GEHENNA
En Busca del Valle de Gehenna

line-up:
José E. Avila (voc), Edgar Medina Oliden (dr), Francisco Javier Orendain (bs), Jorge Medina Oliden (git)

format: LP Side A:
  1. Buscando
  2. Escúchame
  3. Deja de Soñar

Side B:

  1. El Hombre de Platino
  2. Gehenna
  3. La Voz del Viento

year: 1987
country: Mexico
label: Avanzada Metalica
#: AM 002
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 6/10
 





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This album is just a few notches on the mixing desk away from being a classic. The music is truly brilliant epic/progressive Metal of the highest order, but it takes about 4-5 listenings to notice. Yep, it's another victim of weak and incompetent production work. Not that the actual sound quality is lacking in any way, but the mixing sounds more like it's trying to hold back the furious force of the music rather than excite it. The engineer in question was obviously not a Metal-fan and it's a bloody shame he couldn't have kept his dirty, schmaltzy fingers away from this recording. Now "En Busca.." sound a lot softer than it really is, and I think the first time I listened to it I just played side A and then put it aside. Shame on me, coz it took weeks for me to discover the best parts of the album, which is the 2 first songs on side B. "El Hombre de Platino" is superb, fast Power Metal with some really brilliant guitar- and keyboard harmonies. The obvious reference here is of course Italian behemoths ADRAMELCH, a reference which is valid for most parts of the album, especially when they speed it up a bit. On their theme song they're at their heaviest. Somewhere deep down below those keyboards you can actually hear the occasional Thrash-riff, the end result sounding vaguely like KING DIAMOND. Another quite exciting track is "Escúchame", a slower, more atmospheric epic. Melancholic riffing mixed with acoustic breaks and great vocals. Imagine Yngwie Malmsteen jamming with THE GATHERING and you might get the picture. It's not impossible that the Swedish fatso has had a major influence on the bands music, as well as RUSH and a handful of other prog rock bands I'm blissfully ignorant of.
So, despite the too loud keys and absence of heavy guitars it's still a very good album, but playing it too loud might result in an uneasy feeling of "what if my cool friends catch me listening to this?!?". For further info on this band you can check out their slot at the Metaleros webpage.


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