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REINO ERMITANO (Rituales Interiores) CD

Very much indebted to early Black Sabbath, Lima natives REINO ERMITANO may already be familiar to some of you from their previous albums. Here now is their third album, which has been released by I Hate Records in 2008. 'Rituales Interiores' is a dark sombre trip into the backyard of your imagination, where you won't find much light. With just as much Black Sabbath as vintage 70's Hardrock in the mix, this album is a solid piece of work. It's as heavy and earthy as you'd want yet it also has a near psychedelic feel, what comes mainly from vocalist Tania Duarte. Singing soley in Spanish her clear voice builds a nice contrast to the heavy riffs. That isn't entirely new, but female singer are still hard to find in the world of doom.

But what of the music, itself? Well... it's energetic. Competent. But it doesn't leave any significant impression, although their music isn't completely uninteresting. 'Desencarnado' comprises a very effective blend of technicality, melody and tasty arrangements. 'El Ermitano' is perhaps the most Sabbath-like track on offer, its acoustic passages and cleanly sung lyrics by a male vocalist remind me to 'Solitude' from Black Sabbath's third album. 'Oro Negro', meanwhile, is driving heavy rock, which is interrupted by a jazz-soaked mid-section before guitarist Henry Guevara is playing a beautiful melodic solo. Though sometimes just a little obtuse and wilfully self-referential, 'Rituales Interiores' is a quality album. Nice.