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Melomaniak – El Adversario Award winner

El Adversario
by Joseth Radiant at 12 February 2020, 4:50 PM

Heavy Metal and South America has seemingly had a harmonious relationship with each other in regards to quality acts coming out of all the corners of the continent. While both Brazil and Argentina have garnered some International attention inside the Heavy Metal seen as of late, the rest of the continent is producing bands within all genres that are beginning to punch well above their weight. Chile, which has a history of music being used as a tool of revolution, is home to Santiago‘s MELOMANIAK. Their sophomore album "El Adversario" establishes themselves as one of those acts that can really go onto any bill. Whether its Heavy Metal, Hard-core, or even Punk, they just can do it all really incredibly well.

The title track opens the album and really gives the listener a glimpse into how excellent they are with their instruments. I also have to commend the drummer that they used for their studio sessions, because throughout the album, Gonzalo’s playing feels like he’s a part of the band instead of just a hired gun that’s filling in for a paycheck. I’m not sure how they did it, but they really nailed that early to mid 90s Thrash and Alt-Metal sound. The music is slightly challenging to listen to and breaks out of the mold to sound fresh and vibrant. I didn’t realize how much I missed that aggressive yet weird sound from my childhood until I heard this album. Not that I’m getting nostalgic, but it was refreshing to hear some of that wild uneasiness coming through my speakers once again. In their press kit, they described "El Adversario" as “a semi-conceptual album about the internal and external struggles” humanity faces daily. Now, my español isn’t super sharp, but I think they achieved what they were aiming at. With influences from ANTHRAX and PRONG being apparent throughout the album, they have borrowed both groups ability to write amazing riffs and retain a wink-and-a-grin sense of humor that’s peppered here and there in each song.

The only critique that I could give is that I would have liked to had the lyrics available somehow so that I could get an idea of their heft. The performances are both raw and energetic, and I wanted to listen to each track as the album progressed. But as I demonstrated in my review of THE WINDMILL’S "Dance Of Fire And Freedom" review, having the English translation from the Polish didn’t detract from the listening experience. In fact, it enhanced it. However, I couldn’t find any of the lyrics anywhere online. Otherwise, I had a lot of fun listening to these Chileans going crazy with their music. I am excited to hear this style of music making a resurgence again without it being too campy or nostalgic. I get the feeling that seeing these guys live would have you sore the next day from both headbanging and getting into the mosh pit on multiple occasions. On top of that, you’d have a massive hangover from staying out all night with the band after the show. I think they could benefit from a solid amount of touring in Europe to help refine their sound a bit more, but overall, they have a tight sound that will only get better and better from here. Lots of fun to listen to, and yes, as always, BUY THIS ALBUM!!!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Melomaniak (Instrumental)
2. Adversario (Adversary)
3. Bajo Fuego (Under Fire)
4. Mal Nacido (Born Wrong)
5. Por Ti (For You)
6. Estrella Negra (Black Star)
7. Regüeón
8. Quien Cae (Who Falls)
9. Veremos (We Will See)
10. Reaparecer (Reappear)
11. Presión Social (Social Pressure)
12. Ojo Blindado (Armored Eye)
Claudio Melo – Vocals, Guitars
Guillermo Ananias – Guitars
Fernando Forttes – Bass
Gonzalo Ubilla – Drums (Studio)
Record Label: Independent


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