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Flametal The Elder album cover
3.58 | 11 ratings | 6 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Elder (4:15)
2. Silencio, Escobilla (3:05)
3. Red Cobblestone (4:15)
4. Bruja Tortura (5:29)
5. P'alla Al Inferno Vas (4:21)
6. The Summoning (4:19)
7. Cuatro Caballeros (3:43)
8. Journey Into Fear (14:43)

Total Time 44:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Benjamin Woods / flamenco guitar, vocals, palmas
- Uriah Duffy / bass
- Brian T. Spalding / electric guitar
- Thomas Perry / drums

Releases information

CD Independent (2005)

Thanks to The T for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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FLAMETAL The Elder ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FLAMETAL The Elder reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When a friend of mine told me that, browsing through obscure blogs, he had found a band that mixed metal and flamenco, I was very happy. Then he told me the band was called Flametal.

My immediate thought was "Man! Why didn't Bon jovi called his band Popmetal? Why didn't Yes called themselves Symphorock? Can there ever be a worse, more lazy name for a band?"

But then I heard some samples in MySpace, and suddenly I decided to check more about the band. It didn't go long until I decided to spend actual money to get ahold of a copy of FLAMETAL's debut album, The Elder. I received the copy, I listened to it...

...Then I realized that this is possibly the best band I've ever heard with the worst name ever. And the logical idea followed: who cares about a name? Suddenly, I was in front of one of the best discoveries of the recent months. Thanks to my friend, again, for being such a blog-freak (with all my affection if you're reading, master-blogger).

FLAMETAL's The Elder is actually what it's supposed to be: a mixture of metal, thrash metal at that, with flamenco and more classical guitar-oriented music. The music, on its metallic side, owes a lot to bands like TESTAMENT, SLAYER and METALLICA, with touches of more progressive bands here and there, with shredding solos and scales and heavy pounding riffs; alongside we hear acoustic, flamenco guitars, with arpeggios, solos, harmonies and rhythms typical of that European (and mostly Spanish) genre. Paco de Lucia is cited as one of the influences for the band's sound, and it actually shows in the music.

Please. Don't think for a minute that this is a simple gimmick, that you will hear a few acoustic guitars as background for monster riffs and that the only fla in flametal is the sound of wood. No, the sound of FLAMETAL is a true mixture, a blend of styles, with rhythms and riffs typical of flamenco guitar played in the electric one and metallic shredding being performed in the acoustic one, with rhythms of both genres intertwined in a perfect balance of blood and fury.

Another one of the aspects that makes FLAMETAL a unique experience is the fact that, besides the usual instruments, the band incorporates two female shoe-dancers (zapateadoras) who also provide clapping rhythms to add spanish flavor to the music. When we hear The Elder, we have the weird -yet pleasant- sensation that we're in a dark, doomy, devil-ridden atmosphere, surrounded by red curtains, women in long, black-and-red dresses, and a scent of roses, wine and passion.

The musicians in FLAMETAL are top-notch. Leading the pack is, of course, mastermind guitarist Benjamin Woods who possesses a great technique that allows him to display a whole array of ideas in all kind of styles. He solos every now and then in The Elder, but he never tries to steal the show for himself. He allows room for the other band members to show their skills. In the last song, Journey into Fear, there's an actual drum solo near the end, something unusual in most rock recordings.

Let me comment about the vocals: they're not up to the same level as the instruments, but they're not annoying once one gets used to them, and, luckily for us, they appear only in three songs. His growling is weak, no doubt about it, but the music overpowers it so much that we quickly accept it as part of the drama.

All in all, a fantastic album, worthy of 4 stars for the great music and for originality and innovation. It's band like this that keep the music world healthy, and I have no doubt they will be discovered by a bigger label (The Elder was self-released) very soon. If not, try to get their music and enjoy one of the best bands around. No doubt we can say we hope the flame in Flametal will keep burning for years to come!

Recommended for: Every fan of melodic prog metal and melodic thrash-metal. Also, if you love flamenco AND metal, this is THE album for you.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Elder is american metal band Flametalīs debut album. As the bandname suggests their style is a mix of flamenco ( Fla) and metal. Itīs a very innovative move and itīs done in a true progressive spirit. Is it a successfull mix then? I guess it depends on the ears that hear.

The music can by described as a mix of flamenco like Paco de Lucia ( a bit of Al Di Meola) and classic metal/ US power metal. The tech metal tendencies show here and there, but the metal part of the music isnīt very impressive IMO. The flamenco parts are very good though and keeps the music exciting. When the vocals appear they really stink though. Boring lifeless rough singing. They really destroy more than they enhance the music. I would have prefered that The Elder was instrumental all the way through with vocals like these. No power is the best way to describe the vocals. I wonīt point out any highlights as all songs are of equal quality. Journey Into Fear is a bit more epic than the rest even though the 14:43 minutes is a cheat. There is about 5-6 minutes of silence before a bit of flamenco guitar playing ends the album. Not the best choice to end an album with. One other thing about the music I have to mention is the flamenco clapping which is a funny feature in Flametalīs music.

The musicianship is good and Iīll have to mention the flamenco guitar playing by band leader Benjamin Woods as it is of high class I just wish he wouldnīt sing.

The production isnīt too good and sometimes I feel like Iīm sitting between two recordings by a flamenco artist and a metal band and I think itīs partly the productions fault.

I saw a couple of 5 star ratings for this album and the mix of flamenco and metal seemed interesting to me so I tried it out. I canīt say itīs an album I will listen to very often, but it will find itīs audience Iīm sure. To me this is a 3 star album. There are good things like the flamenco guitar parts but there are also some pretty generic metal parts I could have done without.

Review by jampa17
3 stars Well, I don't like Flamenco and don't appreciate too much the growling... so, I can't take this album, it makes me feel angry and desperate...

After saying that, I can advise to the metal lovers to try this band, and try to find the shine where I cannot reach... This band really plays loud, makes a great job mixing two genres separates by light years and sound well and tight... For sure you will have a shock right from the start... this music is heavy and is well done, not just filling the album with a couple of flamenco solos, is really a balanced fussion, with a lot of time signatures changes and a lot of solos on the best Testament feeling, but the growls... the hard themes, I just can't take it, maybe I'm not prepared enough to appreciate this amount of heavieness and in your face trash metal and been shock a second later with a pure flamenco acoustic guitar, with palmas giving the rythum... It's just too much for me... so...

If you like trash and metal in general, this surely is a most listen... it's a lot more interesting than many many other metal fussion that are just for show and very little of musical sharing and experimentation... this really qualify as a great effort... I respect this band for the bold challenge, but canīt like the music... three stars it's a fair ranking...

Latest members reviews

3 stars For pure shock-value, this album ranks very high on the list. No, we are not talking about lyrically shocking themes like the ones the death and black metal scene is occupied with. We are talking pure music here. It is shocking to hear flamenco combined with thrash metal on one album. That giv ... (read more)

Report this review (#245405) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I don't know how I came to this cd. But when I watched the words FLAMETAL and the cover I just couldn't resist. I push play and oh my god! this is one of the best metal combinations I have ever listened... I don't even like flamenco (sorry I think is boring and annoying..yes annoying for a guy w ... (read more)

Report this review (#191411) | Posted by luger7 | Monday, December 1, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This must be one of the best combination i've ever heard definitely. Flamenco meets metal in a brutal way. But that feeling when you heard the claps and heel sound of flamenco dancers, brutality sounds so sweet and easygoing. I am little bit suprised when i saw Flametal here, not because i think ... (read more)

Report this review (#158238) | Posted by maniacforces | Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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