Tuesday 28 March 2023

Trémolo - Sin Llorar (2023)

Country: Peru
Style: Hard & Heavy
Rating: 8/10
Release Date: 3 Mar 2023
Sites: Facebook | Instagram | Metal Archives | Twitter | YouTube

Trémolo have been around for a long time, since 1995, but they've been sparing with releases, this being their first in no fewer than fifteen years and only their fourth overall, but I wonder if line-up consistency has played its part. Only Elías Fuentes, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, was on all of their albums and, in addition to him, only lead guitarist Reynaldo Rojas was on Detrás de la puerta in 2008. Rojas is easily the highlight of the album for me, his fluid guitarwork elevating everything he touches from the very opening of the opening track.

The title track kicks off the album with a Rojas solo and there's another, more substantial one still to come in the second half that's delightful. Márchate opens with excellent guitarwork too and the rest of the ten songs on offer don't find him resting on his laurels. He's somewhere between Slash and Michael Schenker and that's not a bad place to be. What's especially notable is that he clearly has the talent to perform outrageous solos but he mostly chooses not to, focusing instead on a far more simple but always elegant approach. This album would be elegant without him, because that is inherent to the songwriting, but it wouldn't be as good.

He channels Slash most obviously on Márchate and Enamorado de un Ángel, but neither ends up a Guns n' Roses song, for a number of reasons but mostly because Fuentes doesn't sound at all like Axl Rose. He has a much sweeter tone that fits well with the elegant musical approach, though he can turn on emphasis whenever he likes, whether that's by ratcheting up emotion or power. While he sings in Spanish, so I don't understand most of the lyrics, he has excellent enunciation so those of you who do speak Spanish will be able to understand both his words and any further depth he's layering into them.

Between the two of them, they create a strong album. It has all the melody of melodic rock but in a framework with a bit more kick, usually hard rock but occasionally a little heavier again, such as Zorro y la Llama, which is built a clearly heavy metal riff. Rojas's solos tend to feel more like they're designed for metal songs than rock ones, even if they fit perfectly with whatever everyone else is doing. Enamorado de un Ángel, for instance, is surely a rock song, packed with emotion and more of that seventies organ floating in the background, but there are points where we can believe it's being performed by a heavy metal band aiming for a power ballad.

There are lots of other touches that suggest that something heavier will come. Rosas Negras has that power ballad approach too but, like Enamorado de un Ángel, it's not soft. Vencerás has a sort of Somewhere in Time-era Iron Maiden vibe when it kicks off, though it moves in other directions when it grows. Tal Vez kicks off with elegant piano that suggests a symphonic metal song, but it's got other ideas again. Before the organ shows up to flavour Corazón de Luchador, it kicks off as if it's a Dirty Looks song, Oh Ruby without the Bon Scott impersonation in the foreground. There's a comradely backing vocal too that wouldn't be out of place in folk metal, appropriately given that even I can translate that title.

Less overtly metal, for the second album running for me, after the latest Godsmack, there's a song here that reminds me of Like a Stone. Here, it's Te Besaré and that feel is in the first solo, which is different to any other on the album, and some of the vocal escalations. There's even a melody on Tal Vez that's surely borrowed from the old "Here we go! Here we go!" football chant. Trémolo do a lot on this album and it all works to some degree, often a high level. I've listened to this for a few days now and really need to move onto something else, but I'm not quite ready to do that yet. It's good stuff and every song's a winner.

No comments:

Post a Comment