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6.1/10 Roberto

DELTA - Apollyon is Free - CD - Pez Productions - 2004

review by: Roberto Martinelli

Apollyon is Free is a very lopsided album that shines so brightly in certain areas, but is very lacking in others. The major draw here is the top notch guitar shredding and keyboard wizardry on hand. The style is basically in the so-called neo-classical style that fans of power metal have come to expect, but nonetheless what Delta display demands attention.

Sylistically, the song structures and riff writing have a very strong Yngwie Malmsteen flavor Ė especially the last four or five songs on the CD, which are the most technical and interesting.

What else scores big points are the two tracks that feature female and male vocals with piano accompaniment, which is organic and rich. Itís a fine complement to the particularly impressive talent of Magdalena Reyes. The male vocals are quite fine as well.

...which brings us to the albumís low points. Despite the great skills of the musicians, Felipe del Valle canít sing his way out of a paper bag. Ok, so itís not a teeny paper bag, but still, del Valle sounds woefully out of place on this record, like a weekend jogger amongst Olympians. The result is that the bulk of the metal songs Ė the parts where he sings Ė stumble and lack validity. Itís a mystery why the woman on the clean tracks, or even the guy on those tracks (if that is indeed a different guy) couldnít be coaxed into being the full-time singer. Then what a force this band would be.

The above problem might be made worse with the piddly production. Itís clear Ė which is good, as it does the precise and rapid playing justice Ė but very trebly and weedy, like it was mixed entirely on a Casio keyboard. The mixing is particularly bad as far as the vocals on the metal songs is concerned, perhaps exacerbating del Valleís weaknesses, but we think his bad tone is a problem he carries with him everywhere.

It is also perhaps due to the precise nature of this band being a showcase of "the best of the Chilean scene" that makes it falter. Generally, there are ideas that don't seem to have come to maturity, and an overall hodge-podge feeling to the tracks and lineup. Apollyon is Free ends up being an album that soars about 40 percent of the time, and lumbers around awkwardly the rest. Letís hope this band continues to tie up the many loose ends, as the future has major promise. (6.1/10)


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