Spain and France are a combination that aren’t really considered a huge amount, which is strange given a mountain range and the tiny country of Andorra is all that separates them. That’s about to change, however, because IMPUREZA are exactly that. Over their career they’ve shared the stage with bands such as GOJIRA and CATTLE DECAPITATION, won the W.O.A Metal Battle France to land a spot at Wacken Open Air and have a prolific recording career with a number of EPs and splits released since 2005. Friday marks the release of only their second full studio album though with La Caida De Tonatiuh (the Spanish for ‘The Fall of Tonatiuh’, the ancient sun god of the Aztecs), coming to you via Season of Mist.
Sadly, much like their ancestors, this is a record that is very quickly consigned to the history books; there just isn’t enough that reaches out and grabs you by the scruff of the neck. When you consider the plethora of brilliant releases in 2017 from the more extreme side of metal that include THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER and CODE ORANGE to name but two, the bar HAS been set very high indeed, but La Caida De Tonatiuh would struggle even in a more barren year. Opening the record with Spanish acoustic guitar on Lamentos De Un Condenado (‘Cries of the Condemned’) is a real curveball but could be seen as lulling the listener into a false sense of security given that Sangre Pare Los Dioses (‘Blood for the Gods’) is an injection of pure death metal; sadly, IMPUREZA have made the decision to have a good few numbers across the record which are purely acoustic, thus stopping any momentum they pick up along the way.It’s a shame because one of said acoustic numbers is a touching tribute to the famous Paco De Lucia entitled Corazón Al Cielo (‘Heart to Heaven’) which is one of the few highlights but doesn’t work in the overall context of the record.
The big standout is the wordy El Nuevo Reino de Los Ahorcados or ‘The New Kingdom of the Hanged’, which actually combines the classical elements with metal and offers up something with a bit more grit than the rest and, along with the thrashier Leyenda Negra (‘Black Legend’) and Camino Hacia Mictlan (Path to the Underworld), stops the record from being a complete disaster; credit as well must go to the band for singing in their mother tongue which is never easy in an industry that seems to weed out all the acts that don’t sing in English. That said, Esteban Martin isn’t the greatest singer to ever pick up a microphone and is all too often lost in the muddy production that does this album no favours either. There are definitely ideas present, but it’s very a much a case of ‘better luck next time’ for IMPUREZA.
La Caida De Tonatiuh is out now via Season of Mist.
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