“EL CUARTO JINETE”
Album Review By Iron Mathew
Muro are a metal band from Spain, forming in 1981, releasing three demo’s between 1983 and 1986, and releasing their debut album in 1988. Four more albums followed before the band split in 2003, reforming in 2009, playing a number of festivals over the next few years, eventually releasing album number six, ‘El Cuarto Jinete’ in 2015. Released on the Spanish label Leyenda Records, the album has now been released worldwide by Fighter Records in 2017.
Singing in their native tongue, Muro open the new album with the blistering speed metal song ‘El Cuarto Jinete’. The band have been around since the early eighties and have developed a style not too dissimilar to the German power metal movement that was gathering momentum at the time, with legendary bands such as Helloween, Running Wild and Rage leading the way. Galloping rhythms and plenty of head banging opportunities is a major trait of the musical style of Muro, and they don’t disappoint with this album. The pace gets quicker as ‘Otra Batalla’ races into sight and is rampant as it sets the airwaves alight with its scorching pace. Very heavy and fast, ‘Otra Batalla’ is catchy and infectious and if you want to sing a long then you’ve gotta learn the Spanish language first! Adopting a more melodic vibe, ‘Maldito Bastardo’ is a huge riffing, hard hitting slab of heavy rock. Echoing the style of the great NWOBHM sound, ‘Sobrevivir’ is a buzzing and raspy mid tempo romp. The NWOBHM sound was defined by British icons Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon during the early to mid eighties with many bands, even the new bands of today, adopting a similar style. Muro blend this influence effortlessly with their natural speed metal style.
The blistering pace of earlier returns in emphatic fashion as ‘En El Ojo Del Huracan’ storms into life and races off like a formula one car after the green light. Get you neck muscles warmed up, this one’s gonna be a blast… With an American power metal influence, ‘La Voz’ is an epic and majestic romp of rampant riffs and thunderous rhythms. This hard edged power metal American style is carried on in the shape of the catchy ‘Hermanos De Sangre’. Huge riffs with an infectious rhythm, ‘Hermanos De Sangre’ is foot stompingly and head bangingly addictive. Throughout this album, the guitars buzz, the drums thunder and the vocal delivery is clean and clear…all traits that have made the European style of heavy metal famous and very popular. Unlike many other bands, such as Grave Digger, Helloween, Gamma Ray and Primal Fear who have become big names around the world, Muro have never reached those heights, yet their brand of music is very similar, with so many similarities, in terms of catchiness, addictiveness and sing a long ability.
Muro have certainly placed Spain on the international power/speed metal map and have established themselves as one of the premier and pioneering bands to emerge from Spain. ‘Honorable’ turns the album back towards the out and out pace of the speed metal genre and positively races with urgency. ‘Honorable’ is a sizzling and electrifying storm of rampantness. The hard rocking melodic edge returns in the shape of ‘Muero Por Ti’, with its bombastic nature, buzzing guitars and powerful vocal delivery. With the album hurtling to a close, the final two songs on the album are a surprise. ‘Fratricidio’ drops the pace and increases the heaviness, introducing some very heavy guitar work and a riff that the doom metal genre would love. ‘Fratricidio’ is the heaviest song off the album and is a departure from the bands signature sound. The last song on the album is ‘Kill The King’, a cover of the Rainbow song that appeared on their 1977 album ‘On Stage’. This version by Muro is actually very good, with it keeping true to the originals pace and intensity.
Overall, a blistering album sizzling with speed metal, influenced by the eighties German power metal movement as well as NWOBHM and the American power metal styles.
El Cuarto Jinete
En El Ojo Del Huracan
Hermanos De Sangre
Muero Por Ti
Kill The King (Rainbow cover)
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