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Fixion – Encrucijada

by Joseph Brewer at 05 August 2020, 3:12 AM

In a country where it is nearly impossible to emerge and rise to stardom, FIXION from Montevideo, Uruguay is challenging that path. Born in 2002, FIXION is the passion project of Daniel César, who is striving to display his creativity to the world. What he delivers is more than just music. A quick search on Daniel César will inform you of his involvement in the arts, as he has participated and won awards in film as well. “Encrucijada” is the fourth album for FIXION. Before that came several other accomplished albums, including a few live album CD/DVDs to add to their discography. A quick glance through the album cover and art contained within the CD leaflet of “Encrucijada” will provide a taste of the dark, gothic yet beautiful world that FIXION has created.

Requiem Para Un Salto” wastes no time setting the mood for the album. Deep, operatic chanting accented by a huge, articulated guitar riff fills your ears and immediately catches your attention. After a few beats, the guitar sweeps into a solo, César wasting no time in showing off his ability behind the strings. After a minute, things slow down and we enter the first verse, full of atmosphere and César lightly singing through the lyrics. A short crescendo climbs to a peak before the chorus that swells with energy, harmonies, and cymbal crashes. César has a wonderful voice that is full of melody and emotion. He doesn’t try to overdo it on any of the songs, but sticks with a range that highlights his warm timbre. The real magic happens when FIXION utilizes background singers. Sometimes, a single backing voice and sometimes a full choir, the backup vocals are used extremely well to supplement the melody and provide an extra symphonic element to the album.

Estrella Interior” is up next and helps to solidify the sound that you come to appreciate in “Encrucijada” by FIXION: rich, gothic, symphonic rock. The atmosphere is undeniably dark. The verses in this track are carried by a thumping bass line and guitar, with César singing in low, grumbly tones. But the chorus hits and I am impressed by how melodic and catchy it can be. Bright and moving, FIXION show off their strength for melody and hooks. This continues in the title track, “Encrucijada”, which is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The song wastes no time getting started, with César performing what almost feels like a ‘call and response’ delivery with himself. The chorus hits and you are undoubtedly banging your head with the beat. The guitars are cranked up, bass and drums pounding forward, and this time the brightness in César’s voice is countered with some deep growls. This is gothic symphonic metal at its best.

The rest of the album “Encrucijada” progresses in much the same way as the first few tracks. While each track stands on its own quite well, they all follow mostly the same format and structure. There are not a ton of surprises, the goal is more about finding which song has the chorus that vibes most with you, as there are hooks and earworms aplenty. The standout tracks to me were “Del Miedo Al Fuego”, “Ultravelocidad”, and “Karma”.

Overall, I was very pleased with “Encrucijada” by FIXION. It presents itself as a very dark, heavy, complex album, but it is in fact very approachable. For me, FIXION has found that sweet spot in between pure metal and radio-friendly pop, with tracks like “Encrucijada” and “Requiem Para Un Salto” being clear choices for singles that would succeed in circulation. For me, there is an element of nostalgia that elevates the experience of this album. On one hand, the elements of FIXION sound similar to many Latin rock artists that have been very popular over the past few decades which make for an instant connection to the music (for instance CAIFANES). And yet, they are able to infuse that sound with modern gothic and symphonic elements in order to stay true to their own creative desires. The end product is something unique and engaging, a fantastic rock album that can be enjoyed by all.

Favorite Songs: “Encrucijada”, “Requiem Para Un Salto

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Requiem Para Un Salto
2. Estrella Interior
3. Encrucijada
4. La Guerra Es Tan Fuerte
5. Del Miedo Al Fuego
6. Llegando Al Final
7. Un Refugio
8. Expulsando El Venero
9. Ultravelocidad
10. Karma
Daniel César – Guitar, Vocals
Sebastián Etchecopar – Drums
Santiago Cardozo – Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 28 May 2023

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