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Latzen > Kontzientzia ala infernua > Reviews
Latzen - Kontzientzia ala infernua

Good Effort - 74%

whensunburnsred, November 29th, 2009

Latzen is an obscure band that released a demo, two full-releases and a farewell live album. After releasing their excellent demo “Heriotzari Deika”, their first album “Kontzientzia Ala Infernua” came out in 1996. As far as I can remember, the Demo was really worth getting, and this work is still quality material and much better than the last full length album “Ardi Larruz”.

There are many reasons why this album is worth getting. Although this is not a Thrash masterpiece, many songs in here are real killers and the rest of them are of acceptable quality. Don’t expect darkened raw Thrash in here, their style is closer to Metallica rather than anything else. Production in this album is clean and every instrument is perfectly audible. The singer has melodic high-pitched vocals and when he wants to be more aggressive he uses the deeper ones, either way, the performance is very good along the whole album, though, there are few moments where they turn into, let’s say a bit silly. The spoken part on “Indarra” or that final scream in the ballad “Laztana” are good examples of this. These “black spots” are not very serious, but they let you with this bitter feeling of “if they just took that off or made it a little better it would have been flawless”. The bass usually follows the rhythm guitar and sometimes it’s amazing, for example in “Ze ingo Xu?”, which it’s almost a Speed Metal song, is perfectly audible and listening to the bass so clearly at that speed increases the feeling of speed up. The lead guitar tone is very, very similar to “…And Justice For All”, even the soloing sounds a lot to old Metallica, but just simpler. Nevertheless, the important thing is that it works, like food: putting lots of ingredients in a pot won’t give you any guarantee of success, on the other hand, very simple dishes may have just eggs, onion and potatoes, but they fit perfectly and the result is delicious as far as it’s well cooked (mmmmmmm, potato omelet). So even if there’s neither awesome shredding nor the most beautiful melodies ever, songs are usually catchy and they work. Rhythm guitars are also “Metallica” influenced, think of “Ride the Lightning” rhythm guitars but cleaner and heavier and you will have an accurate idea of how this sounds. The drums also do a decent work in here. Neither fast as hell “Darkness Descends” drumming nor complex rhythms to be found in here, “South of Heaven” this is not, but it fits perfectly with the music.

So far everything seems to be quite good, but obviously there must be something wrong, something that prevented this album from getting a higher score. Although most of the time the “keep it simple” formula works, there are moments where it doesn’t. A good example of this is the solo in “Aurkitu Zaitez”, which has neither melodic quality nor technical interesting parts, and since riffs and chorus are neither head-banging nor catchy, the song can only be labeled as filler material. The instrumental “Indarra” really doesn’t work very well neither; it has some interesting lead guitar work, but lacks interesting riffs as well, and even if it’s not very long, it finally gets quite boring. The intro just can be labeled as pointless. Usually intro songs make sense when they introduce you to future content of the work (like “The Titanic Overture” in “The Crimson Idol”) or just warm up for an immediately coming killer song (like the one for “The Hellion”). Certainly this is not the case: they start in a “Peace Sells…” style with the bass and the drums, then some random “Latzeeeeeeeeeeen” screams come in, and when it seems something is going to start, it fades without building anything interesting. I also dislike the overuse of echo effects on vocals, like in the end of “Laztana”, where they try to create some nostalgic effect, but more than transmitting nostalgia it seems that someone has stapled his dick to a stove. “HIES-a ihes” is a song that could have been amazing, if it wasn’t for the repetitive (in the “Off The Edge” sense of tiresome repetitiveness, well not so much… but almost!) chorus “HIES-a iheeeeeeeeeeees”, and (again) the pointless echo effects that are not used very wisely.

They certainly got quite close to being outstanding with this album, and it pisses me off because I feel they could have gained that point with a little bit more of compositional taste and more originality (the “Metallica followers” feeling also comes too often). So overall I’d say it is worth getting this album. It’s not the ultimate Thrash album, and it won’t outstand in your collection, but it has very good moments like “Metal Erasoa”, “Bat Gehiago”, “Ze ingo Xu?”, “Laztana” and “Mezua Hil Aurretik” which will make worth listening to it. “HIES-a ihes” and “Mamuak Baztertu” are also enjoyable tracks. If you are a Thrash maniac you should definitely check this out, and if you are not you may also enjoy it.