When I first heard of Tierra Santa, somebody described the band as a Spanish equivalent of Iron Maiden. As similar things had been said about the Russian band Aria (which has become one of my favorite heavy metal bands ever), I decided to buy the band’s compilation record “1997 – 2007”, consisting of two discs with thirty-two classics from the first ten years, three new songs, and a bonus DVD with all video clips of the band, several live clips, and other extras. My impression of this impressive set was that the band played a mixture of enjoyable melodic power metal with lyrics about historical events, as well as many rock ballads featuring lyrics about more emotional and personal topics. This mixture didn’t really sell me, and it didn’t have much to do with Iron Maiden or heavy metal in general. Most songs sounded too fluffy and soft to my ears. But I wanted to give the band another chance when their new output Mi Nombre Será Leyenda was released earlier this year.
In my opinion, I’ve just wasted my time. The new record sounds even softer than the songs of earlier years. The record lacks energizing riffs, original song writing, and gripping passages. It all sounds like a light version of many older European heavy or power metal bands. I could only recommend this record to fans of very soft power metal like Germans Freedom Call, or to those who admire flower metal like Epiclore from Finland.
Despite the boring fluffy atmosphere, a few acceptable songs found their way onto this record. Note that they are enjoyable but far from being great. “Sólo Se Vive Una Vez” is a half ballad with truly great melodies and an elaborated epic feeling. The best things about this song are the crystal clear vocals, especially in catchy chorus. “Héroe” was the leading single of the album, and despite horrible keyboards that try to imitate symphonic sounds in the most artificial way, the song itself turns out to be a rather grounded track with a solid vocal performance and great guitar work. The most heavy metal-inspired song is probably “Perdido En El Paraíso” with its great melodic guitar riffs. Despite these standouts, even the best songs among the ten tracks on the album all sound quite alike and exchangeable. They simply fail to offer something surprising. Apart from the toothless song writing and the lack of fresh ideas, the most annoying thing on the album are the cheap keyboard sounds. With a truly talented keyboard player or a real orchestra, some songs would have had some potential and might have sounded more organic at least. The band missed this chance.
In the end, the band elected to leave their roots for a more commercial path over the years, and that practice has only found a new height with the new release. In comparison, I think it’s even hard to believe that we are talking about the same band here. What these guys are playing here is nothing more than radio friendly and redundant flower metal. Get your hands off this record.