Saturday, July 21, 2012

Reino Ermitaño – Veneratión Del Fuego: some very fine doom from Peru

Reino Ermitaño isn’t exactly the most prolific band in the world; Veneratión Del Fuego is only their fourth record in 10 years of existence, and it’s the first one since 2008’s Rituales Interiores. But again, who really needs an album every year, since now we all have around 100 “favorite bands”? 

And Reino Ermitaño isn’t just another retro-doom band. There are several reasons for that; first, a lady handles vocals: Tania Duarte does an excellent job behind the mic, with that epic desperate feeling. Second reason, Reino Ermitaño come from Peru, not the first South American country you think of when mentioning Metal.
And the awesome thing with Reino Ermitaño is that they do not just rely on these "labels" to claim they're special, they utilize and exploit them perfectly. The Spanish vocals sang by Tania Duarte fit the music perfectly and add some mystique to the music.

Veneratión Del Fuego, kicks off in a very typical manner: “Quimera” and “El Sueño Del Condor” are two classical and very fine pieces of doom rock, played the old-school way, with a very fuzzy and gloomy sound, as if you were listening through a thick layer of smoke. 

But things start to be really exiting when third track “Sobre Las Ruinas” starts. That’s another classic doom song here, but it ends in a fantastic psychedelic orgy of guitar solos and keys. That's probably a contribution brought by new guitarist Eloy Arturo.
And things just keep on getting better, especially when the 9-min epic “Cuando La Luz Te Encuentre”, comes in with a violin  that pops out of nowhere in the exact right moment. But that’s not all, since the song also contains what appears to be a drum solo in the middle of it, before a totally psychedelic finish. Amazing song!

The rest of the album is just as fantastic, with some classic songs like “Soy El Lobo” and “El Rito”. These tunes are just a lesson of what traditional doom should sound like; they have the perfect sound, the cool riffs, the killer breaks and the psychedelic solos all over them. The ending of “El Rito” really reminded me of early Sabbath.  Can't really think of a better influence!

However, there is one more track that needs to be highlighted here; another 9-min epic song: “Sangre India”. This one displays some cool traditional elements that prove how much Reino Ermitaño perfectly use their heritage. That folk moment in the middle of the song is just AMAZING. Not to mention that it is probably the first time I appreciated listening to pan flute. Guys; believe me, nothing to do with the boys coverning Celine Dion songs in the subway halls. This cool folk moment transforms into another acoustic psychedelic part, before the electric guitars start roaring again. This song is one of my favorite ones on the record, and one of my favorite songs this year !

Reino Ermitaño is truly a fantastic doom band; that managed to combine some very classic doom with elements from their Peruvian roots. Nothing too flashy or progressive here, just some very fine doooom.  

I probably keep on repeating that but I totally believe in what I’m saying: stop accepting what important metal labels keep on feeding us every month (although they have a lot of good stuff, no doubt about that) and go looking for original and different bands!
I Hate Records is probably a good place to start if you're into doom: last year the label released the fantastic Wounded Kings album In The Chapel Of The Black Hand. This year however, their highlight album is clearly going to be Veneratión Del Fuego!


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