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PIDANOMA

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Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.75 | 35 ratings

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Evolver
Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This new album from Los Normal came as something of a surprise. Not that it is a change from their previous style, that I don't know. In fact, before this, I had not known anything about this band. I never attempt to hide the fact that I am usually not terribly impressed with prog metal bands, unless they incorporate more traditional prog aspects in their music. Well these guys impress me.

While all three of these Argentinian musicians are very talented, it's the drummer, Marcos Luis Crosa, who stands out. His drum beats are powerful, precise, inventive, and rarely repetitive.

Musically, Los Normal seems to be about pushing the boundaries of experimental metal, often into strange territories.

The album begins with Corto Normal, the closest thing to a traditional prog metal track on the disk. Beginning with a Primus-like drum/bass rhythm, it is an excellent opening track. The only fault is the vocals of Raul Garcìa Posee. Maybe it's just my tastes, but I find that raspy style of punk shouting almost as unappealing as death metal growls. Posee does redeem himself with some great, crunchy guitar work.

Ojota y Media baffles me a bit. It sounds like an excerpt from a live concert, with some spoken word, possibly from a radio announcer (I don't speak Spanish), dropped in at either end. The performance may be good, but the lesser sound quality detracts from the album.

Then comes the meat of the album. The remaining three pieces are all over fifteen minutes long, and each one is great in it's own way. The first, Mee Chango is the most traditional of the three. It features some interesting guitar and bass work, but is driven by Crosa's incredible drumming. He starts out low key, and manages to steal the song by building from that subdued beginning to a frenzied drum extravaganza by the end. Neil Peart fans should get a smile out of this one.

Mia Gato Está Solo en la Oscuridad manages to capture some of the spirit of late sixties Pink Floyd experimentalism and place it in the Los Normal prog metal mind set.

Guri Guri Tres Piñas is the most experimental of the three, and at just over twenty minutes, the longest. Led by Posee's spacy guitar, this song send the listener on a nice psychedelic journey.

I'd say this is a great album. Not perfect, but still one of the best so far this year.

Evolver | 4/5 |

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