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Apparently, we won't miss José Andrëa... That mu - 75%

calderabanuet, August 2nd, 2013

Mägo de Oz are one of those almost-mainstream acts that most metalheads tend to despise. Even so, I truly believe their music, lyrics and general concept to be quite interesting, and I’ve enjoyed almost every single release they’ve put out. If you ask me, MdÖ are consistent, if anything. Now recently, they lost one of the strongest staples of their sound, and “Hechizos, Pócimas y Brujería” seems to be an attempt to proof that José Andrea’s departure won’t prevent them from rocking as they normally do.

Being this work an introduction for Javier “Zeta” Domínguez as the new singer for this Spanish outfit, vocals and therefore lyrics are definitely something to pay special attention to. As far as lyrics go, it’s nobody, but Txus Di Fellatio, drummer and indisputable leader of the band, who actually writes all lyrics and songs for Mägo de Oz, and his thought-provoking poetic style is now unmistakable. In fact, lyrics is one of the reasons why I started listening to them in the first place, about twelve years ago now.

Txus has been able to mix pure poetry, philosophy, fun of the rock & roll type, myths and legends into a very effective blending of memorable verses and vocal melodies. Now regarding the melodies, the Halford-like vocal lines this man writes are nothing but pretty demanding, and that’s when Zeta makes his appearance: A former singing teacher, Javier Domínguez has a big post to fill here, and he definitely succeeded at that. Not only is he up to the job, but he actually nurtured the vocal department by displaying a more stable voice than the one we’re used to… Yes, José Andrëa’s peculiar tone will be missed, but not for long.

So yes, the vocal duties have been gracefully fulfilled here, how about the music? Well, good ol’Txus has done it again: his pompous and at the same time simple formula keeps working.

Hard rock base + Celtic music arrangements + power metal moments = FUN!

And the fun comes also from several pretty amazing moments when all instrumentalists take turns to show off their musicianship and proficiency. Listing such moments would be a huge anti-climax, so, why don’t you explore the album yourself? It’s worth it.

Yes, the formula keeps working, vocals are as good as usual – perhaps even better, and everything seems fine… BUUUUUT I’ve listened to this before. It’s not they are repeating any of their albums altogether, but it sounds as though they re-made some of their most emblematic songs. As I said, I’m positive the main goal of “Hechizos, pócimas y brujería” is to proof their audience that Mägo de Oz will keep rocking for many, many years, and that even the loss of such a distinctive element as the vocalist that sang for them for 15 years won’t prevent them from that. In the process, they sacrificed a lot.

All in all, I found this work quite fun if something. There are some pretty amazing songs here: “H2Oz”, “No Pares (De Oír Rock & Roll)”, “Satanael” and “Brujas” made great listening several, several times, and the whole work is fully professional and it surprised me every now and then. Even though is nothing exactly new, I’m definitely going over this one again in the future.

—Originally written for