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Iron Maiden in Spanish, anyone? - 75%

Emerald_Sword, November 20th, 2009

It would be impossible to talk about Tierra Santa without mentioning Iron Maiden. These guys would pick up some other influences later on in their career – mostly from the new wave of european power metal that was sweeping across the continent at the time – but in 1999, they worshipped the metal gods from London as much as Primal Fear worship Judas Priest. Dual lead harmonies abound, fast 4/4 or 3/4 beat drumming (there’s barely any double bass on this album) and lyrics about history, mythology and classic literature characterize Tierra Santa’s music, and the production job could have been used in 1983 without turning any heads.

The songwriting here is rather simplistic, with songs usually built around one or two riffs. Song lengths vary from 3 to 6 minutes, and the tempo is constantly high, with only a few slower sections. The obvious problem with this is that only a few songs truly stand out. Some songs tend to run together into a mesh of melodic lead riffs and constant bass-snare pounding. A rather enjoyable mesh, but a mesh nonetheless. Some tempo changes certainly wouldn’t have hurt.
Ángel’s vocals are the biggest difference between this band and Iron Maiden. He sounds more like a standard european power metal vocalist, with a quite nasal tone and a high upper range. His vocals are quite rough on here, and sometimes he tries to go a bit too high, but his overall performance is not bad.

Legendario is a good album, well produced and solidly written and performed, but a bit too unambitious to reach really high levels. Tierra Santa would improve noticeably a few years down the road. Get Indomable or Sangre de Reyes to really find out what this band is capable of.