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NEPAL – MANIFIESTO.
Nepal’s third full-length studio album is in my opinion their weakest one; it is just a decent modern thrash album with many experimental moments and some Power Metal influences (their bassist is now on a Power Metal project). A lot more mid paced and less aggressive than before, the guitars are choppier but not so fast and the bass is way too much distorted. On the other hand, the vocals are great as always and the drums are fine.
The album features an extremely angular and modern sound, but still keeping well away from the shitty groove-oriented sound of such gay albums as “Tempo Of The Damned” and “The System Has Failed”. If Nepal hadn’t split up after this release they had probably returned to the old thrash way or either turned into something similar to Beto Vazquez’s solo project.
The album features a lot of guest appearances: George Biddle, Ricardo Iorio (ex-V8, ex-Hermetica, Almafuerte), Kiko Loureiro, Andre Matos (ex-Angra, Shaman), Hansi Kursch (Helloween) and Martin Walkyier (ex-Skyclad).
“La Saga” is a melodic intro (composed by André Matos) with lots of atmosphere and keyboards that sometimes sound like a cruel sexual intercourse that Matos had in the medieval times. “Perfil Siniestro” is a mid paced track with a nice chugging riff and a cool chorus, mostly because of the contrast of Larry’s harsh voice and the acute voice of Andre Matos. Next is “Besando La Tierra” that starts out slowly and acoustically but then becomes heavier with nice keyboard touches and some backing vocals by Hansi kursch. The song achieves its peak when it fastens a lot and excellent leads are pulled out by Javier Bagala. It even includes a violin section by Georgina Biddle. Next is “Más Alla Del Asfalto” is a modern thrash tune that starts with 1 bar with the guitar only and then 3 bars with bass and drums, before the riff changes and goes over to the same riff as is backing up when Larry comes in singing. It has some amazing leads towards the end and great harsh/gruff vocals by Larry. The Sabbath cover “Children Of The Grave” kicks a lot of asses, Larry’s English is pretty poor but the song is really faithful to what Sabbath had done back in 1971.
“Lukumi” is a nice tribal track mostly made of percussion and tribal drumming. Next is “Estadio Chico” which is a mice modern thrash tune full of groove-oriented passages and with lyrics about a guy being murdered on a thrash festival. “Lanzado Al Mundo Hoy” is a V8 cover featuring Ricardo Iorio on vocals singing on duo with Larry Zavala. Next is “Nadaismo” which starts out acoustically and at 1:55 it morphs into a heavier and mid paced song with some nice leads and Larry’s scary and grunty voice. “Ciegos De Poder” is the insane thrash-fest with gang vocals and a cool guitar and drum synchronism. The album ends with “Besando La Tierra (Alternate Version)” which is like a rougher version of that song, not very different from the original version and after a while, at 8:12 we can find a hidden track. The thrashiest shit on this album, why wasn’t this one included as an original song?.
The odd monotonic solos by Javier Bagala are there as well as some nice bass work, although Beto Vazquez doesn’t play as greatly as on “Ideologia”. Larry Zavala’s gruff/harsh vocals can make even the boogeyman wet his pants. Fernando Vega’s drumming is consistent but still not comparable with the drum work on “Raza De Traidores” and “Ideologia”.
Conclusion: If you are a fan of this band then you may want to get this one. I picked this one up because I found it cheap.