).

The musicians are given enough room to shine and each of the band's nine members does not disappoint. If there are drawbacks to Gaia is that the album itself is too long, lasting more than 70 minutes, and the lyrics are in Spanish. However, once again the music is so strong that you shouldn't care. I've heard complaints that the guitars are absent but I just don't hear that, they may be a little more in the background when the other instruments come to play but in no way does it lacks great riffs and solos. Mägo de Oz clearly know that they are a metal band and the guitars are an important part of their sound.

Gaia is a worthy follow up to what they've done previously. I don't know if it is better or worse but one thing I do know is that it belongs in their discography. If you don't know about them, this is a good place to start and if you are a fan of Folk Metal you can purchase this without reservation. Absolutely recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: Finisterra (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Gaia II:La Voz Dormida (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Gaia III: Atlantia (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
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