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FLAMETAL

Progressive Metal • United States


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Flametal biography
FLAMETAL is a progressive-metal band formed in Berkeley, California, in the United States, in 2004.

The band's frontman and leader, guitarist Benjamin Woods, tried to create a band where the fusion of flamenco and metal would be possible. His vision was of a band where flamenco rhythms and tonalities co-exist with heavy/thrash metal power and dynamics. Both genres requiring speed and technique (virtuosity, in a nutshell, though of different kind), FLAMETAL was from the start a viable, excellent idea that has flourished into something important.

To accomplish its goals, FLAMETAL's music has room for both the electric and the acoustic guitar, with long passages where the latter displays the enormous fury and blood of flamenco music while the former lays still. Also, to further enhance the experience, the band's live shows sometimes feature flamenco dancers on stage.

The line-up is completed by Thomas Perry on drums, Brian Spalding on electric guitar, Uriah Duffy on bass (he also is the bassist in metal legends WHITESNAKE), and Angeline Saris on bass (the band has two bassists, another innovative element of their music). FLAMETAL's mastermind, Benjamin Woods, plays the acoustic-flamenco guitar and provides the brutal thrash vocals.

FLAMETAL released their first demo in 2004. Soon after, in 2005, they released their first full-length, "The Elder", which got a warm reception from the metal community.

FLAMETAL is currently recording their second album, "Master of the Aire", which will be released on 2008.

In their website, FLAMETAL cite as their influences bands like MEGADETH, SLAYER, TESTAMENT, KING DIAMOND, as well as towering figures as master flamenco-guitarist PACO DE LUCIA and other artists of great relevance as Dave Weckl and Uli Jon Roth.

FLAMETAL's music sounds like a mix of PACO DE LUCIA and SLAYER (in the band's own words) but also with many power-metal elements, a combination that transcends boundaries while exploring many new musical landscapes.
(Thanks to P. Urquiza for the band's information).




Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
The incredibly original fusion of flamenco guitars and techniques and metal elements makes FLAMETAL a worthy addition approved by the Team of Collaborators.



Discography:
The Elder, studio album (2005)
Master of the Aire, studio album (2008)
...

Flametal official website

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Buy FLAMETAL Music


ElderElder
Flametal 2005
Audio CD$168.33
$29.96 (used)
Master of the AireMaster of the Aire
Import
PID 2008
Audio CD$23.81
$4.99 (used)
FlametalFlametal
CD Baby 2014
Audio CD$15.10

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FLAMETAL discography


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FLAMETAL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.55 | 8 ratings
The Elder
2005
2.90 | 2 ratings
Master of the Aire
2008

FLAMETAL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FLAMETAL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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FLAMETAL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Elder by FLAMETAL album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 8 ratings

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The Elder
Flametal Progressive Metal

Review by jampa17
Prog Reviewer

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...

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 Master of the Aire by FLAMETAL album cover Studio Album, 2008
2.90 | 2 ratings

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Master of the Aire
Flametal Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Shock, horror, shock.

The debut album from this band is one of the most untraditional albums I have ever heard in my life. Flamenco combined with thrash metal in the vein of Testament, Slayer and Metallica is pretty inventive. Hence my jaw dropped to the floor.

I was well prepared for a new shock when I put this CD in my rig again. I was not let down by Flametal. This album is again a massive clash between, insert a famous flamenco band and Slayer/Metallica. This time, they have also included some more softer heavy metal tunes and flamencoed them up. It feels like Flametal is more secure in the music on this album. Metallica esque riffs and vocals are interrupted and sometimes even entwined with burst of flamenco. Does it work ? Yes, it does. Flametal set out to prove that thrash/ death metal and flamenco fits together. They succeeded. The result is not always pretty. Some of the songs here falls flat on their face. Other songs like for example the epic Nightwalkers really works with a blend of guitar solos, flamenco and death growls. But the overall impression is that this is a good album.

Flametal's two albums has to be heard to be believed. There is nothing like them on the scene. Nothing ! Flametal has singlehanded invented their own music style and I admire them for their invention. We need more innovators like Flametal.

3.5 stars

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 The Elder by FLAMETAL album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 8 ratings

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The Elder
Flametal Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

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 gives this album it's undeniable shock-value.

The vocalist sounds like James Hetfield in Metallica and the trash metal is in the same vein as abovementioned Metallica, with a touch of Testament and Slayer. Add some instrumental electric guitar pieces and flamenco. By flamenco, I mean hard-core flamenco and not the soft flamenco Triana did thirty years ago. This is a heck of a clash between two alien music styles.............. or is they ? I am not sure about that.

The end result is both a fragmented and a coherent album. The sparks flies on most of the stuff. There is also some pretty boring electric guitars twiddly-twee pieces here which falls flats on it's face. But the pieces of music with both thrash metal and flamenco is unforgetable and the sparks flies. Is that good ? I am in two minds here. But I am in no doubts that this is a very engaging album where the jaw drops to the floor several times. Both in disbelief and admiration. Flametal is both a brave and an innovative band. The Elder is a very admirable album. It is one of a kind. And the bottom line is that it is a good album too. It is not an album which makes me dance flamenco (I do not want to break both my legs) in joy, but still an album I cherish. It has to be heard to be believed. I give it top marks for orginality and three stars for it's quality.

3 stars

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 The Elder by FLAMETAL album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 8 ratings

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The Elder
Flametal Progressive Metal

Review by luger7

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 who listens extreme metal genres -_-') but the mix of these ingredients is so amazing, I forgot that....Of course, I don't know about other reviewers, but my approaching was because the Metal... I don't even considered this cd a prog work....just Flametal. I recommend this to all who likes interesting and new flavors into his metal.

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 The Elder by FLAMETAL album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 8 ratings

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The Elder
Flametal Progressive Metal

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.

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 The Elder by FLAMETAL album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 8 ratings

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The Elder
Flametal Progressive Metal

Review by maniacforces

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 their progress process in music is enough progressive for here. It's certain but for sure, i think, this is not their purpose and i don't see the band labelled progressive before. But their progressive vision as natural as men's erection. Harmony between flamenco and metal guitars, speed and technique with never ending melodious riches. After i listened this album each time, i am asking for more. For this stuff there are some similarities between composing music and writing book. This album could be complete mess if track list were different. I don't think they thought a lot for which song should be the first one; The Elder gives us an opinion about occurrence that we got involved and probably this opinion is for the beginners. And the elder is very succesfull about it. Next one Silencio, Escobilla shows wildest and very fragile side of flamenco at the same time. Red Cobblestone is like continuation of the fist song Elder. As Bruja Tortura which is like continuation of Silencio, Escobilla. Bruja Tortura's dose is increased. Next two songs P'alla Al Inferno Vas and The Summoning are last chapter of flamenco & metal association because you can imagine there is a something like war between them in Cuatro Caballeros. Sometimes peaceful and quiet and than lack of concession and harmony. Excellent. I was not sure about the ending happy or sad when i was listening the last song Journey Into Fear. But when i learn new album is on the way. I got that. Can't wait for listen the new record which already released. It was another suprising moment for me to learn Marty Friedman (Megadeth) played for the album as special guest. As the name implies Flametal. Give it a chance. You've never heard something like this before.

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 The Elder by FLAMETAL album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.55 | 8 ratings

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The Elder
Flametal Progressive Metal

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.

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Thanks to The T for the artist addition.

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