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Mago de Oz - La Leyenda De La Mancha  CD (album) cover


Mago de Oz


Progressive Metal

3.56 | 50 ratings

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3 stars A concept album, "La Leyenda De La Mancha" has MAGO DE OZ using heavy metal to bring Cervantes' story of Don Quijote de la Mancha to a young audience.

The cartoonist Gaboni has done some odd and amusing CD art for MAGO DE OZ albums and this one does not disappoint, the back cover showing a tatooed Sancho Panza wearing a MOTORHEAD T-shirt over his paunch, with leather jacket and earring! Don Quixote, in his jeans and bullet belt, has a guitar slung over his shoulder and is thumbing a lift.

'En Un Lugar...' starts with bagpipes and the sounds of battle, followed by Gaelic fiddle and tin whistle. Then it ups tempo, and guitars, bass and drums kick in using the same tune.

'El Santo Grial' is a real fast-paced rocker with Gaelic fiddle and José howling the lyrics. It owes more to the Classic Rock styles of DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW, SCORPIONS, MOTORHEAD and AC/DC than Progressive Rock. It's not bad for head-banging rock music, though. There is a 'classical' interlude at machine gun speed using rock instruments and fiddle, playing a very well-known classical tune (Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5 in f sharp minor).

'La Leyenda de la Mancha' is another thumping Classic Rock-style number. Some great guitar soloing in this one. Fiddle midway through brings in the Gaelic feel again, but this is not Prog Rock either. Good, though.

'Noche Toledana' just consists of twangy, reverberating guitars picking out a tune.

'Molinos De Viento' is another Gaelic-sounding rocker of a song, although it has some quieter moments over some catchy fiddle. This is a real foot-tapper of a number and makes me want to sing along. Very enjoyable, actually. Quite interesting when the guitar takes up the part of the fiddle.

'Dime Con Quién Andas' is the slow rock ballad style so beloved of the Classic Rock bands, although there is some pleasant slow Gaelic-sounding fiddle too. Some heavy chopping guitars come in partway through and I can't complain. I also enjoy the wailing guitar solo.

'Maritornes' is another fast, thumping number with chopping axes assisted by fiddle in the refrain. Same formula, and again nothing to do with Progressive Rock. s'OK, though. I like the thumping beat. Another foot-tapper.

'El Bálsamo De Fierabrás' is just pure AC/DC. The guitar rocks. This is what you should have blasting from the stereo in your cabriolet with the top down on a sunny day as you cruise down the highway.

'El Pacto' starts quietly with some plucking acoustic guitar and Gaelic fiddle playing a simple but pleasant folk-ish tune. But, before long, in crash the guitars over the fiddle and José belts out the song as usual. Then some very DEEP PURPLE guitar soloing à la "Machine Head". Quite enjoyable over violin.

'La Insula De Barataria' starts off with very Gaelic fiddle and tin whistle over bass and drums. Another simple tune, but enjoyable, and I find it difficult not to whistle along. Then there's an interlude with some heavy guitar and almost Ian Anderson-like flute before the violin and tin whistle take over again. What can I say, I can't help liking it and tapping my foot. This would be great fun down the pub.

'El Templo Del Adiós' is another slowish ballad with fiddle in the background. Again a simple tune, but not bad for that. Rounded off nicely by some acoustic guitar.

'Réquiem', at over eight minutes, is the longest track by far on the album. It starts off calmly and very effectively, and the echoing, massively heavy chopping axes that come in are the business. This is quite an interesting track, actually, because it's pure Classic Rock in feel and yet, listening to it, it has interesting twists and changes in tempo and mood. Have to say I enjoy what the boys did on this one. The most 'progressive' track on the album. Love those axes. Crank this one up loud.

'Ancha Es Castilla (Epílogo)' rounds off the album nicely. It's a quieter song with acoustic guitar and some flute, and with an almost medieval sound and simplicity to it. José sounds rather like a minstrel on this one.

Now, this album has precious little to do with Progressive Rock. It's 180 degrees off my normal listening route, but I just happen to like the MAGO DE OZ formula: the addition of fiddle, tin whistle, the occasional flute and even bagpipes to produce a Gaelic feel here and there over some classic licks and chopping axes is quite fun. I also like the singing in Spanish, which makes an interesting change from the vast number of rock songs in English. There's no subtlety to it (especially to José's singing) but, hey, the group do what they do well and, sometimes, I want a meaty chargrilled burger with extra relish and fries, not nouvelle cuisine.

OK, what about a rating? Forgetting rock music genres, I would give this album 3.5, possibly 4 stars. As this is a site specialising in Progressive Rock, I'll stick to the 3 stars (Good, but not essential) but, if you like foot-tapping Classic Rock and the prospect of a Gaelic lilt to it sounds interesting, do give this album a try. Don't expect Progressive Rock, just fun music. Metal lovers should have no trouble at all enjoying this one. Rock on, MAGO DE OZ!

Fitzcarraldo | 3/5 |


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