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Reviews

Reino Ermitano: Rituales interiores

23/04/12  ||  gk

Lima, Peru’s Reino Ermitano started life in 2001 and “Rituales Interiores” is the band’s third album released in 2008. The band essentially play traditional doom metal but in a manner that is quite original and inventive.

“El Despertar” starts proceedings with a slow and melodic riff before things go clean and quiet. Vocalist Tania Duarte steps in with a melodic vocal line that’s very catchy and effortlessly follows the music as it ebbs and flows through a calm meditative passage and a heavier doom metal riff. It’s a pretty great start to the album with the band keeping things pretty traditional but also adding a vibe that seems to come naturally to the South American doom scene. “Oro Negro” is probably the most Sabbath inspired song here and it’s got a rock n roll vibe to it that’s quite impressive. Marcos Coifman’s bass playing stands out on this song as he grooves like a motherfucker behind the heavy 70s riffing of guitarist Henry Guevara. El Sol Tras la Niebla is my favourite song on the album and has a beautiful melody and a gentle jam feel. It’s heavy doom but the melody and the organic feel of the instruments gives it a spacey, dream like quality. Duarte’s vocal lines too are pretty fucking great here as she lets go of her flat singing style to actually let her voice soar with the music. “La Daga” is some more brooding atmospheric doom rock with a thick and rumbling bass sound that slowly picks up momentum as the song goes on. “Hacia La Nada” sees Duarte pushing herself a bit, alternating between a flat monotone voice and a harsher more aggressive style on top of some pretty slow and heavy riffs. It’s a short but very effective song. The album closes with “El Ermitano” and it’s a gentle, acoustic song that sounds folky and meditative; almost like a cross between “Solitude” and “Planet Caravan” while not really sounding like either.

The lyrics are all in Spanish and this gives the vocals a certain mysterious vibe that I enjoy greatly although the booklet does come with English translations of the lyrics which just reinforce the atmosphere of mysticism and magic realism that the music propagates.

Tania Duarte’s vocals are mostly flat and without a lot of emotion and this style works well with these songs. Occasionally she lets her voice go and it sounds great. She’s got a sense of melody that is just a bit off kilter and usually ends up delivering vocal melodies that sound strange on first listen but get stuck in my head on repeat listens. The bass playing of Marcos Coifman is really impressive. His style is fluid and laid back and his thick bass tone adds a lot of dynamic to the songs. Henry Guevara loves Iommi but he’s never limited by the legend. His riffs are usually slow and measured while his melodies are unpredictable often ending up in places least expected.

“Rituales Interiores” is a classy piece of work. All of the promise and potential that was hinted at on their debut and on “Brujas Del Mar” was delivered on this album. Considering the number of female fronted old school doom bands doing the rounds these days, it’s a wonder that Reino Ermitano is still a bit of an unknown in the doom scene. Fans of bands like Jex Thoth and even the new wave of occult rock and metal bands like Uncle Acid or The Devil’s Blood should find enough to like here but instead of regular Satanism be prepared for some South American mysticism. The band also has a new album out this year and I can’t wait to see how they follow this up. “Rituales Interiores” is essential for fans of the genre and not that difficult to track down.

9

  • Information
  • Released: 2008
  • Label: I Hate
  • Website: Reino Ermitano MySpace
  • Band
  • Tania Duarte: vocals
  • Henry Guevara: guitars
  • Marcus Coifman: bass
  • Julio “Ñaca” Almeida: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. El Despertar
  • 02. Oro Negro
  • 03. El Sol Tras la Niebla
  • 04. Cabeza de Culebra
  • 05. Escudo y Cruz
  • 06. La Daga
  • 07. Hacia la Nada
  • 08. Desencarnado
  • 09. Samaritano
  • 10. El Ermitaño