Monday, 29 August 2011

#076 Nazca - The White Wheel

Having been around for over 15 years, and having produced only one album, you might think that Nazca were something of a musical misfire, but no, the one album they did make, "The White Wheel" is testament to the fact that, despite not being the most active band, can still produce some rather decent, unique metal, in relative isolation from any major scene (the band are based on a small island off the coast of Madagascar)

Sound wise, Nazca sound like a glam band have decided to get into the business of making atmospheric, epic Metal music. While the rhythm guitar is mainly straight-forward, the production, and amount of epic additions thrown in by the lead-guitar makes an extremely shimmering, sparkling, scintillating sounding album, which washes over the listener like one of the waves which must assail the many beaches of their homeland. The album as a whole seems to be geared this way, aiming for beauty and feeling, in a way that I feel I must compare to that of epic 80's power ballads. Throughout the piece, there are some astoundingly epic parts, such as the solo on "Child of Guyana", which is a genuinely epic in it's slow parts, then descends into a solid, enjoyable badass-solo of arena-filling proportions. In addition to a array of instruments, the band use quite a lot of keyboard augmentation, adding epic background-atmosphere and frills to each and every song on the album.

The vocals, too, contribute a lot towards the albums epic feel. While not quite power-metal vocals, they aren't quite anything else either. Typically high-pitch and echoey, the vocals add to the "glam band playing epic-metal" feel of the band. The albums production of the album also does a lot for it's sound, with the epic feel, especially the solos, which are captured very lucidly and immersively. I would certainly have expected the album to be somewhat better  known than it is, or at least having some kind of cult-status, but I haven't once heard the band mentioned on various forums and websites. The only other person I know to have listened to them is the friend who found them in the first place. I'd consider this a real shame, in all honesty - the album is definitely something which could do with some attention, and going on sound alone, the album should appeal to a lot of people, even above and beyond the circles of metal.

The fact that I couldn't find any of their studio work on YouTube even is a but of a blow, and really emphasises my point that the band are far less known than they should be. Their songs are, fortunately, available on the bands website to listen to, here.

All in all, I give "The White Wheel" 8/10.

Nazca Official Site
Nazca on Metal-Archives