Review Summary: xxx420xxxQU1CK5H0TN1NJ4xxx420xxx bullshit naming conventions aside, the album's actually pretty solid.1337 5P34K
Sad Eyes is a Spanish death metal outfit that leans on the more technical side of things, and that's perfectly fine by me. Luckily for the Spanish gentleman, the only gripe I have with the subject of this review is that the songs all sound like some twelve-year-old's first clan tag on Call of Doodie. Yeah, I said "gentleman": I should also mention that Sad Eyes is basically a solo effort. It's one man - Santi Gzlez - getting other Spanish metal artists to lend him a hand here and there. His latest effort, "9H0B1A"
, is a strangely-titled but extraordinarily-solid sophomore album that everyone who fancies them a death metal fan should check out. It's got all the elements that make the genre so great: vicious vocals, spectacular solos, dominating drumwork, and extraordinario
riffage. Yeah, the alliteration fell apart at the end. Sue me.
Arguably the best part about "9H0B1A"
is the vocal-work. Without exception, every song on the record is made enjoyable to listen to as a direct result of the two session vocalists, Kike Capilla and Carlos Mejias. I don't know who did what, but the higher screams serve their function to perfectly juxtapose the lower death grunts, and these two opposing vocal styles work in tandem with one another to create an addictive and desirable sound instead of clashing horribly like you might expect they would. Honestly, some of it sounds an awful lot like technical death metal giants Origin, and that's a compliment in my book (especially since it doesn't sound like they just copy-pasted the sound of that band). Fantastic work by the vocalists is something I wish I heard more often, and "9H0B1A"
delivers this experience aptly. I applaud thee, dual vocalists, and can only hope that you can read this review and applaud yourselves for your efforts. Buen trabajo!
This is probably a good time to say that all my español
is coming from Google translate. That's how things roll when you don't speak the language. While I'm completely unfamiliar with Spanish, however, Santi Gzlez is a very skilled guitarist, showing exceptional familiarity with his instrument and knowing exactly what to do to keep things interesting throughout most of this record's running time. He has the somewhat-stereotypical technical riffing in there, as well as a fret-traveling composition of high and low chords that punctuate the more powerful parts of the album. "9H0B1A"
also benefits from several other talented guitarists, as I count all of TEN
session musicians who submitted solos for this project. Guess what? They all sound fuck
in' killer. That's some serious guitarwork, boys, and while the brilliant solos steal the spotlight for a while, you have Glzez's exceptional death metal riffing to go back to when their running time ends. All in all, my ears enjoyed, so I give the guitarwork and basswork of the album my traditional seal of approval - and let everyone know how awesome they are, of course.
So, I mentioned that the drums reportedly dominate. Do they? Well, I said it, so it's probably true. What Gzlez does right with the drum tracks is the simple act of knowing his strengths. He doesn't try to take the stage with his drumming alone, but rather lets the drum fills act as the stage crew, providing the foundation for the stars (be they the vocals or the solos) to... I dunno, shine or something. Broken analogy aside, the drumwork - a fine mix of blast beats, up-fills and down-fills, and some serious legwork on the pedals - dominate the backdrop of the album, pummeling your ears alongside the guitarwork, the solos, and the vocals. Listen to "0D1N0" (hey, that's almost Odin! Nice job, but you spelled it wrong) - it basically sums all that up in four and a half minutes. What it comes down to is that with all these elements - the drums, the solos, the vocals, the basswork, the guitarwork - Santi Gzlez and his band of aficionados have managed to create something of a technical death metal masterpiece with the thirty-nine minute-long "9H0B1A"
, and it deserves the treatment of a review. Just tell the poor feller that I'm sorry it took so long. He sent me the damn promo about half a year ago.