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De La Muerte - "De La Muerte" (CD)

De La Muerte - "De La Muerte" CD cover image

"De La Muerte" track listing:

1. Fallen Angel
2. Silver Bullet
3. Desaparecido
4. Die'n'Roll
5. I'm Not A Legend
6. Secret Witness
7. Malaguegna Salerosa
8. I'm Alive!
9. Sorrow

Reviewed by on August 11, 2015

"If you want, nay… need to roll down the main strip playing burly guy hard rock and feeling really awesome about making the exact right choice for your soundtrack music…"

When Brand New Sin ditched burly vocal basher Joe Altier and a triple (!) guitar attack the band turned from my favorite summer day, top down jam to just another mediocre southern blues hard rock group. Blech. Now, praises to The Holy Mother, I have a new favorite. De La Muerte is everything I’ve been looking for in a hard rock band. And holy crap, De La Muerte is just so so so much fun to listen to. For a hard rock band, there is a lot to unpack though. Let’s go point by point, keep it simple.

-The band centers its themes on Santa Muerte, which is Spanish for “Holy Death.” It’s a folk saint in Mexico that makes sure dead people make it safely to the afterlife. Cool.

-Vocalist Gianluca Mastrangelo is going to make or break this band for most folks. For me, he totally makes it. When he really belts it out he’s got this super barrel-chested warbly bellow thing, and it’s totally awesome. Geddy Lee, Bruce Dickinson, James LaBrie – these guys take themselves very seriously – Mastrangelo, just through his delivery, makes it clear he’s here to rock, and everything else can go pound sand.

-The production is top notch: heavy, thick and dense yet still clear with each element quite audible. Simone Mularoni – I don’t know who you are, but you did a hell of a job.

-The guitar playing of Gianluca Quinto and Christian D’Alessandro is varied and versatile. “Die’n’Roll” has a late 1990s cadence, while “I’m Not a Legend” is more early 2000s hard rock ballad, while “Desaparecido” sounds like they stole Joe Satriani’s favorite licks and tuning tricks, but practiced enough to pull it off.

-They’ve got a sense of humor. A campy theme, music that rambles all over the influence continent, even whole songs that are hilariously awesome – “Malaguegna Salerosa” sounds like they killed the local mariachi band, slipped into their costumes and spent Wednesday night serenading the local Mexican restaurant patrons with amazing heavy metal covers of Mexican folk songs.

A fun theme, a vocalist that makes it until he breaks it, excellent production, versatile guitar playing and a sense of humor. Clearly not for everyone, but if you want, nay… need to roll down the main strip playing burly guy hard rock and feeling really awesome about making the exact right choice for your soundtrack music… well, I’m not really sure why I need to write anymore. If you don’t see where this is going by now, you were probably part of that dead mariachi band.

Highs: The guitar playing is varied and skilled.

Lows: Some songs having clear matching elements, and it stands out, but not in a good way.

Bottom line: Fun hard rock.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)