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Cabezas De Cera - 2005 - "MetalMusica"

(110 min 2CD, 'CDC')


******!

Prolusion. To me, CABEZAS DE CERA (CDC hereinafter) from Mexico is one of the most creative and innovative outfits to appear on the Progressive Rock map in the new millennium. "MetalMusica" is a common title for their fourth output, which is a double CD album, each of the discs being a separate concept work having its own title, "MetalMusica" and "Aleaciones Aleatorias" respectively. Both of the previous studio projects by the trio (the other one is a concert DVD), "Cabezas De Cera" and "Un Segundo", are issued as beautiful digipacks and both have their reviews on the site: here. I was certain that the package for their new release will also be something remarkable, but the reality of it has surpassed all my expectations. It would take too much time to describe all the beauties of this multi-sectional cardboard box, which is a true piece of art in itself, with the most impressive design I've ever seen in my life. Just having a look at the set, you will inevitably arrive at the conclusion that its makers simply aren't able to do anything carelessly they have a hand in.

Disc 1 - "MetalMusica" (56 min)
******!

TRACK LIST:

1.  Fundicion 7:56
2.  Armatoste 7:20
3.  Nocturno Incandescente 4:52
4.  Kieri 3:11
5.  Espejismo 3:52
6.  Milagro 2:38
7.  Mutacion 3:44
8.  Indomable 4:35
9.  Destiempo 6:34
10. Enjambre 7:08
11. La Piedra Feliz 4:56

All tracks: by Cabezas De Cera.
Produced by Cabezas De Cera.

LINEUP:

Mauricio Sotelo - ac & el. guitars, Stick; metal stringed instruments
Francisco Sotelo - ac. drums, metal percussion & stringed instruments
Ramses Luna - saxophone, flute, midi-winds; vocals

Analysis. If you will, there is nothing unexpected about this new material by the trio, as they just continue the endless transformation of their primordially nobly original style, searching for new musical forms, as well as the ways of their delivering, which is more than merely typical for CDC. The first disc showcases mainly the band's skill in playing unique handmade stringed (Armatoste, Jarana Prisma, Charrofono, Tricordio, 12-string Harp) and percussion instruments (Tambourine Kitai, Kalimba and others), all being made out of metal! Only the album's opener, Fundicion, was performed mainly with traditional instruments, and it's different from the others. This is a highly complex, flexible, at times frenetic (yet never cacophonous), at times melodic (yet always with a relish of madness) music, bringing together elements of Rock, Jazz, Metal, Avant-garde, European, Indian and quasi unearthly music, combining seemingly incongruous elements into one cohesive whole, in which everything seems to be possible without breaking the laws of harmony. Indeed! But these Prog mathematicians don't cry "Eureka!" while doing it, as it's all just fifth-elementarily for them:-). On the other tracks, the trio develops a huge departure from the previous two albums, which is more indicated by their new compositional approach than by the change in their equipment. Well, those unique metal instruments are more than merely often predominant in the picture, but I wouldn't say they sound extremely unusual. Tricordio (played with the bow at times) reminds me of something between violin and lute, Jarana Prisma of an acoustic guitar, Charrofono of an Indian Sitar, Armatoste of a Turkic Saz, each being just richer in metallic overtones than usual, if it's possible to say so. So what we have here is in most cases a brilliant mixture of European, Asian and more uncertain ethnic types of music on the basis of structured Jazz-Fusion with occasional free improvisations (mainly by saxophone) and a strong acoustic sense throughout. Nocturno Incandescente, which is the only track here featuring vocals, Indomable and Enjambre have a full-band, intricate, yet, mostly transparent sound that those possessing an extremely rich imagination may call as something average between Shakti and Minimum Vital. La Piedra Feliz is in many ways similar, but with a more pronounced melodic component and no powerful drums. Kieri and Milagro can be regarded as concertos for two acoustic guitars, though one of them is Tricordio in fact, and the other is a 12-string Harp respectively. The assorted metal percussion instruments, headed by the marimba-like Kalimba, rule the ball on Espejismo, their partner being Charrofono, sounding like an electric guitar this time out. Each time I revisit the remaining two tracks, Mutacion and Destiempo, they put a smile upon my face, as their textures are immediately recognizable. These are just Led Zeppelin's Friends ('70) dancing Rock & Roll ('70) with Kashmir ('75) after The Battle of Evermore ('71). Considering the disc as the whole, most of the music is amazingly both eclectic and melodious and doesn't demand some special knowledge from the profound listener to become an exquisite and, simultaneously, desired dish for him.

Disc 2 - "Aleaciones Aleatorias" (54 min)
*****+

TRACK LIST: 

1.  Correr y Oser 3:48
2.  Cazador de Ballenas 7:12
3.  El Rito Guerrero 6:27
4.  Tornado 6:21
5.  Del Nois al Nais 8:21
6.  Telaranas 3:45
7.  Banda Sonora Para un Cuento 1:44
8.  Moviendo el Vote 3:00
9.  Para Mercedes 13:46

Credits & lineup: same

Analysis. The second disc, "Aleaciones Aleatorias", was performed with traditional instruments, namely: electric, acoustic and bass guitars, Grand Stick, saxophone, clarinet, flute, Midi-Winds, acoustic drums and percussion, with the occasional use of electronic pads. Gone are elements of heavy music of any sort, and while the harmonic cohesion is fully kept in most places, the music is more twisted in character, with a strong, authentic improvisational sense nearly everywhere. Nevertheless in the overall musical appearance, most of the tracks here have certain common ground with those from the first disc, though it could have not managed without freaks (in a positive sense, in most cases). The dynamic and intricate Cazador de Ballenas and Tornado are containers of many progressive directions, both well known and unfamiliar, due to which I regard them as the works of Fifth Element. El Rito Guerrero is much in the vein of the first disc's primary style, which is a mixture of European, Asian (Indian in this case) and some uncertain ethnic types of music on the basis of structured Jazz-Fusion with occasional free improvisations and ever-changing arrangements in general. Telaranas, Banda Sonora Para un Cuento and Moviendo el Vote, following each other just before the last track, are little thematic concertos for electric guitar, woodwinds and mallet percussion respectively. As to the freaks, Correr y Oser begins as a free Jazz, the sax improvisations being wild, but later on, the music is gradually getting less and less eclectic to finally transform into a smooth melodic Jazz-Fusion. The centerpiece, Del Nois al Nais, is nothing else but Space Rock/Fusion with an approximately equal amount of symphonic and avant-garde constructions. The nearly 14-minute Para Mercedes, which closes the disc, is the one containing vocal sections and influences, too. In most places, the stuff is nearly not unlike from the music King Crimson discovered and enveloped in the first half of the eighties, both vocally and instrumentally. It's a strange trick, considering that CDC have always been furious defenders of the faith named Originality, but it doesn't mar the overall glory of the material, not in the least.

Conclusion. These men are geniuses, nothing more, nothing less. I believe their hidden passion for Led Zeppelin and King Crimson has found its way outwards just accidentally and will never reveal itself in the future. In any event, most of the music the trio presented on "MetalMusica" is extremely unique and brilliant, and there is so much of such on these two discs. Oh, I almost forgot! The entire set (at least as I get it) includes also a kind of magazine with information in Spanish, English and French and the computer CD inside, with videos, images, interviews et al interesting details on the band and their creation. Heartily recommended! Top-2005

VM: October 11 & 12, 2005


Related Links:

Cabezas De Cera


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