Monday, October 13, 2014
…Reino Ermitaño – ‘Conjuros de Poder’
Peruvian witch doom masters Reino Ermitaño have finally released the follow up to 2012’s excellent ‘Veneración del Fuego’ with their fifth album overall, ‘Conjuros de Poder’. Those unfamiliar with the band’s inimitable take on doom-laden heavy music laced with a dose of psychedelia have truly been missing out. Thick creative riffs, uncharacteristic instrumentation, and enchanting vocal melodies are at the forefront and help elevate the band’s entire discography to an entirely different plane.
‘Conjuros de Poder’ is another worthy addition to the band’s catalogue and while it may not be quite as immediate or as instantaneously gratifying as their previous efforts, particularly ‘Veneración del Fuego’, it is an album of subtle complexities and nuances. ‘Conjuros de Poder’ is a darker, more somber album than what the band has previously recorded.
Despite the overall gloominess of Reino Ermitaño’s latest the album still retains the magic found on earlier releases. “Ancestral” puts the spotlight squarely on bassist Marcos Coifman and drummer Julio "Ñaca" Almeida. Coifman unleashes some of his catchiest basslines to date and Almeida’s busy drum work help to both anchor and propel the song onward. Coifman really lets loose toward the end of the song to stellar effect. ‘Conjuros de Poder’ marks the second album recorded with guitarist Eloy Arturo and his presence has been a welcome addition. The band’s music has never sounded heavier, but Arturo is also able to accent his guitar work with subtle hooks and trippy atmospherics.
Rivalling the band’s unique instrumental style is the bewitching vocals of Tania Duarte who, on this recording, generally sounds angrier and even maniacal at times. The layered vocals found on “Calendula” for example are both sinister and transcendent. Not only is Duarte’s voice perfect for the band’s music, but she also adds an infections element to the songs by creating memorable vocal melodies that also act as hooks.
‘Conjuros de Poder’ finds Reino Ermitaño continuing down a spiraling path of doom that is well worth the journey due to the band’s creative and complex compositions. “Kali”, a tune that would have fit in well amongst the tracks of ‘Veneración del Fuego’, finds the band incorporating sitar for what is one of the standout tracks of the album. “Kali” has the feel of an extended epic jam, but at three-and-a-half minutes it ends way too soon. Despite the brevity “Kali” brings some of the album’s heaviest riffs and features some of Arturo’s best leads.
Reino Ermitaño have created another sonic masterpiece in ‘Conjuros de Poder’. Each track is imbibed with a mystical energy that few other bands are able to match. Though ‘Conjuros de Poder’ is generally a gloomier album than what the band has released in the past it still manages to enrapture the listener, particularly on the straight-forward rocker “Abraxas” or the emotional slow-burner “En mi Mente” which, in an odd way, brings to mind echoes of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing”. Another excellent release from Lima, Peru’s Reino Ermitaño. The band has yet to take a misstep. Highly recommended…