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Latzen > Ardi larruz > Reviews
Latzen - Ardi larruz

When thrash goes wrong - 12%

whensunburnsred, May 1st, 2010

Seriously, how can someone go so wrong… This is the type of album that is released when: a)The band never was good and this is just an additional volume in their crappy series, or b)The band is lacking ideas and is about to extinct. The present is the latter case and they certainly would have better retired instead of releasing this one…

Their first demo, Heriotzari deika, was dark thrash metal with melodic hints; hard, heavy and a promising start for a new band. Next, the first full-length release, evolved to a more melodic approach and lost the dark atmosphere of the demo, but still delivered the goods with a sound quite close to Metallica’s … And Justice for All. In Ardi Larruz, we get watered-down slower thrash, with both melodic and raw tunes, and using very distorted lead guitars.

While keeping a well balanced production, like the previous album, this time the good ideas were obviously lacking; despite the riffs are aggressive (for example the main in “Indarra”, “Ohituraren menpe”, “Ardi larruz” or the last riff in “Iritsiko da eguna”), these are boring and generic most of the time, and the lead guitar work is not nearly as enjoyable as the one we could listen to in their previous works. In addition, the minor problems that were present before, are now accentuated; more silly, non-catchy choruses (see the terrible ones in “Itsutu”, “Izatearen giltza” and “Bakean naiz”) and vocal lines that have a horrible contrast between high-pitched and low harsh singing. In fact, I would say the singing is possibly the worst problem of this album; “Ohituraren menpe”, for example, wouldn’t be half as bad as it is, had it been an instrumental, or exclusively sang with low harsh vocals. The problem is that Aitor sounds too whiny when he dwells in the high frequencies, – even more than before - and his singing doesn’t really fit well with some of the heavy riffs. Moreover, when he tries to be more melodic, the result is too radio-friendly (for example the chorus in “Aukera baten bila”). The average speed of the songs doesn’t help either; mainly dominated by mid-paced and slow songs, the album plods and you really get a hard time going through it, wondering when will it end (which is never a good sign).

The song writing was never the most inspired department, but this time they have too many breakdowns, which don’t help to the already slow rhythm. For example, the mid-paced “Gor” is saturated by these, and the pretended effect on the song doesn’t really work at all. Were they even trying to do something good? “Ardi larruz” starts with a killer riff, very heavy and harsh singing, but afterwards they start making stops / breakdowns every now and then, and in addition, the bridge and the chorus sections just kill it.

So which is the highlight / abortion rate? Very close to zero. In fact, there’s not a song that hasn’t any of the problems named above; the songs that have enjoyable riffs are ruined by the awful vocal lines, and the few times the vocal lines are not completely worthless, the guitar work is mediocre and generic. Other songs are simply filler material with 0 good ideas, and are awful even by the album’s standards; “Iritsiko da eguna” is a pointless, dull ballad where nothing is going on, – it’s not moving, it’s not relaxing… it’s just there, completely indifferent - and suddenly finishes with the best thrash break ever to be performed by Latzen (why would anyone waste his best riff to end a worthless song is a mystery for me). “Izatearen giltza” is an example of everything going wrong, like trying to make the musical equivalent of Freddie Starr; the vocals sound whinier than ever, generic and powerless riffs, silly leads randomly here and there, and a horrible chorus with ridiculous backing vocals and echo effects. Another notable example of utter shit is “Lurra odolean” – which has mostly modern rock guitars and vocals - , where the fragmented vocals are so annoying, and the guitar work is so bland and rock-styled, that the song turns unbearable for the thrash metal fan.

I don’t give it a 0 score because there are some moments – never a complete song, though – that are enjoyable. Only for diehard fans, collectors or just in case of total bargain. In case you like this one, then you should kill yourself, but try Heriotzari deika and Infernuko ateetan before you do anything, because these are far superior.