When music can transcend language, it is something special. One of my favorite punk releases is Retroceder Nunca by the Chilean band Metanoia and despite the entire album being in Spanish it is simply a great album to the point where it’s worth spending the time learning some Spanish and translating the lyrics. With Guerra Espiritual by the Argentinian band Prevalece, I now have a metal album in all Spanish that will be getting a lot play.
Unfortunately, I can’t seem to locate much information on Prevalece other than bits I’ve translated off their Facebook profile, which is also in all Spanish. From what I can tell, Guerra Espiritual appears to be their first release and is an independent one.
My first impression of Guerra Espiritual (Spiritual Warfare) is that this could very well be Metallica from the Black album era done in Spanish. Especially when you listen to a song like “Holocausto” you can hear the Metallica influence. Néstor Garrido’s vocals even sound quite a bit like James Hetfield’s in terms of tone and other vocal inflections throughout the songs. Guitar solos are very well done but that is one aspect that wouldn’t fit with the Metallica comparison as they are different than what you would expect from Kirk Hammet.
Again, not being familiar with the band, I will say that the “Intro” left me wondering what was coming next as it sounded a bit like a country-western type theme. That didn’t last long as the opening of Máxima revolución kicked in and immediately brought to mind the beginning of “Am I Evil”, again with the Metallica comparison. From there the song kicks in to a galloping rhythm for the verses though and the comparison to “Am I Evil” falls apart. Throughout the song and album Sebastian Lopez shows his skills on the drums with a variety of fills and double bass sections, all the while keeping the songs moving along. The song even feature some harmony guitar solo parts reminiscent of Stryper or again, parts of Metallica songs.
Prevalece is an obviously Christian band with a strong message. Simple translation of the album title gives Spiritual Warfare, and song titles relay that message with other songs including : “Seventy times seven” , “Sacrifice”, and “The only way”. The video for “Sacrificio” also conveys that message as the clips are depictions of the life of Jesus.
Musically, there is a lot to like on Guerra Espiritual, as Prevalece has put together an album of strong songs that make for an enjoyable listening experience. Yes, the vocals are in Spanish, but within the framework of the songs, even that works. Production and mixing are excellent. Musicianship is also excellent and the songwriting and arrangements are also very well done. A number of songs on this album sound somewhat familiar, likely due to the Metallica influence. Without listening to the album, it is very difficult to convey the strength of that Metallica sound. At times it’s as if Metallica was really a Latin American band and this was the follow up to the Black album. However, at other times, like in “El Legado”, there is a very non-Metallica sound and a thrashy beginning that leads into some sections where Néstor Garrido’s lead vocals do a shout and answer with the backing vocals in a way that really works well. Around the middle of the song it breaks down a slower atmospheric section only to revive back into something sounding like Metallica briefly before one of the more incendiary guitar solos on the album takes things into a different direction. That combination is likely why I like this album so much. Prevalece have managed to draw on the familiar and at the same time introduce arrangements and their own elements into the songs that keep the listener’s attention. Combine that with very strong performances and quality of sound and Guerra Espiritual ends up as an album that can be enjoyed regardless of the languages you speak or understand. I need to learn more Spanish!
Written by John Jackson
2. Máxima revolución
4. Guerra espiritual
5. Setenta veces siete
6. El legado
8. El único camino
Néstor Garrido – Guitar and vocals
Mauro Valverde – Bass and backing vocals
Sebastian Lopez – Drums
Emmanuel Rodriguez – Guitar
Record Label: Independent, April 2014
Video for (Intro) and ‘Máxima revolución’
Video for ‘Sacrificio’