Wild - La nueva orden 4/5

Reviewed: 11-1-11





Tracklist:

1. MMXI
2. Condenado
3. Arde en la hoguero
4. La nueva orden
5. Hijos del rock
6. Nunca mires a los ojos de la muerte
7. Reina de la noche
8. El extrano
9. Heavy metal (Es mi religion)
10. Juicio final


From a foreigner’s perspective, it’s been some time since the Spanish traditional/power metal scene was thriving. I miss the days when new releases from acts like Tierra Santa, Saratoga, Avalanch, Silver Fist and Northwind were guaranteed killers, and more obscure acts like Sheratan, Twilight and Sphinx would come out of nowhere and knock you off your feet. But the metal hordes of Spain have been showing signs of life recently, with very strong melodic power metal CDs being released by the likes of Opera Magna and Cain’s Dinasty, and worthy traditional metal offerings from Steel Horse and, now, Wild. Like Steel Horse, Wild attracted the interest of esteemed California underground metal label Stormspell Records, which has now released Wild’s debut full-length CD, ‘La nueva orden’, in a strictly limited edition of 500 copies, with great Wolfman cover art courtesy of the legendary Ed Repka.

The soundbyte description of ‘La nueva orden’ is it sounds like a head-on collision between early Tierra Santa and musty NWOBHM a la Saxon and Blitzkrieg. It’s not an original sound, to be sure, and there are numerous young bands treading the boards these days that deploy a similar style. Nonetheless, Wild pull it off in enormously convincing fashion, with a batch of 9 songs (plus intro) that feature enough diversity to keep things interesting, while fitting comfortably under the same stylistic umbrella. Even better, the songs are both catchy and memorable, to the point where I’ll find myself singing along with the choruses notwithstanding the Spanish language barrier. Although most of the tunes are short, punchy, and anthemic, the centerpiece of ‘La nueva orden’ to these ears is the 11-minute closing track, "Juicio final", which showcases a Steve Harris-type flair in the writing department, with blazing guitar fireworks, boatloads of energy and dynamics, a handful of guest musicians (including Steel Horse members), and even a 90-second interlude that dips into atmospheric, spacey territory a la Gamma Ray’s “Heading for tomorrow”. Not many bands can succeed at such an epic, but Wild (with help from multiple guests, including members of Steel Horse) do so masterfully. At the other end of the spectrum, but no less effective, is a simple rock’n’roll anthem called "Hijos del rock" that sounds like something Saxon might have written on ‘Strong arm of the law’. And the first 3 songs are thematically linked by a story (detailed narrative appearing in English in the booklet) about genetically enhanced soldiers and the Illuminati. Fun stuff, and it helps that these “concept” songs are quite good musically too.

Obviously, I’m high on ‘La nueva orden’. I think the songs are great, and there’s not a weak tune to be found in its 44 minutes. But others may have issues with this CD. The production is rough and unpolished, all primitive and clickety clackety. I think this was intentional because the old-school production values complement the unabashedly old-school songwriting. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a crisp, sharp, bludgeoning Andy Sneap-style sound job, you will not get it here. Also, I’ve read some criticism of singer Javier Endara, but I think he does fine. His range may not be the greatest, but he is certainly in line with “typical” Spanish metal singers and his voice conveys enough strength and emotion to propel the songs. Still, those who are picky about vocals may be dissatisfied.

For my money, Wild have crafted a very fine CD of authentic traditional early-80s heavy metal, delivered with class and style. ‘La nueva orden’ is one of those CDs you crank in the car stereo on a beautiful warm fall afternoon, with the shades on, the windows rolled down, and the wind blowing through your hair. It’s perhaps not the most complicated, serious or original music in the world, but it’s easy on the ears and reaffirms the timeless cosmic power of this mighty, awesome, indestructible beast called heavy metal. Mucho gracias, Wild.



KIT




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