“Ash” – Album number 4 by Spanish RED WINE, fittingly hailing from one of the wine hot spots, Logroño or to be more precise the region Rioja, coincidence or plan? A good year after my first contact with the band, the album “Sueños Y Locura“, the guys are back with “Cenizas” and my hopes had been pretty high, as the previous album had been very good already and red wine, as we all know, gets better with time.
The band, formed in 1997, as so many bands on Arise Records has chosen Power Metal as its style, but still is incorporating some Melodic Metal elements to differ from the rest. And two elements define RED WINE, the voice of Mario Suarez and the crunchy guitar work of the duo Jesus Zuazo and Dan Díez, which is very gritty and tight and leaves a very good impression.
“Miedo De Soledad“ at the beginning (“806“ is only a spoken intro) is the more or less typically driving opener, borne by the great riffing and the tight drums and the fact that Mario ventures into a bit too high highs at times, having the potential to send fans screaming, but I only say – the riffing… After that Mario thankfully stays in more natural pitches and that does the songs a lot of good. “Lágrima De Soledad” combines keyboards with heavy riffing, which lends the track a very interesting atmosphere, altogether it is very catchy, but without turning bombastic.
Also in the following songs they deliver quality, just to unleash a cracking double whammy, “Ojos De Ley”, driven by blistering double-bass, yet still sounding fresh, and “Negando Lo Envidente”, which lashes out with tons of bristling energy and should win over any Power Metal fan.
The Spanish vocals will deter a few people, who have problems with lyrics they can’t understand, but as with many of their countrymen it brings in a quite own appeal. The production is clear and powerful, as the compositions need and deserve, they are not original in the least, but with the freshness and all that does not matter! (Online June 18, 2005)