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The first sounds coming from this album show beyond doubt that Tierra Santa reached another level of heavy metal. By all means their previous four lps were absolutely well performed heavy stuff, but some similarities to Iron Maiden gods were obvious if we talk especially about the song structure and melody lines, even Spaniards were described as the Spanish version of the authors of “The Number Of The Beast”. That’s true, but of course there is no cheap imitation here, and in my opinion Tierra Santa was evolving step by step through the years to something unusual and here I have the fifth effort with something extremely good. To put it briefly, forget about Englishmen. “Indomable” has its own identity. The identity that led them create a masterwork called “Apocalipsis”…
To start the review I’d like to pay attention on front cover. It isn’t the best picture (I think, it’s too childish), but this is general ‘problem’ of the band. Fortunately the standards of sound production didn’t change. That’s good because it kills! Once again well known duo (Juanan and Javi San Martin) from the previous albums is present – realization is superb, crystal clear and spatial, however I do not find any signs of sterility. Everything is audible, but is this album worth the trouble? The beginning of the first track “Alas De Fuego” cuts up their last performance “Sangre De Reyes” beyond the shadow of a doubt. Although it is maintained in mid-tempo, I consider this a really opening killer, especially when after one minute Spaniards show the change of rhythm supported by excellent melodic lines and vocals. This patent will be widely used on the next “Apocalipsis” monument as well. Of course not only this thing is a moving force here, but also great chorus with superb melodies and powerful riffs. And these vocals of Angel… I mentioned just above about some Iron Maiden musical similarities, but vocals are… original, yes, that’s correct word here. He has nothing to do with Dickinson or any other heavy metal singer. It is like another element, a real vis medicatrix naturae. On the one hand it is incredibly strong and expressive, on the other hand: warm, sensitive and maternal. There is no weak point, and the next track is an irrefutable evidence, it has similar opening: once again the Spaniards show the metal fury, this time the drum cannonade enter the stage with fast tempo, it is not very complex stuff yet Tierra Santa strikes with killing, vivid, heavy riffs and easily flow into paralyzing chorus which is here a real decoration: the Spaniards have unique ability and talent to create original melodic lines and this track is a corroboration of my words. So, “Indomable” is one of the best songs not only on this album, but also in whole career of Tierra Santa. The middle of this killer is filled by excellent hard galloping riffs and solo lead after first chorus. Very interesting is also presence of additional verse with changed melodic lines. To put it briefly – this is absolutely classic in Tierra Santa repertoire.
After two fine heavy metal shots, there is a time to take some rest. The third offering isn’t a ballad, simply it is played in slow and mid pace. I think “Quién Llora Hoy Por Ti” is a disappointment. Why? Maybe I can hear some similar tunes to Axel Rudi Pell (overall atmosphere of the song, guitar leads)? The song is rather long, yet musicians show once again memorable chorus and very interesting guitar work which ends the track. Six minutes pass, so it is time for “Hamlet”, alive and kicking. Here I’d like to mention very original (again!) melodic lines in chorus and second part of song which ends suddenly after almost four minutes. It’s good, because the next pearl enters the kingdom of heavy metal. It is entitled “El Canto De Las Sirenas”. This is simply beautiful thing, after sensitive and quite calm introduction, there is a stanza without hard guitars, and with the words “… Sus ojos…”, conversion into another level of metal melody is done once again… For sure this monolith is a proper song to put on “Apocalipsis” track-list. I am delighted!
The next on the list is “Coro De Guerreros” (it divides the album into two parts) which is in fact a short introduction for number seven: “Las Walkirias”- the next classic with excellent riffs (hails to both guitarists Angel and Arturo!) and I have an impression of repeating myself… The same I can write about the next “El Corazón Del Guerrero”, in addition, this is the best offering on “Indomable”. Without doubt, heavy metal attained perfection in this track. The second part seems to be a genius, the next “Azote De Dios” maybe isn’t as good as two previous songs, but I can indicate here long solo lead lasting from 1:42 to 3:20.
During listening to these nine songs, I can arrive at one conclusion. I probably deal with (almost) perfect heavy metal, but unfortunately one song “Las Puertas Del Infierno” (“Gates Of Hell” in English) remains on the end. And I can’t understand it, simply it doesn’t fit here due to some strange happy (!!!), joyful and merry tunes. Look at the title! Even Angel vocals are changed a bit, many keyboards effectively softens the sound. It seems to be added at the last moment and surely the final effect of “Indomable” is weakened. Of course there is one valuable advice, you can push the stop after “Azote De Dios”, but the review refers to the whole. This last song is some kind of divination I guess, because their album “Mejor Morir En Pie” is based someway on “Las Puertas Del Infierno”. And this means that “Mejor…” is very weak metal offering as compared to the rest of Tierra Santa albums.
Finally I would like to write some words of summing up: personally I regard “Indomable” as an introduction to forthcoming mighty “Apocalipsis” album, where the formula for tremendous success is simple: skilled and talented musicians with absolutely brilliant vocals (Spanish!), riffs, drums and metal spirit. Each component is inseparable and the Spaniards mixed everything in perfect way. Although music isn’t too complicated, it effectively conquers my metal heart. I wrote about the flaw (last track), it reduces the final mark, but I very often return to this album. The album is almost ‘indomable’, but the best is yet to come. “Apocalipsis” is coming…
This is a pretty big step up from the other Tierra Santa album I've heard, (Legendario) and judging by the songs I've heard from their other albums, this is probably their most consistent release. The band has made improvements in just about every aspect, and some european power metal influences have given the band a more varied palette to paint with.
The overall tempo on Indomable is not as high as on Legendario, but Tierra Santa make up for the lack of speed and aggression with more varied songwriting, more tasteful lead guitar work and tighter performances overall. Angel and Arturo's guitar work is more focused on rhythm riffing this time, and they appear to be more than capable riff-writers. Songs such as the title track and Las Walkirias feature some pretty damn aggressive riffage. Hell, the title track is pretty much no-bullshit speed metal.
The rhythm guitar tone is excellent too, crunchy and gritty, and the lead guitar tone is crystal clear. This band is blessed with a damn fine metal producer, that's for sure.
The lead guitar work is a bit reined in compared to Legendario, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The band seems to have aimed for quality instead of quantity on this release. Quien Llora Hoy Por Ti and Las Walkirias shine with brilliant leads and solos, and Ángel and Arturo go beyond the call on Azote the Dios. Listen to that middle section, and prepare to pick up your jaw from the floor. World class metal lead guitar.
Iron Maiden is still the biggest influence on here, and songs such as Hamlet and Las Puertas del Infierno are straight-up worship, but there are some other influences at work here as well. Quien Llora Hoy Por Ti and El Canto de las Sirenas are more atmospheric numbers, while Alas de Fuego, for example, owes quite a lot to european power metal. Aditionally, the songwriting on here is just plain better, with stronger riffs, catchier choruses and more ambitious arrangements. On this album, the usual high quality Tierra Santa tunes share place with some real killers such as Las Walkirias, which is just a stellar song all around, and Alas the Fuego, one of the higlights of the band's career with an unforgettable, galloping main riff and an equally unforgettable chorus.
After discovering Tierra Santa and hearing my first songs by the band, I didn't really believe that they were capable of writing an album this good. Indomable is just a hair short of being a masterpiece of Spanish heavy metal. The guy who introduced me to this band told me that they sold out after this album. That's a damn shame if it's true, but at least they left us with some damn fine heavy metal before throwing in the towel.