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Dia De Los Muertos - "Satánico Dramático" (CD)

Dia De Los Muertos - "Satánico Dramático" CD cover image

"Satánico Dramático" track listing:

1. Las Cavaleras del Terror
2. Plague Mass
3. Sigo Siendo el Rey
4. Death's Embrace
5. Fresh Meat for the Grinder
6. Here Hell Rises
7. The Fifth Republic
8. Bestia de las Mil Cabezas
9. Sigo Vivo
10. Satanico Dramatico

Reviewed by on September 14, 2011

"Originally having put out their debut EP as outtakes from their respective bands, Dia De Los Muertos is back a half decade later with their full length 'Satanico Dramatico,' showing that they are indeed a viable side project."

Originally having put out their debut EP as outtakes from their respective bands, Dia De Los Muertos is back a half decade later with their full length "Satanico Dramatico," showing that they are indeed a viable side project. While their core members are Colombian, their home base is now in L.A. Dia De Los Muertos has a lot of winning elements put forth on this new one. Their style stretches all over the place from traditional thrash, death metal and crossover - and doesn't end there. The key is that it all works and makes sense. Variety also abounds on the record, making all the songs for the most part sound different. Not once did I have the urge to hit fast forward out of ennui.

"Las Cavaleras del Terror" leads in with a breezy Spanish guitar until vocalist Loana Valencia sings 'Que dices?' and then whomp, the song breaks into a fast, spirited crossover thrash track. Her vocals are so low-end and badass that you can barely tell she's a woman, which is a credit to her. There's quite the cabal of guest musicians from bands such as Repulsion and Asesino, and the whole endeavor has the slamming, polished production of none other than Jeff Walker. You can really hear the Asesino influence in "Death's Embrace." The solid metallic sludge and thundering rhythm are enhanced by good transitions and a reprise of killer whispers. There's a lot of dual vocals that give this album a great soundscape, as in "The Fifth Republic." The morbid growling and fast death-thrashing sound almost like an eight cylinder engine starting up.

They have songs that sound like well-produced versions of '80s thrash, like "Plague Mass," and could be placed in a set with Destruction without missing a beat. "Sigo Siendo el Rey" would fall into this category with its super low-tuned guitar and two minutes of mayhem, complemented with the funny lyrics, 'Vale madre buey...sigo siendo el rey.' "Bestia de las Mil Cabezas" sings 'seis seis seis' to a skank beat after thundering out of the gates, and "Sigo Vivo" shows that they are culturally Latino in their hearts. This song plays more like a Spanish arena rocker, akin to the way Latino punk is. Their Spanish lyrics are quite funny, so I am glad half their songs employ them. The LP concludes with the surf punk instrumental title track, featuring Johnny Coffin on guitar, and sounds as decent as anything the Cramps or the Dead Kennedys have done.

For a side project, Dia De Los Muertos is incredibly listenable. This is a band that needs to get together more often, aside from their regular groups. This album has plenty of variety and a good sound that is catchy and well-executed. The band itself has encouraged its listeners to download "Satanico Dramatico" at its website completely gratis, with the only stipulation being that the listeners 'play it loud.' That is yet another winning proposition.

Highs: A good montage of several styles of extreme metal and rock

Lows: A few average filler songs

Bottom line: The sound on "Satanico Dramatico" is kept interesting by the band changing it up

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)