Dúnedain – Mágica
I’m always fond of saying that I appreciate bands who can pull off a solid album in their own language. Even though I can’t sing along, the spirit is oftentimes more important than the actual lyrics, and poor singing in an awkward tongue has sullied many a power metal song for me. Spanish power metal quartet Dúnedain are a fine example of such a group, and Mágica is their fourth full length release, the first to reach my ears.
Opener “Corazon De Invierno” (“Heart Of Winter”) is a textbook example of great guitar hooks, stirring melodies, and an enjoyable ride through pretty basic but well-polished melodic power metal. Happily, it’s not the only worthwhile song that we get, nor does it run overlong. In fact, by the second listen, I found myself humming along idly with most of the tunes. “Noche De Suenos” (“Night Of Dreams”), another standout track, takes a simpler approach that, while endearing, made it clear to me that this album wasn’t going to be a keeper.
In a way, I feel that examining an album such this is a great way to detach yourself from the lyrics of an album and take stock of the genre in general. Since there’s nothing for me to sing along with (at least not easily), the album has to be judged on it’s pure musical appeal. In a way, I might compare this to Wisdom’s Judas, from last year, which has become a local yardstick for redundancy in power metal. Some of the tracks are rather samey-sounding, and choruses especially tend to be rather simple and are sung in steady common time using quarter notes (I’ve heard some Latin pop lately, and this seems to follow a similar trend). Unlike Wisdom, there’s a bit more variety here, but these songs are also more simplistic.
One thing that does stand out are the guitar solos. The tone in general is thick, heavy, and modern, and the solos are delightful shredfests that don’t have the mechanical sound that often comes with being overtly neo-classical. If anything, Dúnedain seems to avoid being technical or inaccessible. For one who speaks Spanish, this could be the equivalent of HammerFall, but with better vocals and guitar.
Mágica is worth a listen in passing to most fans of power metal, especially those who like it stripped-down and easy on the ears. Those who enjoy Spanish heavy and/or power metal and/or speak it fluently will also likely find this to be a fine addition to their repertoire. However, it’s a bit too bare to keep around for me, though songs like the opener and “Jugando A Ser Dios” are welcome with some frequency.
Dan’s Rating: 3.0 out of 5