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Excalibur - Humo Negro

Excalibur - Humo Negro

Label : Fighter Records | Archive under heavy / power metal

Release type: Full-length CD

Nima : I had never heard of this Spanish band before. However, the band’s history goes back to 1984 and they have been active since 1996. During that time the band has released several demos and EPs, along with two full-length albums. Fortunately I was able to find those records on YouTube, and I have noticed that the debut, Generación Maldita’ (1988) is a reasonable hardrock/heavy metal album with a typical Spanish sound and vibe. The successor, ‘Cero’(1996), however is a dull, tasteless rock album without balls.

The third LP, that – four years after the resurrection – is about to be released, is fortunately nothing like its predecessor. Stylistically the band has changed little over the years, and the music is still best described as melodic 80s hardrock/AOR and heavy metal, and has a delightfully old-fashioned charm. Think of a combination of ancient Magnum, Bon Jovi, AC/DC and similar acts, along with that typically 80s keyboard sound, and 80s heavy metal a la early Priest. The songs (and the production) sound quite basic and minimalistic, which also emphasizes the old-school charm. Personally I can definitely appreciate this type of approach. The songs are very easy-listening and happily rock forward. The gentlemen also impress with good guitar works, and deliver the necessary variety along the way. Besides that, vocalist Paco Mira doesn’t have a standard voice for this type of music, but fits perfectly into the whole and provides a bit of a distinction.

Altogether ‘Humo Negro’ is definitely a pleasant rock album that will surely apply to the fans of 70s and early 80s hardrock and heavy metal. I must however say that the album doesn’t have the necessary means in order to stay interesting from start to finish, whereby it frequently loses grab of the attention, and whereby the album doesn’t rise really above the average.

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