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Mago de Oz: Madrid Las Ventas

Ten years after AC/DC recorded No Bull at the Plaza de Toros in Madrid, Spain, in 1994, Mago de Oz stormed the venue to capture Madrid Las Ventas a two-CD, 16-track live set that showcases the metal-meets-Celtic spirit of this veteran Spanish-language band.

A shaky beginning with a canned and inaudible (not to mention foreign-tongue) spoken-word track precedes the on-stage arrival of Mago de Oz's eight eight! members. But from there, the band kicks into plenty of headbanging folk music, mixing power and neoclassical metal with traditional Celtic charm on songs like "Fiesta Pagana," "La Rosa de Los Vientos" and "La Leyenda de la Llorona." Most of the highlights come at the end of the first disc and the beginning of the second disc. "Gaia," taken from the band's 2003 album of the same name, begins peacefully with beautiful keyboards and gentle vocals before it crescendos toward to epic proportions. And the powerful vocal presence of an unnamed (at least on my promo copy) female singer on "El Peso del Alma" and "Astaroth" packs more drama than Mago de Oz vocalist Jose Andreas can muster throughout the entire performance. Still, Andreas holds his own against an oversize musical ensemble that's tight if not remarkable. It all begins to sound a bit similar after 95 minutes, but I'll bet this was a hell of a performance to see live.

Track Listing:
CD 1:
1) Obertura MDXX
2) Van A Rodar Cabezas
3) Ancha Es Castilla
4) Fiesta Pagana
5) El Que Quiera Entender
6) El Pacto
7) El Arbol de la Noche Triste
8) Gaia

CD 2:
1) El Peso del Alma
2) La Rosa de los Vientos
3) Noche Toledana
4) Astaroth
5) La Leyenda de la Llorona
6) La Danza del Fuego
7) La Costa del Silencio
8) Molinos de Viento

Added: October 20th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Locomotive Records
Hits: 2525
Language: english

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