When we think of Rock and Metal, immediately the alarm for satanism for someone and more. By now, these two genres are historically associated with the cult of the devil, at least for part of the mass culture, but it is not always so obviously, as has been demonstrated several times over the last 50 years.
What I want to talk to you about today, however, is a partial truth, of a “sui generis” case, where one can not and must not, for the most part, be the important one, judging from the appearance. I’m talking about Pablo Mercedes and his latest album, “Devil & God“. Yes, of course, I know what you can think of with a name like that, with a training that is called “Pablo Mercedes Y Los Cojones del Diablo“, but I invite you to stop for a moment before making hasty conclusions.
Let’s start from the beginning: Who is Pablo Mercedes?
To answer this question, we must take a step back in time, to 1979, when an old, Punk-style collective, with the name “Rabid“, began its journey into the world of professional music. Years of experience, records, shows, lead to the new and definitive deployment of the 21st century. The creators are Pablo Mercedes (Voice and Percussion) together with his old friend Senor Penguino (Guitars), who like to define themselves as the two new “Disciples of Diablo.”
Attention, because as I said before, you have to know how to look deeper, beyond appearances and this reference must be seen from a purely artistic point of view. Mercedes and Penguino are in fact two warriors of the new millennium, bearers of a lost musical faith. The music they created is something new, but at the same time nostalgic, that It makes you go back to the old 60s, now so far. And here is the surprise! because with a high-sounding name like “Devil & God“, you could think of who knows what extreme work, but it is not! That album is a perfect amalgam, a meeting point between Rock and Blues.
The new consortium of the two musician, flanked by Juan Euro (Bass) and Max Panzer (Drums), perfectly knew how to mix the hardest and most decisive moments of Rock music and Metal, with the most sophisticated and intrinsically romantic Blues, both with all their possible nuances, alternating a series of songs all very original and different from each other and that never tire. That’s why, such music can only be defined as a product of the Devil, but you know, when you make a deal with the Dark One, you always pay a price and that is a life of debauchery, highs and disorder … or maybe it’s just appearance? The audience will have to say it.
With this wonderful new work, the “Pablo Mercedes Y Los Cojones of Diablo” are ready to carry around their music and conquer Europe and the World.
Devil and god
A captivating start, with a guitar reminiscent of a country motif. The women’s choirs enter the scene, then the drums and so on. Mercedes enters the scene, starting to speak iconically, reminiscent of some old forgotten dialect, but with a pleasant sound, which brings to mind a tough and wild Old West.
It tells of a small town, theater of the clash between the Devil and God. They are looking for women, when four bad guys arrive here. They would have liked to make plans and business, but it is not so easy to deal with the Lord and the Dark and in the end, neither their mouths nor their guns have sounded any more.
The verse has a hard and sustained rhythm, up to the refrain that has an air and pica, but more delicate, singing from a sweet voice. This pattern is repeated 3 times, but with small and subtle variations, pleasant to find. To break the apparent repetition is the guitar solo, well elaborated and inserted, ready to join a manual ending.
In the Shade
A folk trio begins to make its way in silence. The harmonica appears first, then a benjo and the last percussion. This is the story of a man who likes his life, without worries and without work, who is happy with the simple love of his woman.
Here the song surprises you and from what seemed like a simple folk ballad, a bridge takes you back to a piece and drags you into the purest rock of the 90s. Knock or not at the door of the workhouse? A reference that can not fail to make Guns N ‘Roses think for some reason.
Particular attention is paid to the bridge and to the guitar solo of the second part. They are the perfect amalgam between blues and rock.
In a very decisive way, the drums and the guitar make their way to open the piece. The atmosphere is a real reference to the past, an old-fashioned Rock & Roll, enriched by a harder tone. Without a doubt, it is music suitable for the story, a story of frenetic and unreserved love, of pure carnal relationships guided by instincts and the desire to enrich them with … something more.
The song sways on the waters of time and music makes a jump between the ages, becoming suddenly more modern, between the bridges and the refrain, to become old style in the verse.
Get Your Haircut and Get a Real Job
The air of folk rock can be breathed from the beginning. A piece suitable for music lovers: the story of a young rebel, eager to spend his life playing and listening to records, but from everywhere come the reproaches and warnings; he should have a job and get settled.
A piece whose charge grows more and more going forward and exploding approaching the end, in a spectacular guitar solo that opens the door to a new genre, much more marked by Hard and Metal.
Probably the song with the most country and folk character of all. It can be understood from the banjo and the percussions that open and shortly afterwards, from the harmonics that follow closely. Elli Buj is a strange and violent girl who feeds an unstoppable impulse: scare and kill. No one would not run off his feet and screams of terror and hatred against her rise everywhere.
The structure of the piece is interesting. The verse and the refrain play a very similar role and in some ways are a bit ‘the same thing. Despite the theme of the song, the music that initially does not seem suitable changes and surprises. In fact, the somewhat distorted electric guitar plays a fundamental role in this case when it appears and performs its solos.
Made in Detroit
To understand where we are, the song starts with the sound of a loaded pistol and a shot. That’s right, we are in the infamous Detroit and to accompany us is one of the most successful musical mix of the album, a rock blues with very harsh colors. The perfect music to accompany a long journey, especially in a place that is not the best reputed. The verse, solo and refrain recall a lot Aerosmith in “Pink”.
This song totally distorts what has been heard so far. Simple, calm, extremely romantic, yet melancholy. No matter what you read the words or the sadness interpreted in living a seemingly sad life, with the need to stun to make it better, this piece is everything. This is one of the cases where I do not want to make anticipations or surprise, but expect a breathtaking duet.
We return to the hard rock line, almost punk. A story of love and abandonment, of a life destroyed without Lucy, who was like a beacon in the night, like the sun in the sky, like everything and more. The piece knows where to go and continues straight on its way. The continuous use of the anaphora recalls the sadness of the soul of the singer, but the song proceeds fast and this repetition is not heavy.
The most interesting parts are the bridge and the solo, to which I recommend to pay attention.
Here again we make another change and descend deeper and deeper into the bowels of hell. This song, with a metallic flavor, is bleak and violent; a hymn to the screams, of pain, of terror, of those who let themselves go arrived at the moment of death. These screams welcome everyone and are the entry ticket for Rocksenstein.
Perhaps it will conceal less surprise than others, but surely this song meets the tastes and needs of fans of the genre.
Rock & Roll Band
Last song to close the record in beauty. It starts with a voice, young, feminine and an echo that calls, which declares love for music and wanting to become a rockstar. This is how one of the most iconic and strong songs of the whole album starts. A powerful guitar and a well-beaten drums to support it. This piece speaks of love for rock bands, of the desire to be, of success and, as already mentioned, of the passion for music. In the end this is the desire of every musician and rocker: to be a rock star.
It is the longest song of all and perhaps the most iconic for the guitar riffs, the solos and the incisiveness of the strophes. To be felt until the end, even more than once. Thanks to Mercedes and all of you.
Final Rating: 8/10
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