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Legiones del Sur

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Album Review

A press release that Italy's Cruz del Sur label sent out with Legiones del Sur addresses the fact that all of the CD's lyrics are in Spanish, saying, "Commercially, this could have been not the wisest move, but it is the band's determination to maintain a strong tie to their roots." Well, there are different ways of looking at that. Jezabel is a power metal/fantasy metal band from Argentina and metal's primary language is English — at least in North American and Europe. Even in European countries where English isn't the official language, most metal bands write in English because they want to reach the British and North American markets. But on the other hand, catering to Spanish-speaking audiences isn't necessarily commercial suicide; anyone who has seen sales figures for Maná, los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Shakira, or Maldita Vecindad y las Hijos del Quinto Patio can tell you that rock en español is a huge market in Latin America. At any rate, combining Spanish lyrics with power metal works well on this 2003 release, which recalls melodic '80s headbangers like Iron Maiden, Savatage, Queensrÿche, Helloween, and Warlock. To metalheads who've never spoken or studied Spanish, it might sound strange hearing lead vocalist Leandro Coronel drawing on Bruce Dickinson's influence while embracing Spanish lyrics. But it's actually an appealing, logical combination — at least if you have some knowledge of Spanish or any of its sister languages (Italian, French, Portuguese, and the obsolete Latin). In its own loud, aggressive, forceful way, power metal is an imaginatively romantic style of music — and Spanish is, after all, one of the romance languages. Legiones del Sur falls short of excellent, but it's a decent, satisfactory demonstration of the fact that power metal still has its place long after the '80s — and not necessarily en ingles.

Legiones del Sur, Jezabel
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