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Dia De Los Muertos - "Day of the Dead" (CD/EP)

Dia De Los Muertos - "Day of the Dead" CD/EP cover image

"Day of the Dead" track listing:

1. We Rise/We Kill
2. Day of the Dead
3. Sacrificic
4. Falso Poder
5. Sangre Por Guerra

Reviewed by on July 7, 2006

"an excellent death-thrash offering with good variety, guest vocalists and well-timed and executed solos"

Initially intended as bonus tracks for Colombian metal band Agony’s US re-releases, guitarist Andres Jaramillo and drummer Alfonso Pinzon realized this new material sounded different and decided to release it on its own. They recruited Body Count bassist Vincent Price and soon went into the studio to record. However, without a vocalist, they decided to call in their friends in music who they’d shared the stage with before. As a result, each of the tracks on the resulting five-song EP entitled “Day of the Dead” feature a different vocalist including Asesino’s Maldito X, Andres Gimenez from Argentina’s A.N.I.M.A.L., Alex Okendo of Colombia death metal band Masacre, and Loana dP Valencia of L.A. thrash metal band Dreams of Damnation, with only one song - the title track - featuring vocals by the core members themselves. The vocalists sang in their native languages as well, resulting in two tracks being sung in Spanish and the other three in English.

Dia De Los Muertos mix several elements into their sound. Most of the vocals could fit death metal, as do some of their riffs, but there is also a healthy dose of thrash and plain old heavy metal thrown into the mix. The constant down-tuned guitars conjure up thoughts of “Diabolus in Musica”-era Slayer. Yet in just five songs and with rotating vocalists, Dia De Los Muertos manages to create a diverse EP.

The first song, “We Rise/We Kill,” features Loana Valencia growling on vocals, and like Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow, only a few places reveal that the vocalist is female (and only after one knows that as a fact in the first place). The song is very thrashy and at times could pass for a down-tuned Arch Enemy. The title track, with vocals by Andres and Vincent, sounds the most like Slayer. The chant of “War, Motherfucker, War” could easily pass as Tom Araya, yet the sporadic blast-beat that drives much of the song conjures up Demiricous’ death metal-tainted emulation of Slayer. "Sacrificic" is another well-crafted death-thrash hybrid song. The final two tracks are sung in Spanish, with "Falso Poder" being a slow, heavy song and "Sangre Por Guerra" being the most pure death metal track on the EP, indistinguishable guttural death metal lyrics and all (despite the language they are “sung” in).

In just five tracks, Dia De Los Muertos has created an excellent death-thrash offering with good variety, guest vocalists on each track and well-timed and executed solos throughout. If you’re looking for something a little different than the typical death metal, look no further than “Day of the Dead.”

Highs: Lots of variety in what is otherwise a solid thrashing death metal release

Lows: The down-tuned guitars tend to muddy the sound and make the songs a bit less distinguishable than they could be

Bottom line: An excellent death-thrash offering with lots of variety on a short album

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

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)