I chose this album to review based solely on the cover artwork. I was drawn to the dark, shape-shifting forms & the stories hidden within them. My gut instinct based on cover art is seldom wrong & I was rewarded again here.
Morgana vs Morgana is a progressive/alternative metal band hailing from Spain. They formed in 1992 & have produced several albums to date. Their current EP offering De Lo Inevitable was released in November 2011. I am lacking much other information on the band as my Spanish is more than a little rusty–I can ask for a bathroom, order more beer or curse you for having neither but that is about my limit.
From the first notes of Donde nace el mar (Born Where the Sea) I was transported into a dark, cavernous club. The song starts slowly, picking out notes on the guitar in a gentle almost hypnotic manner & I’m peering toward the dimly lit stage. As I relaxed into the tones I was yanked upright by a furious assault of heavy guitar & pounding percussion. The club in my mind jumps to life as everybody starts to move with the music— fists raised in the air & heads bouncing back and forth on the 2 & 4 beats. I can hear the influence of Tool & soak it all in. About halfway through it slows and I’m waiting with bated breath for that heavy bass to pound into my body again. When the moment comes I’m ready this time & I’m rocking fully to every note. Melodic & rich, Carlos Pagola‘s voice rises above the music & inhabits the space fully.
Title track …De lo inevitable (In the Inevitable) has an almost ballad style of singing. Carlos Pagola‘s voice is in it’s higher register & he’s crooning the lyrics. Raul Pagola‘s bass lies underneath; both foundation & hidden danger. With this song I’m hearing Bush, Foo Fighters & even some Audioslave. Mind you it’s not imitation but rather a delicate mix of influences that creates a wholly singular sound.
Javier Cortez opens Nuestro despertar (Our Awakening) with some straight up metal guitar & he kills it. The vocals begin softer once again and then leap into the hard rock on Cortez’s guitar progressions. Here the music is slightly grunge metal. It grinds & growls in a dark, dirty fashion. I am back in the club–lights flash over a mass of bodies engaged in the ancient of rite of dance & they are willing to sacrifice themselves to the rock gods.
An acoustic guitar progression mixes with electric guitar to get Una vida mejor (A Better Life) off to a complex start. What could be a commonplace metal song is lifted into a more progressive place with the shifting tempos, alternating acoustic & electric guitars and excellent vocals.
Morgana vs Morgana manage to infuse their heavy metal candy with a dark, chewy progressive center that is quite satisfying. If you’re looking for something unique this EP certainly fits the bill. While the lyrics are all in Spanish the music without doubt transcends language barriers. My only complaint is that four songs hardly seems sufficient.
Morgana vs Morgana are:
Voices – Carlos Pagola
Guitar – Javier Cortes
Guitar – Zagg
Bass – Raul Pagola
Battery – Vicente Merodio