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El Caco: Hatred, Love and Diagrams

I discovered the joys of this album one night while making a long drive along a fairly quiet freeway. The hour was late, but I couldn't sleep and I wanted to visit some relatives living downtown. Outside, the wind was blowing, the air crisp and cold, and a hint of snow lurked within the clouds. Safely seated in my car, I drove and quickly discovered Hatred, Love and Diagrams to be the perfect soundtrack for the night. In fact, I listened to it over and over again throughout the night, each time discovering in it a superb variety of slick melodies, catchy grooves, and smooth riffs. Simply put, these guys are terrific, their album excellent. This is easily one of my favorite albums so far of the year.

I suppose that some readers will consider El Caco more of a hard rock band than a metal band. These labels are tough to pin down, even more so these days when so many subgenres of metal are being created. Furthermore, some metal fans will only listen to bands that fit within a very specific view of what their favorite music should sound like. I think that El Caco, whatever style of music it is they play, is a band everyone should check out. Their sound is far cleaner than most of the bands on the scene these days, but it offers a nice counterpoint to the constant growling and menacing lyrics of far too many releases. First off, these guys are a deeply melodic band, one that reminds listeners of how powerful heavy music can be when played in a more traditional style. Second, the vocals, clean though they are, are packed with emotion, particularly in those moments when they turn more aggressive, just crying out to be heard. Check out the conclusion of the track "Skeleton" for a good example of how well the vocals add to the driving mood of the song.

The only thing missing from this album is the virtuosity that so often makes for a good metal album. Don't listen to this album if you want to hear flashy guitar solos. The music here is simpler, natural, more committed to a mellower mood and lyrics about love, loss and regret. I don't want all my hard rock or heavy metal to sound like this, but I found the overall power of this release too strong to ignore. For once, I didn't miss the solos or the bravado of other bands. Instead, I was taken in by the riffs, the grooves, and the laid back style. This is a solid release, one I'd recommend to anyone.

Track Listing:
1. After I'm Gone
2. Hatred
3. Autopsy
4. Equivalence
5. Go Forward
6. Confessions
7. Sixty to Zero
8. Skeleton
9. She Said
10. Disconnect

Added: March 1st 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2608
Language: english

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