Wow, is “Apocalipsis” really the sixth studio album of the Spaniards from Logrońo already? Yes it indeed is and that in just seven years, not bad, eh? Ever since their almost legendary debut “Medieval” in 1997 I am a die hard fan of TIERRA SANTA and more than once I compared them to IRON MAIDEN. And on their previous album “Indomable” they had already incorporated some Rock influences, which, I think, was not the worst possible idea not to get stranded in the dead end of copying themselves.
On “Apocalipsis“ this trend continues and as commendable as the will to change (a bit) is, I have to say that the energy suffers a bit from that, which had been one of the trademarks of the band ever since. Opener “Nerón“ right away throws some RAINBOW into the mix, plus some organ and ready is a quite catchy opener, which levitates somewhere between the Heavy Metal that is so typical for TIERRA SANTA and Hard/Heavy Rock, but they really master this split very well, before the title track comes through quite a bit straighter and faster.
Spain’s Metal export number 1 (together with MÄGO DE OZ) continues with this mix also throughout the rest of the album, on the one hand they put more emphasis on melodies and Rock influences, while they still unleash the Spanish steel and let the guitars saw, thankfully never losing sight of the quality. With “Rumbo A Las Estrellas” they even tread Melodic Rock ice, with very dominant keyboards, which hit me pretty much unexpected and with all quality of the song does not really sound like TIERRA SANTA to me, but if they could make some breakthrough with it…
Altogether the Spaniards show that their song writing has matured, at the same time, though, keeping their trademarks, especially the distinct voice of fronter Angel, which still is an integral part of the TIERRA SANTA sound. Also more Rock oriented songs such as “Nerón“ or also “Tu Misión“ get their TS stamp, while “Kamikaze” has a really fitting title and drives the album forward with a great sawing riff and driving rhythm, a true hit, “La Ira Del Cielo“ unpacks the twin guitars, “Esta Tierra Es Mia” combines strong riffing with faster tempo and “Hermano Del Viento“ closes things off with a very emotional, calm ballad.
For some fans the increased Rock element might cause some miffs, especially with “Rumbo A Las Estrellas“ being pretty extreme as far as that goes, but I still think that the band did a good move in broadening their sound, because the style of TIERRA SANTA is somewhat limited and this way they prevent becoming a copy of themselves. Still I like the band best, when they put the energy all out and that should be the goal for the next album, but until then “Apocalipsis” still once more is an absolutely recommendable album. (Online February 24, 2005)