Twice so far Bolivia has surprised me very positively, at first with LILITH, then with the outstanding ESTERTOR. Now this South American land tries to land a success with me for the third time and sends ORDALÍA out to win my favour and again I do not really get what I had expected, musically.
Unfortunately the band is pretty scarce in information, as the biography even on the English part of their homepage is Spanish, which does not make it easier for me, but at least I can read that this is a quartet and the songs have been recorded in late 2001. But that’s about it. What strikes, though, and is mentioned on the site as well is that every bought CD is hand painted and thus unique. Interesting idea!
A stomping rhythm with a quite high guitar sound reaches my ears, together with a not really polished voice, which definitely right off the bat will split the reception by fans, believe me. “March Of The Death“ is the title and who now thinks of bands such as THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG, at least has a rough idea of where ORDALÍA head towards on their debut.
Obscure, maybe with the guitar sound planned exactly like that, with vocals that you could definitely call cranky, based on the traditional Heavy Metal of the Eighties. With “Turkish March” they even take on Mozart in their very own style and sound and in the faster passage I am not all sure, if the right melody line just drowns in the sound or if Jairo (or Vladimir?) splutters a bit. The guys only rarely get fast, but mostly operate in mid-tempo, here and there also slower, but always keep their “trademarks”, the guitar sound and the voice of Vladimir.
And this is a quite important factor, why ORDALÍA most probably won’t appeal to the mainstream fan, as they run off the beaten path and still do not get too complex. Still the mix is what separates the crap from the crop. But I have to say that the songs of “Epitaphios” have their own charm, which is somewhat appealing, as the very interesting closing instrumental “Asgard Till The End Of Times“ with its Spanish acoustic guitars shows.
An interesting debut, which more than once left me without words as it is hard to describe, but fans of the a bit more obscure kind of Heavy Metal should try this out, yet who rather follows the mainstream should circle ORDALÍA. (Online May 1, 2004)