19 October 2009
by Luke Morton
Long gone are the days when self-proclaimed Flamenco Metal band, Breed 77, bothered the UK Top 40 with ‘The River’.
Since the glory days of 2004, the band has evolved into a much heavier band, with their fifth studio album, Insects, carrying a political message that can only be told through Spanish guitars and double-bass pedals. Album opener and first single, ‘Wake Up’ sees Paul Isola’s signature vocals snarling over some frantic drumming and metallic riffs culminate in over four minutes of head banging glory, but is let down by some beyond-stereotypical angry metal lyrics “I’m gonna wake you up to watch you die” (oh to be 12 again!). The solo also seems to just have been thrown in to make the song last longer, it doesn’t seem to belong at all despite all the rampant fret-flailing.
Sadly, those last two points can be levelled at most of the songs on Insects. The lyrics arefor the most part uninspired, despite the political undertones, and those guitar solos seem more forced than a Sunday morning dump. There are a number of saving graces though – ‘In The Temple Of Ram: Rise Of The Bugs’ in particular showcases Breed 77’s musical talents with an interesting near-six minute instrumental blending of electric and Spanish guitars.
A notable highlight of the album is the cover of The Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’ as the album’s closer. A longtime component of the band’s live shows, Breed 77 put a very different spin on the track with a blend of slower/toned down verses against heavier choruses. Of course, there is the inevitable solo (why not cram another in before the end?), but it still somehow manages to work.
Watch the Spanish-language version of ‘Wake Up’ by Breed 77
Insects probably won’t see Breed 77’s return to the mainstream music scene of the Top 40 charts. And while it contains some of the band’s best work in a while, it is hampered by some of the lyrics and over-the-top guitar solos. Fun in places and definitely cpable of getting heads banging, Insects just isn’t the masterpiece of metal Breed 77 want it to be.
Top Tracks: Wake Up, Zombie, Insects
Sounds Like: The next stage of Breed 77’s career
Breed 77 – Insects tracklisting
The Battle Of Hatin
Revolution On My Mind
Who I Am
One More Time
In The Temple Of Ram: Rise Of The Bugs
Guerra Del Sol