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Jezabel: Legiones Del Sur

Picture it: You are a producer. You have a good 6-piece Argentinian metal band, who want to sing in Spanish. Do you:
A : Force them to use English, even if they're uncomfortable with the language
B : Let them sing in their native tongue because the music will be genuine and close to their roots
C : Get a new vocalist!

Jezabel insisted on option B so this is one of a very few metal acts singing their entire repertoire in Spanish.

Hundreds of successful progressive rock albums have been produced in languages foreign to us 'Mericans. But with metal, English is the Lingua Franca, and sorry folks, Spanish just doesn't work. At least, not on Legiones Del Sur.

Which is a pity, because the instrumentals are good, and the band plays as a cohesive unit.

Track 1 is a short 2-minute item with the sounds of orchestra and choir. Classically composed, badly sampled, but it's a nice prelude that leads straight into track 2 where guitars and drums and bass break in with a pure crunchy metal sound.

Exciting start, but although Jezabel used imaginative intros in about half of the 11 tracks, they failed to weave those sounds into the body of their songs. Consequently, most tracks on Legiones Del Sur sound the same. They always fall back to the standard European power metal formula heavy staccato at the bottom (drums, bass, and distorted rhythm guitar snapping power-chords off the bass strings), melodic vocals, and occasional keyboard or lead guitar passages. That formula describes the bulk of 10 of the 12 tracks.

A notable exception is "Miro Atras" (I look back) which starts as a semi-accoustic guitar led power ballad. It builds up into the standard formula, but with softer guitar work including a nice solo, and power metal style choral vocals.

The CD includes a bonus video. But - Caveat: You have to remember to start from track 2, or you'll hear 4 minutes of silence before the music starts. The CD won't play in a PC! It had to be ripped to MP3s before it could be played on headphones at the office. And the video doesn't work either, because Windows Media Player couldn't find a codec! So here's a request for label Cruz Del Sur Music: Fix these problems, or at least provide instructions!

Jezabel provides middle-of-the-road metal with some nice moments, no frills and so-so vocals. Not very progressive, and there is nothing new here except for that language issue. So would you have let them get away with option B?

Added: September 4th 2003
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: Cruz Del Sur Music
Hits: 2499
Language: english

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