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This album is almost perfect. Not because this is the most known death metal band from my country. Not because I'e been following masacre's carreer since 1989, during their demo-days,, no. This album is *almost* perfect, but it lacks something. Heaviness. Masacre had such an aggressive sound in their "Ola de Violencia" EP that one couldn't even try to imagine how their demo songs would sound with that heavy sound. Alas, we do not live in a perfect world and something happened during the recording and production of "Reqviem", that ruined the sound of masacre as we knew it so far. The result is a very good album with a very poor sound. That's why this album is *almost* perfect.
I remember the first time i had my hands on this CD. It was back in 1992, and even though I knew most of the songs from their demo-era, I was greatly impresed with the new songs this full-length album had to offer. And it begins with one of them
Intro-Reqviem: Two acoustic guitars being played with rain and thunder as background sounds. Not that original, but there's no better opener for the first actual song...
Cortejo Funebre: Written during the most violent years Colombia has seen so far, it is a very dark, melancholic song. A slow, heavy riff, the drums making the introduction and then the first growl from Trapeator gets the show on the road. The lyrics describe the general atmosphere during a funeral march. The dead person could be anyone; a politician murdered by the druglords of that era, a little children, killed during a crosfire, taken to his final resting place by his family and his neighbours, you name it. But it doesn't really matter, becayse this song manages to accomplish something outstanding: Every spanish-speaking metalhead who listens to this song and reads the lyrics, actually feels the anger, frustration and despair expressed by Alex Oquendo's voice.
Justicia Ramera: Masacre unleashes good, old, death metal in their own unique way. Fast, aggressive guitar riffs and a crafty drumwork serve as a vehicle for Oquendo¡s lyrics, in this case dealing with the mindless murders and the uselessness of the colombian justice system, unable to do anything and whoring itself to the best bider.
Brutales Masacres: a classic song from their first demo, skillfully performed by this deathmetallers. You'll findyourself banging your head to the catchy guitar riffs --specially the solo part-- and the tempo set forth by Bull Metal's double bass. And even if the subject mnater is a bit weird for a sing-along song (it describes the massacres which took place in Colombia between 1988 and 1991, the state of unwillingness/unableness of the population and the deathlike atmosphere of the country), this is on of Masacre's 'anthems' so to speak.
Sepulcros en Ruinas: Thrashy death riffs, marching drummming and the earth consumed by fire, a vision of the deserted Earth in which the entire human life has been annihilated.
Escoria: Perhas the most "death metal" song of this album. Oquendo's growls sometimes turn unto raspy screams, matching perfectly with the music and you can actually hear Dilson's bass licks setting forth the rythnuc oattern for the second half of the song.
Ola de Violencia: This is perhaps the song I like the less of this album. I mean, masacre is a great band, this is an awesome CD, but you can get easily bored when all the songs deal with the same thing: how a wave of violence reigns supreme all over the fatherland.
Tiempos de Guerra: This is, actually, the first Masacre song I ever heard and albeit a bit simplistic, is a very powerful tune.
Conflicto de Paz: A mid-tempo thrash-death metal tune. Well played, catchy rythm section, smart lyrics. One of the best masacre songs ever.
Cancer: Another mid-tempo headbanger, which develops strongly towards a fast ending. Quite aggressive material. Juan Carlos guitar work is simply remarkable.
Blasfemias: The closing track of the album and, to me, the best song on it. The lyrics deal with the corruption and the hypocrisy of the Church and how the blasphemies often come from the so-called men of god.
To sum it all: An essential for any fan of south american metal, a must have for any one who prides himself for being a Colombian metaller.
Just a thought: Masacre re-recorded "Conflicto de Paz" and includewd it in the european version of their 2004 album "Total Death". I just ask myself why they don't re-record this masterpiece...