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If you thought Barón Rojo were good in studio, just listen to this and rejoice thee! Being this one of the first live albums I can recall starting with – back in the late 80s, when tapes were valuable -, I feel a bit biased towards it, in the memory of a really happy childhood, even though I’ll try to keep myself away from “fanboyism”. This one came out after the excellent Metalmorfosis, and since their first 3 albums are their best masterpieces, the tracklist is the cream of the crop; “Barón rojo”, “Resistiré”, “Con botas sucias”, “Concierto para ellos”, “Los rockeros van al infierno”, “Tierra de vándalos”… the only tracks I miss are “El malo” and the ballad “Siempre estás allí”, but hey, not getting the 100% of the tracks you would like is not such a tragedy.
To start with, the production is really excellent; very sharp bass sound, excellent balance of the instruments, the public is perfectly audible and you never lose the sensation of being listening to a live performance, – unlike Running Wilds’ late era live recordings or the Death or Glory Tour VHS, which sounds like a studio compilation – which is what I’m looking for when I listen to a live album. The band manages to sound even better than in studio; with a lively performance and a lot of attitude on stage. This leads me to the next point: which is the purpose of gathering several thousand people in front of a performing band? Many will say that this is a way of clustering outcast and anti-social hairy, sweaty guys so they can release their adrenaline on specimens belonging to the same species, but the right answer is to sing all at a time the glorious anthems that praise the magic in metal. Happily, Barón Rojo happens to be particularly skilful in this department; if something is characteristic of this band, is the sing-along nature of their songs, and the instant catchiness. Therefore, it is expected for their songs to improve and get to the next level when performed live. A good example is “Campo de concentración”; this particular song is quite gloomy itself, but when you add the live sound, the audience clapping and some echoed sounds, the overall atmosphere is just awesome and works wonders in it.
As a plus, previously unreleased songs are included; “El mundo puede ser diferente”, “Mensajeros de la destrucción”, “Buenos aires” and “Atacó el hombre blanco”. The first two are gloomy songs in the vein of “Campo de concentración”; the first one on up-tempo rhythm and the second in a mid-pace trot. Otherwise both have the usual elements of classic Barón Rojo; very present bass sound, characteristic guitar work with many leads, and catchy choruses. “Buenos aires” is an excellent instrumental with showy guitar work, fast pace and colourful leads. The main lead is so fucking catchy that you won’t forget it in a long time after you listen to it. The last “new” song is “Atacó el hombre blanco”, which is not very good, to be honest; the chorus sounds hasty and out of key; many verses sound a bit forced, and despite having a good solo and a good main riff, the vocals ruin the song. There are a few additional flaws in the album; discontinuity between tracks, and the guitar solo in the 2nd cd, which is far too long and dull in the beginning. Even though, these are minor details that don’t prevent this from being a great album.
This is Barón Rojo live in a double cd, and this deserves a spot in your collection together with Live After Death, Alive in Athens and Strangers in the Night. Moreover, if you don’t know the band is also a good starting point.