Year of Release: 2003
Label: Arise Metal
Catalog Number: n/a
Total Time: 47:00:00
Spanish? No, neither am I. But Red Wine is and they play traditional power metal. And like the band Tierra Santa, they sing in their native tongue, which means I don't understand a damn thing they're singing. But I'm learning. Gracias? But that hasn't stopped me enjoying this rock-solid release, their third, from this 6-piece featuring twin guitars (Dan Díez and Jesus Zuazo) and a keyboardist (Ivan Crespo). This album is also mastered by Piet Sielck (Iron Savior) so they certainly were after a trustworthy European influence with which to parade this new album of theirs around with.
There are many great things about this album, but number one on my list is that they epitomise the term catchy in their heavy power groove metal. The galloping riffs mixed with a fresh dose of tightly layered keyboards have an air of authority, maturity, and a love of fine heavy metal about them. Like their Spanish counterparts in Tierra Santa, they play metal in a similar vein to Iron Maiden and HammerFall, just with a lot more keys; which means it's generally unoriginal, but there are enough elements to show that these boys know how to give traditional metal a kick up the arse. But, like many bands who sing in their native non-English tongue, such things as originality don't concern me as much as wrapping my tongue around their native language.
The song structures are all extremely familiar to anybody who listens to metal and it is within the confines of vocalist Mario Suarez where the band rises above other metal bands. His mid-range voice is extremely powerful and his ability to soar and inflect power and passion into his screams is just amazing. And just when you think he can't go any further; he does. Most of the choruses are group ones, which make the whole thing sound damn impressive, but then they do throw in the odd scream ("Gigantes De Hierro"). Same with the music. Whilst at times they drift easily into the traditional, they throw things at you that you wouldn't expect, and when they do, it's usually with grace, passion, and a touch of progressiveness, but always backed up with power (in particular "Fuego En La Sangre" and "Pesadilla"). The twin leading guitars of Zuazo and Díez create a thunderous impact, duelling nicely around some songs. Only the ballad "Tras El Portal," with added orchestrations, challenges the medium to fast pacing of the album and it's a song that shows the variety of Suarez's vocals.
For the first time, Red Wine have opted for one English-written song as the final track from the album ("Kill Me In Dreams"). A surprise given their history, and whilst musically it's on par with the rest of the album, lyrically, well, in a way I'm glad they sing in their native tongue. But this is still a step in the right direction if the band want to take their melodic traditional metal to a global network of metal fans. Let's wait and see.
In the meantime, Red Wine's Sueñnos Y Locura [which means what? - Non-Spanish PPO Ed] is a very impressive album and if you're looking for something different yet something familiar then check out this band. [By the way, the title translates to Dreams And Madness - PW ed.]
Similar To: Iron Maiden, Tierra Santa, Angra
[This review originally appeared June 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Sueños Y Locura /
Renacer / Pesadilla / Llantos De Otra Realidad / Sombra De Poder / Fuego En La Sangre / Rosa De Metal / Gigantes De Hierro / Alma Libre / Tras El Portal / Kill Me In Dreams (Bonus)
Dan Díez - guitars
Jesus Zuazo - guitars
Ivan Crespo - keyboards
Mario Saurez - vocals
Daniel Martinez - bass
Jose Antonio Ramas - drums
Hijos Del Despertar (2001)
El Fin De Los Tiempos (2002)
Sueñnos Y Locura (2003)
Genre: Traditional Metal