Country: Spain
Title: The Order of the Black Kestrel
Label: Art Gates Records
Year: 2022
Style: Death Metal

This Spanish trio is new to me, although they've been around since 2000, so over 2 decades of activity, but the previous release was their third album, Abicen Abora, from back in 2011, so no wonder why, they've been on a long hiatus, or at least off the radar for 10 years. Now it seems they're back at it with a vengeance, they've signed with a new label, Art Gates, released this fourth album, and will support it in a Europe Summer tour with Marduk, if that will happen obviously, but at least the plan is there. We're treated here with 8 tracks in a bit more than half an hour of fast paced, brutal Death Metal, but one that made me think at first I'm playing a Polish band, you know, something a la Vader or Hate, a heavily atmospheric, massive sounding, blackened kind of Death Metal. Actually as we're going through the album the music becomes more and more atmospheric, close to symphonic if I may, it even welcomes a female vocals at some point beside the dark background keyboards. So if the album starts abruptly with a Brutal Death Metal that hits you like a brick wall, the last two tracks are almost Symphonic Death Metal with a middle-eastern flavour. I also have to mention the very good, expressive, harmonious guitar leads and solos that convince me the band is a solid one. There are some weak points though and the one that annoys me is at times the drums become so fast paced and compacted that the overall sound becomes boring, or even awkward, and the few tracks placed in the middle of the album are an example of these awkward sounding drums. A good album overall, a powerful come-back with a personal touch that might get the band to stand out in the future, but they are not there yet.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10