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Yeos – Azteca’s Revenge

Azteca’s Revenge
by Mark Machlay at 26 October 2021, 9:21 AM

The Mexican symphonic melodic metal band known as YEOS released the English version of their debut album “Azteca’s Revenge” in the first week of July of this year. The band was started by Salvador Yeo – the mastermind of the group – in 2015 in Tijuana, Mexico along with bassist Manolo Becerra and drummer Deeunir Garcia. The latter two are well-renowned for teaching music and as session musicians as well as Yeo who has won international contests for his lead guitar playing and won accolades among media publications such as Rolling Stone and Switch magazines for being one of the best rock guitarists out of Mexico. Soon after forming, rhythm guitarist Cesar Marmolejo hopped on board, taking a break from his teaching gig at UABC, giving the band that much needed double guitar sound. Originally an all-instrumental group, singer Aemyali Escobar auditioned for their already composed piece “Libertad” but after joining the group, Yeo decided to create more four more songs written to showcase her voice.

The Spanish version of “Azteca’s Revenge” was finally recorded and released on July 31, 2019, with a major Mexican tour to follow. The band’s tour started on October 5th and would bring them to cities like Ensenada, Tijuana, Tecate, and Mexicali. In March 2020, the band performed for 30,000 people in of the most important rock festivals in Northern Mexico called Fronterizo Fest.  It would be one of their last performances before lockdowns due to the pandemic would be a stop to live shows, first rescheduling their shows to July 2020, then to April of 2021. Later that year, taking advantage of the downtime, YEOS would enter the studio to record the English version of their debut and start promoting in the US and Europe. Since starting an international promotional agenda, the band has gained attention all around the world from Poweplay and Fireworks in the UK, All Around Metal magazine in Italy, and Los Mejores Rock in Spain. The band are just getting started, recording a “stay-at-home” video of their song “Por los Que Murieroin en Vano”, recording a video for Latin America to raise awareness and support for children with cancer, and a new English version music video for “Imperial Men”. In the future, they already have plans laid out for their second album as well as machinations to record an album and video with a live symphony orchestra.

Renaming the band YEOS BAND for the international release, “Azteca’s Revenge” favors a neoclassical, guitar-theatrics-heavy sound for much of the album while delving into melodic metal and symphonic metal areas more than occasionally. It is clear that Salvador Yeo is an accomplished guitarist, having a style that will remind listeners of players such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Jason Becker, flying through scales at near impossible speeds.  He goes through quite a workout on the instrumental title track from duel guitar melodies to the single tracked speed runs. Unfortunately, rhythmically and melodically, it left me a little cold and as the song wore on started sounding like extended solos from DETHLKLOK, the fictional band from the cartoon “Metalocalypse”. It’s clear that the band is a great musical vehicle for Yeo’s musical vison and with the introduction of female vocalist Ameyali Escobar and insertion of tracks built around her voice, it elevated the album above just another average guitar solo album. A favorite is the very classically melodic ballad “In Your Arms” as it sounds like a song that could have been included in the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack or even a NIGHTWISH album. While instrumental ballad “For Those Who Died In Vain” were excellently structured, the instrumental tracks seemed a bit meandering and I found myself longing for a track with vocals again. Ultimately, while the album has some dips and drags, the musicality is jaw-dropping, the vocals are captivating which would have been welcome on more of the tracks, and their rendition of classic Debussy piece “Claire De Lune” as an ending left all of my spins of the album on an extremely positive note.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Don’t Your Cry
2. Imperial Man
3. Azteca’s Revenger
4. For Those Who Died in Vain
5. Liberty
6. Thanks to You
7. In Your Arms
8. Friend
9. In Your Arms (acoustic version)
10. Clair De Lune
Ameyali Escobar – Vocals
Deeunir García – Drums
Cesar Marmolejo – Rhythm Guitar
Manolo Becerra – Bass Guitar
Salvador Yeo – Lead Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 17 January 2022

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