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Viuda Negra biography
VIUDA NEGRA was born in the beautiful Andean city of Quito, capital-city of Ecuador, in 1996. The majestic mountains only worked as the perfect background for this progressive-metal band to come to existence; after years of playing in low-profile bands, with a love for 80's rock as common denominator, VIUDA NEGRA's members gave their first concert together in a small bar called "La Nota" (The Note), on February 2nd of the mentioned year.

The band performed together for 2 years, after which the original line-up dissolved. Santiago Silva (vocals) and Johnny Gordon (drums), the only remaining members, performed with several other musicians in an effort to find the right musicians for their project. Many of the songs they wrote and played during this period would appear in the band's first full-length.

VIUDA NEGRA were finalists, between 2000 and 2002, of two of the first Rock Concerts organized in Ecuador the principal objective of which was to promote national bands, part of a rock movement that was growing. 25000 copies were produced with the finalist's songs of one of this concerts, "Fioramusica"; this record contained VIUDA NEGRA's song "Pretendo", making the band known among the ever-growing rock and metal audience in the illustrious city.

November, 2002, marked an important date for VIUDA NEGRA, as they were invited to open for the worldwide known, acclaimed power-progressive-metal Brazilian group ANGRA during their "Rebirth" tour. The band gave a tremendous performance which won several fans and critics over.

In 2003 the band signed a contract with "Corporacion Cultural Ecuador" , and in October they released their first full-length, "El Final del Silencio" (The End of Silence).The group toured the geographically-varied, magnificent country to promote the CD. Most of the music media and press gave the album rave reviews, and praised the band for being one of the first to truly attempt to play an Ecuadorian version of progressive-metal.

Later on, next year, VIUDA NEGRA won a survey to represent Ecuador as the opening act for Finnish metal masters NIGHTWISH when they visited "America's Light", as Quito is known for having been the pioneering city to revolt against the Spain during the years of the Colony. The band performed in front of 10.000 fans who rallied behind the ever-improving metal outfit.

2006 saw VIUDA NEGRA concentrating on the writing and recording for their next album. They worked with produce...
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VIUDA NEGRA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
El Final del Silencio
3.58 | 7 ratings
La Voz de los Bosques

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Voz de los Bosques by VIUDA NEGRA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.58 | 7 ratings

La Voz de los Bosques
Viuda Negra Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Viuda Negra is a young progressive metal band from Ecuador releasing so far two albums. This is their second release from 2007 named La voz de los Bosques. I like how this band plays here, with balls, fat sound, great druming and very good vocalist. The pieces sounds fresh, is obvious that they play for pleasure here, lots of great guitar chops who interlude very strong with the keybords. I like a lot the vocalist - Santiago Silva - he has a good range, very capable vocalist who can mannage to make some jaw dropping moments like on - Instintos, Jardín de las Delicias or Requiem. What I like more is that the band sounds very good singing in his native language - spanish, like Lacrimosa for ex sounds brilliant in german language. Well now the best musician from this band to me is the drumer - Johnny Gordon, while is not having the most complex moves and beats you ever heared on a progressive metal band, he is very sure of the instrument, he plays with vein, I like him a lot, he is also present on Hittar Cuesta solo album, great aswell there. So, a good band, I really like their sound, but not really something soecial, only good album in this field who desearve 3 solid stars. Sometimes they sound like Polimetro, another prog metal band from South America who needs attention. Worth investigate , specially this album, they have a future ahead in this realm.
 La Voz de los Bosques by VIUDA NEGRA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.58 | 7 ratings

La Voz de los Bosques
Viuda Negra Progressive Metal

Review by The T
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I'm very proud to write the first-ever review of an album from my country here in ProgArchives. And what makes me even happier is that the album doesn't suck, at all.

Ecuador has never been a great cradle of musicians. If there's one art that has been poorly treated in my country, that's music. Ecuador national's genre (pasillo) is an atrocious excuse for alcohol drinking, depressive, defeatist, and musically-poor. Attempts at academic music have been few, and never achieving the level that composers of other countries have. Even in pop music, the simplest of genres, Ecuador has never been able to launch a truly successful international star.

Curiously, is in the darker and more "revolutionary" (socially speaking) areas of hard-rock/metal music where one can find the best Ecuadorean musicians. A genre that was at first reserved for those in the outskirts of society, the poor and the angry, is gradually gaining acceptance and welcoming better ideas. The good amount of live performances that heavy metal international bands put in Ecuador (such as ANGRA, NIGHTWISH or THERION) has allowed metal musicians to be more open-minded and more internationally-oriented than pop or folk artists, and that has been reflected in a new wave of bands that have finally been able to overcome the problems of mediocre recordings and poor musicianship. There have been even some that have started to mix traditional native elements to their rock (AZTRA is an example of that).

If I have allowed myself to digress so strongly from the point of a review (which should be to comment on a particular album), it's because some background was needed in order to understand how happy I am that VIUDA NEGRA ("Black Widow", in English) has been able to record a collection of songs that finally can stand toe-to-toe in most aspect with any progressive-metal recording or band of anywhere else in the world.

VIUDA NEGRA's first album, "El Final del Silencio" (which I will review soon), showed some promise but the DREAM THEATER influence was so heavy that the band at times sounded like another clone of the legendary New York outfit. But "La Voz de los Bosques" is a complete different story.

The band has evolved from being a clone to being a good progressive-metal group that shows its influences but that also has a sound of their own. The first thing one notices about this album is that, even though the style is very reminiscent to that of ANGRA and DT (in some riffs mostly), VIUDA NEGRA has achieved to play music that has a distinct flavor, something especially noticeable in the great track "La Sinfonia de los Elementos" or in the excellent title track. There's even a hint of Andean sound here and there, even though there's no Andean instruments in the record (an idea that could be discussed in the band's next opus). The neo-classical metal elements are blended with odd time signatures and complex song arrangements to create true progressive-power-metal in the vein of the mentioned Brazilian band or Norway's PAGAN'S MIND.

But this is also international prog-power-metal. Gone are the times when I could easily tell apart a band from my country from one of another just by hearing a few seconds of one song. This is played with first-class musicianship (Villalba, the guitarist, is very good, as is Maldonado, the keyboardist, who's probably the best artist on this record) and it has been recorded with first-class equipment. If this band sounds a little bit like ANGRA, believe me, that's a great compliment to a band from a country where saying that would've been impossible a few years ago. But the rock movement has finally started to give birth to good bands, and VIUDA NEGRA is a shining example.

The only minor complaint I have about this album refers to the vocal department. Silva has a good voice (he sings well) but doesn't have the raw power that most international metal singers have. At times his voice is completely overshadowed by the music; he can't rise to the occasion like an Edu Falaschi (ANGRA) or a Nils Rue (PAGAN'S MIND) would. Also, the vocal melodies aren't that strong sometimes, especially when they seem only to follow the guitar lead. This could be improved upon with more training and hard work. But there's material from where to build, as Silva shows that he can carry a tune, something he proves in the melodic and atmospheric slow song "Ausencia", where he and the piano command the whole stage.

A very good album marred by just some minor elements, VIUDA NEGRA's "La Voz de los Bosques" should be a welcome addition to any fan of progressive-power-metal. The correct rating would be a 3.5, but as that is not an available option, I have no choice but to round the rating up, as the effort and good work of this band deserves.

I hope more bands from my country continue to prove that good music can be created anywhere. It's all a matter of hard work, talent, having an open mind and having the will to do it.

Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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