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Mago De Oz: A Costa Da Morte

Can't tell you how many times over the years I've been browsing in the CD ailes at Virgin Music, FYE, or the now defunct Tower Records, and come across the section for Mago De Oz and thought "wow, those are some seriously cool album doubt this band is either some Spanish prog or metal come I've never heard anything from them?". I mean, we are talking about some wild cover art here folks, all fantasy tinged and what not, so when this brand new live double CD set from Locomotive Records came in, the time was finally here to experience what this band was all about.

Hailing from Madrid, Spain, Mago De Oz are a mix of medieval prog, folk, hard rock, and heavy metal. A nine piece band featuring drums, violin,electric & acoustic guitars, bass, flute, keyboards, bagpipes, accordion, and vocals, the music is extremely varied, at times heavy, at others quite symphonic, often folky. This live set features 20 songs from throughout the bands career, and is quite enjoyable, regardless of whether you understand Spanish or not. The vocals of Jose Andrea are often times high pitched yet very emotional, his ability to reach the heavens quite apparent, and he often times gives the band their metal edge. Musically, this is some pretty rich and diverse stuff, almost like a meeting of Jethro Tull, Kansas, Blackmore's Night, Skyclad, Iron Maiden, Fairport Convention, and Korpiklaani. Many of the tunes here are in the 5-9 minute range, giving the band plenty of room to stretch out and even engage the audience into sing-a-longs. The interplay between the flute and violin though is what really makes this band, as songs like "Santa Compana" and "El Santo Grial" sees the two instruments doing battle and weaving plenty of tricky melody lines while the guitar riffs and keyboard washes provide more of a foundation than the driving focus. Prog heads will love the epic " El Fin Del Camino", a real gorgeous piece that has moments of true beauty featuring stunning piano, flute, and violin, yet also rocks pretty hard with some crushing riffs, raging organ, and over the top vocals.

A Costa Da Morte is an extremely fun and lively live album from Mago De Oz. The interaction with the crowd really comes across as something special, as it seems pretty obvious that there was a special connection that night between the two. This is ultimately a great retrospective of the band's career, a live 'best of' if you will, and a great place to start if you are new to Mago De Oz.

Track Listing
Disc: 1
1. Intro Gazza Ladra
2. El Santo Grial
3. Molinos De Viento
4. El Que Quiera Entender
5. Santa Compana
6. El Fin Del Camino
7. Hasta Que El Cuerpo Aguante
8. La Insula De Barataria
9. Pensando En Ti
10. Hijo Del Blues
Disc: 2
1. La Leyenda De La Mancha
2. Maritornes
3. Astaroth
4. Jesus De Chamberi
5. Resacosix En Hispania
6. Satania
7. Txus Presenta
8. La Danza Del Fuego
9. Fiesta Pagana
10. Despedida (Ancha Es Castilla)

Added: January 23rd 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2208
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Mago De Oz: A Costa Da Morte
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-01-23 10:50:50
My Score:

After nearly 20 years, Madrid's Mägo de Oz ("Wizard of Oz" in Spanish) is finally making progress in other parts of the world with its distinct blend of folk, Celtic and medieval music with hard rock and progressive metal. Sounding at times like a male-fronted and heavier version of Blackmore's Night and borrowing vintage elements from Iron Maiden and Kansas, the hombres in Mägo de Oz place just as much emphasis on violins, flutes, whistles and bagpipes as they do on electric guitars and a thick rhythm section. (A highlight of A Costa Da Morte, a two-disc, 20-song live set spanning the band's entire career, just happens to be a Spanish-language version of "Dust in the Wind" retitled "Pensando en Ti.")

With an electric audience that has a tendency to sing along, A Costa Da Morte serves as a perfect introduction to a band that shows few signs of aging. In addition to plenty of invigorating headbanging, the band seems to specialize in between-song banter that can last for several minutes. I used to speak Spanish rather fluently, but I still have no clue regarding most of what's being said. The music sure is good, though.

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