Nostra Morte - Un cuento antes de morir 4/5

Reviewed: 8-1-10





Tracklist:

1. Viaje al centro del infierno
2. El ultimo valz
3. Necrotica
4. Esquizofrenia
5. Fantasmeria
6. Arcangel seductor
7. Trato o truco
8. Llora inquisicion
9. Sonia
10. No escuches la voz
11. El dia en que murio un heroe


Nostra Morte is a symphonic gothic metal band from Mexico and this is their debut CD, the title of which may be translated as 'A tale before dying'. As you would expect from a symphonic gothic metal band, their songs are generally extremely epic with pervasive warm keys and strings, and backing choir. They are driven by the guitars and drums, however, both of which are quite hard and aggressive, offering a striking contrast to the symphonic/choral warmth. The songs are generally mid-paced with a nice subtle changing tapestry of riffs, along with and occasional galloping blackened power metal runs and heavy acoustic symphonic interludes. There is a noticeable transition to more festive, even playful, melodies and riffs in the last few songs on the CD.

For the most part, however, the music provides a backdrop for the almost continual vocal performances, which are simply superb. The female vocals, courtesy of Madam D'Lamort (this is certainly a stage name as all 8 band members have last names that play on the word “mort” – indeed, they call themselves the “Mort Family”) are strong and beautiful; she usually sings in a slightly deep soprano style but she easily transitions to a dramatic operatic style when the music requires it. The lead male singer (whom I think is Eiven Dumort) has an usually deep, rich gothic baritone style that perfectly complements the female vocals; indeed, they sing back and forth and sometimes together in Spanish for most of nearly every song, like a musical, completely enchanting the listener. There are occasional fairly harsh black vocals as well, usually brought in to complement the blackened power metal runs.

This is a remarkably ambitious and well-done debut CD, especially considering that it was self-produced. Comparisons may be made to the best of the “beauty and the beast” gothic metal bands, though Nostra Morte have changed the formula nicely with their choice of mainly clean male and female vocals; they have the warm symphonic/choral feel of Epica and early After Forever with touches of the hard aggression of Penumbra, The Sins of Thy Beloved and early Tristania. It is wonderful to hear a CD filled with immediately recognizable influences from bands I love while still bringing an unexpectedly fresh twist to their music.



CHRIS




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