Review Summary: An unorthodox album that pushes forward while still remaining faithful to its roots, Avalancha manages to be the definitive Heroes del Silencio and the whole Rock en Español movement album.
Formed in Zaragoza, Spain in 1984, Heroes del Silencio began its career as a soft / acoustic based Rock en Español band, gaining critical and commercial acclaim in their native country with their first album El Mar no Cesa (Unrest less Sea - 1988)
, and two follow-ups, 1990´s Senderos de Traicion (Paths of Betrayal)
and 1993´s El Espiritu del Vino (The Spirit of the Wine)
. The latter was widely considered their best album, giving international recognition to the band in Latin America and most parts of Europe. But something that plagued those albums was undoubtedly the fuzzy production, that wasn’t bad per se, but didn’t match the style the band was defining and finally perfected.
Produced by Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Alice Cooper, Kansas, Kiss, etc.), and recorded in Los Angeles, Avalancha
first (and maybe most important) point is its excellent production. Being a fusion /crossover genre (between rock and roll / hard rock and Spanish / Latin music), Rock en Español certainly needs a great production to let all the instruments portrayed breathe, exactly what Ezrin accomplishes. The urban voices / setting in the intro Derivas
, the Harmonica in Iberia Sumergida
, and the chanting /distorted background voices on some of the tracks (Deshacer el Mundo, Parasiempre, Dias de Borrasca
), are just few of the many details you´re going to absorb and appreciate through the album.
Of course the main instrumentation is also full of life, with that warming bass and drum sound (Morir Todavia, Opio
), the crisp and sharp guitars on the rock-a-Billy alike songs (Rueda Fortuna, Parasiempre
), and that alluring / emotional tone on the acoustic guitars (En Brazos de la Fiebre, Opio, La Chispa Adecuada
), assuring you that with the varied tones and delivery of the songs, you´ll never be bored. The riffs, while far from original, are diverse and well executed (with a lot of well-placed distortion and effects), the bass lines have their own presence that make a solid backbone together with the drums, that manage to have a somehow simple but enchanting placement in all the parts of the record, truly a sign of musical maturity.
Heroes Del Silencio
main constituent was certainly vocalist and lyricist Enrique Bunbury. Vocally, his somehow cozy voice is nothing less than charming. This coupled with his unmistaken deep Spanish accent, and his extremely ambiguous / philosophic lyrical themes give each song a unique identity that make the album really take flight and leave every single other contemporary band behind. His elaborated and perplexing phrases on some on the songs (Madness never had a teacher / for those who row without a perpetual course / Death will be the ornament / which I will place upon the gift of my life
) are contrasted by more youth rebellion infused lyrics (The innocent get lynched / to the rhythm of calumny / in the odyssey of rancor / the great inquisitor /and the shrouded man, the shrouded man
) bohemian sex / love themes (La Espuma de Venus, La Chispa Adecuada
) and some substance- induced choices (Opio, Morir Todavia
) cement the album as the top choice of the genre as far as diversity goes.
There´s a saying that expresses: “Try to please everyone and you please no one”
. Heroes just break this philosophy delivering an album with all their known traits (ambiguous lyrics, excellent instrumentation, perfect use of effects and distortions and great chemistry between the band members) intact, while eliminating all their past flaws (fuzzy production, unnecessary filler) that amazes fans of the older albums, while pushing the band towards a new audience that won’t be disappointed. Sadly their last album, it is without a doubt the summit of its genre and the band, truly flawless and indispensable.
Avalancha (which you may´ve heard from Guitar Hero 3).
Deshacer el Mundo.
La Chispa Adecuada.