1981. Vallecas, Madrid, Spain. A heavy metal band is formed, spend five years perfecting their art, and finally release Acero y Sangre, thus introducing speed metal to Spain. During their career, Muro has opened for Motörhead, played a shitload of concerts and released six albums. In 2013, El Cuarto Jinete was released in Spain, but virtually nowhere else. Fast-forward to the current year, in which label Fighter Records steps up to the plate and unleashes the album on an unsuspecting world (February 15, to be exact).
El Cuarto Jinete is heavy metal of the old school variety, with a production modernized just enough to avoid making the whole thing “retro” on purpose, without any overdone bullshit ruining things for reactionary farts like myself. The label mentions Accept, Running Wild and Judas Priest in its press release, for good reason. There are also quite a few passages of double kick-based power metal, and some riffing and solos that feel almost like classic rock. This is, by the way, clearly music for drinking, so if you don’t drink, you can go listen to something else.
The vocals are performed by the absolutely amazing singer Silver – in Spanish, with hints of the characteristic Madrid lisp. It’s cool beyond compare. The style is no-where near the slightly effeminate, high pitched castrato common to some power metal vocalists. Rather, much like label mates Candle, Silver’s style is more akin to Dickinson or Bayley, though it’s even deeper. The use of Spanish and many years of experience also give Silver’s vocals a very specific edge, and in a world where Muro had made it outside of Spain, we might well have been comparing Bayley’s vocals to Silver’s, rather than the other way around.
If you’re into classic heavy metal, speed metal or perhaps even power metal, Muro’s 2013 album should already have been in your collection. Thanks to Fighter Records, that is now possible even if you don’t live in Spain. Buy it from parent label Xtreem, or from your local purveyor of quality Heavy Metal.