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Six Magics - Falling Angels
CD Reviews
Written by Doctor T.   
Friday, 13 July 2012
Six Magics - CD Review
Falling Angels
Six Magics - Falling Angels

 

CD Info

2012
Coroner Records

13 Tracks

English Lyrics

 

In the interest of truth in journalism, I’ve been a fan of Six Magics for a long time. I covered their first release a few years ago and became friends, after a fashion, with lead singer Eli Vasquez. That first release was one of the best of the year, and I named it as such in our Best of 2010 article. Since then I’ve become aware of a number of additional bands in Chile, and like them all. But 6M holds a special place for me. This latest release was a while in coming, Eli had some medical concerns that put things on hold, and worried a lot of us more than a little. But, the girl is healthy again, and this release takes the last one and moves it forward in a serious way. You just don’t get a vocal like this very often, and, with the overall quality of the band, this is metal to move your soul.

I guess we all have musical styles that move us. I mean, there are actually living human beings who see value in the Beiber. But, most of them don’t visit this site. However most of those who do visit this site have some interest in metal, be it Gothic or otherwise. And, as with other musical styles, there is quality and there is less than quality. I’m fortunately in a position where I get to hear a lot of stuff, mainly femme metal oriented, but not always. And, with the wealth of material I get to listen to there are clearly those sounds that float to the top. Fortunately for me, in the area of femme metal, I hear most of the best out there. Not all the best, no one hears it all. But, I hear a lot. And, consequently, I’m in a relatively good position to make judgments. And since much of my career has been in the areas of Measurement and Evaluation I like to think I’m relatively good at making judgments. Not that I can guarantee anything with that, but it does tend to make my evaluations somewhat more data driven than some. And, with 6M, it’s relatively easy to measure the individual components that we typically associate with strong metal and come to some conclusion. First criteria is, of course, the female vocal, being as how this is a female vocal outlet. And, although I often tend to focus on bands with an operatic vocal, that isn’t always the case. The vocalist here is talented in other ways. She can do the sultry, she can do the solid metal, and she can do the emotional. And, she does it all with the same level of excellence. In each case, that vocal style seems to mesh perfectly with the material being presented. But, we have to go beyond the vocal, there are symphonic elements, there are significant choral sounds, there is everything you want in this form of music. And all of it at the top of that individual category. Those are additional criteria I look at. And, beyond that are the lyrical components, the production work, the writing, all of it goes into that multidimensional scale that leads to my final conclusion. Often, what we find is that a band will demonstrate some of these criteria at a high level, while other components are somewhat less worthy, at least in my estimation. So, my evaluations tend to be based on a relatively quantitative analysis, I am disposed that way.

Well, this release is better than the previous one, and different. That last one was somewhat reserved in a lot of ways; maybe it captured the reality Eli was facing at that time. But this one is a joyous venture into a stunning interpretation of life, one with all the up tempo flavor of a life recaptured, a loud and thunderous restatement of a glorious "la maravilla de todo". That’s not to say Eli can’t still do the beautiful, she can, but she does it with a more focused view towards life. Songs like Do You Remember can take us to thoughts like those we experience in our darker moments, when we focus on our own individual reality. But the metal provides a vehicle that places those thoughts in an all-conquering epic interpretation of the concept. Eli speaks some lyrics here, it puts an emphasis on the message that can only be captured that way, but the metal reminds us that this is a larger form of communication. And, the symphonic at the end leaves us with a feeling that seems to make the message all that more rewarding.

One thing to keep in mind here is that there is a lot of music on this release, 13 tracks. And, there’s no real short stuff, no filler. I didn’t hear a track that I couldn’t listen to multiple times. The majority of it is up tempo, as I mentioned. They utilize a variety of styles, in the sense that there are some prog related tracks, some more metal sounding, others that may approximate other styles. But, you truly get your daily required dose of guitar based metal; this is metal to stir the foundations of life. And, for many of us, that’s what we want. Eli gives us a vocal that drives that sound over each category of style. And you get that vocal both on the recorded material on the CD but also in live performance. I’ve always been interested in the dichotomy that sometimes exists between live and recorded sounds, especially the vocals. However, that dichotomy doesn’t really exist with this band. Their recorded material sounds pretty much like their live material, and their live material is pretty much as good as it gets, this is a band that brings them out to listen. Another Name is pretty much representative of the sound the band presents and this live performance is representative of what you get for your money should you find yourself in Santiago. However, interestingly enough, the vast majority of the videos currently available for this release focus on recording sessions, and they’re far and away the best productions of this kind I’ve ever seen. You get to see some serious guitar players in action, the drums are clearly intent on raising the dead and you get to see the lovely Eli in action. And, beyond that, you get to see some of the "guest" musicians doing their part. I Know takes us to the sultry side of Eli’s delivery, this one takes us to a something almost akin to a blues sound. But, there’s that subtle accent and that vocal component that combines a number of vocalists in something just a little different, something we don’t get elsewhere. The guitars also present a slightly different delivery, there’s a South American bent to it, it reflects a culture and a people.

I’d be remiss not to comment on the lyrics, the thoughts delivered by the music. Eli doesn’t write the darkest Gothic music around, but, it’s a long ways from uninteresting. There are some solid ideas, some stark comments, some thoughts reflecting personal topics. How To Live is representative of these ideas:

To be alone without a soul / Alone
Agonizing I live my life / My sadness here
Pain comes to me / Alone, in this hell
Forgiving myself
How to live / Looking at my past 
I feel / All my broken dreams 
Never good enough to make them real
Chains of fools / No time, no way
Some voices that call for justice

Clearly, there is a pretty big sound on the CD, and you know it didn’t come entirely from the 5 musicians who comprise the band. There are guest vocalists, as seen in the videos, and there are instrumental (for instance violin and oboe which sometimes play the main melody) guests as well. And, of course, there are the ever popular symphonics (done by guitar player Eric Avila and sound engineers using midi and vst technology) which enrich a number of tracks. And there is diversity to the sound; Start Another War actually begins with a focus on male vocals, before turning it over to Eli, and both male vocals are significant. 6M was, at one time a male vocal act.

Well, I suspect you know what this production is going to get, rating wise. It’s better than the first one and I can’t see how that could possibly rate less than a 10. With this band, with this vocalist, I would expect nothing less. Of course, there is always still some room for improvement, and with 6M my only request would be to hear Eli sing in Spanish. Well, maybe next time. Until then, this is as good as it gets. Si es Six Magics, sabes que va a ser la buena.

10 / 10

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