Tuesday, July 9, 2013

traditional melodic heavy metal: Tierra Santa (Spain): "Mi nombre será leyenda"

traditional melodic heavy metal: Tierra Santa (Spain): "Mi nombre será leyenda"
Some people have called Tierra Santa the "Spanish Iron Maiden," but that has not been a correct description for years and years now. This is their 9th album since 1997, and at this point in its career, Tierra Santa articulates a more unique, midtempo, traditional, heavy rock-based sound, rather than the speedy, fast-paced power metal for which they used to be known.
The central members of the band are the same, there is no big shift in lineup to announce, so everything is 100% good on that score. The talent for songwriting has become more experienced, and the talent for the execution of the songs is definitely that of confident veterans, who in the long run, have found a more specific sound that is Tierra Santa's identity.
However, it is important to be honest from a metal perspective, Tierra Santa has toned down the heavy metal substantially compared to their classic, power-metal glory albums like "Sangre de Reyes" (2001) and has even brought it down a notch from "Apocalipsis" (2004) which is a great album, with a less power-metal approach. Specifically, on this 2013 album, the guitars have been pushed into a less prominent position, and keyboards are more upfront. Secondly, the drumming is midtempo, and it's difficult to hear any double bass work.
Thus, you should look into this album, ONLY if you are ok with Tierra Santa's more heavy rock, less power metal sound, and you like to give bands a chance when they make changes as they grow older.
Of course, of course, they are very capable musicians and they function at a high level of professionalism, and this album represents the quality songs they have been doing for a long, long time.
Here's a breakdown of the rockers and semi/ballads.
uptempo heavy rockers:
Mi nombre será leyenda
Perdido en el paraíso
Ghenghis Khan
Hasta el amanecer
El último
Más allá de la vida
Solo se vive una vez (semi-ballad)
El cielo puede esperar (another ballad-ish song)
Si estás allí (very, very AOR, 80s ear candy, like Journey and Survivor)
Héroe (acoustic version)
In summary, despite the fact the drumming is the weakest, least creative I have heard on any Tierra Santa album, it is ok and I'd give the drumming a grade of a 70. The songs are fun and Tierra Santa-like, which, for me, is the most important aspect.
If you are a rather open-minded listener of Tierra Santa, then here's another very good album by the experts.

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