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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Puya

Fundamental

Review by Gary Hill

This one is included as progressive metal, because although it really doesn`t fit the traditional definition of that genre, it includes very unique musical influences and quirky arrangements. The music encompasses thrash, punk and death metal, while bringing in such unusual sounds as salsa, Latin based grooves and jazz. This unique combination of textures certainly qualifies the inclusion as prog metal in the writer`s opinion. The mixture of sounds here is really quite breathtaking and surprising. The lyrics to the album are bilingual, part English/part Spanish. Puya is Harold Hopkins, Sergio Curbalo, Ramon Ortiz and Eduardo Papiagua.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Oasis
Beginning with driving death metal tones, the intro concludes after horns join the mix for an interesting combination. As this intro drops away, it is replaced by a Latin groove in a rappish sedate and bouncy mode (somewhat along the lines of Faith No More). Eventually, this gives way to a segment firmly rooted in an old thrash mode ala early Metallica. The song then alternates between these modes. Some of the lyrics are in English, some in Spanish. The horns return to usher the song out in creative fashion.
Fake
Fast paced thrash tones makeup much of the early segments of this song. Seemingly out of nowhere, the song switches gear to a horn driven, Latin-tinged jazz groove, before returning to the early tones to end the cut. It ends with a brief spoken word sound bite.
Fundamental
The early segments of this cut are salsa based with a jumpy groove and lots of horns. It then shifts gear for a verse of solid thrash before returning to the earlier themes. The number then alternates between these segments, while incorporating an instrumental break that seems part Black Sabbath, part Santana and part big band.
Montate
A psychotic, Zappaesque intro leads to thrashish verse segments that gives way to a Latin groove based traditional movement. The piece alternates between these modes for a time, before breaking into a very quirky and progish break strongly in a Dimeolaish vein.
Whatever
This cut has a War based sort of texture, but with a harder edge.
Retro
Progish and balladic early segments give way to more thrashish material. Again, this piece alternates between the two modes.
Sal Pa` Fuera
Although firmly based in thrash, this cut features a funky instrumental break with guitar solo. In fact, other than that break, the main focus of this cut is a very early thrash sound, part metal, and part punk.
Remora
Remora is a hardcore/thrash-oriented number all of whose lyrics are in Spanish.
Trinidad
A Captain Beyondish groove starts this cut. Then it becomes a very funky Latin based groove, a bit Chili Peppersish. This is a very strong cut.
Solo
A funky bass line begins this cut, which quickly takes on very jazzy tones, then moving into strong salsa modes.
No Inventes
An effects based intro leads to a funky, but thrashy cut.
 
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