The T 666
This album has something for everybody.
Yes, there's no question about it. This is an epic power metal album with progressive elements. This is music in the same vein as RHAPSODY OF FIRE. The neo-classical touches abound, as do the orchestral interludes, the anthem-like choruses, the usual Latin/Greek intros, the typical dramatic storytelling, the fast, relentless drums and guitars, joined by instruments like the violin or the flute to add to medieval flavor. This is epic power metal.
But rarely have I heard an album that has entertained me as much as "Gaia II: La Voz Dormida". Usually, I complain about music like this when bands release records full of repetitive songs, where it's hard to distinguish when one track ends and when the next one begins. Even a band like RHAPSODY would receive this criticism from time to time. But MAGO DE OZ managed to create a double album of epic metal that never bored me or seemed repetitive to me.
This is accomplished thanks to the balance of quiet and fast tracks, of soft melodic interludes and frantic guitar battles. This is also accomplished by the excellent melodies and hooks that one can find throughout this record. Every little song is memorable in its own way. None of them may be incredibly groundbreaking or original, but all of them are enjoyable, not one is dull or drags for too long. Next to instrumental-only tracks made in Hollywood-music style we can find the epic anthems with sing-along choruses, followed by tender moments for piano and vocals, after which an avalanche of guitar scales befalls, then we encounter passages that take us in a voyage back in time to the Middle Ages, and we're immediately brought back to the present by ferocious cascades of throttling drums. The equilibrium in the album is maintained during more than one hour and a half, which is a truly remarkable feat..
Of course, the excellent musicianship of the band helps a lot. Drummer and lyrical/musical mastermind Txus de Fellatio constantly keeps a breathing pulse, while the bassist provides the grounds necessary to maintain the pressure. All the guitarists (there are a few in here) are terrific, as is Mohamed in the violin and Ponce de Leon on the flute. The vocals are outstanding, very melodic but also powerful. It helps that the lyrics deal with an interesting subject, as is the nefarious influence of religion in history. The band shows conviction while playing tracks to these lyrics.
I can't do anything else but applaud and recognize a band that has managed to surpass the problems intrinsic to the sort of music they play and that has released a double album that I never wanted to end sooner rather than later. Excellent musicianship, excellent melodies, great entertainment value, a lot of music. What else should I ask from a record to award it a good rating?