Saying that Mystica Girls is the best all-female Heavy Metal band in Mexico seems obvious, but also feels like a back-handed compliment, in that they may be the only one. So, allow me to continue. These ladies can hold their own against anyone out there. As an example, the band’s beautiful guitarist, Cinthya Blackcat, posts her impeccable covers of Joe Satriani, Rhapsody and Stratovarius guitar solos on Youtube, just for fun. Oh, I know what you’re thinking, The Great Kat proved aeons ago that being able to play a complicated solo is far removed from being able to write a good song. Well, that’s not a problem for the tremendously talented Mystica Girls, as every track on Metal Rose is as moving and memorable as they are flawlessly written and executed. The musicianship is absolutely phenomenal throughout the album. Check out the mournful violin and guitar solos in “Mi Sangre,” and while you’re there, stick around for Red Jane’s excellent bass solo. Holy hell, would Steve Harris be proud! Speaking of whom, the classic Iron Maiden influence seems clear, although with a more modern (in the good way!) sound, and Alice’s precision Thrash/Power Metal drumming. I’m somewhat reminded of Blaze Bayley’s amazing Promise and Terror album, and only the best aspects of current Power Metal. If there is one very minor flaw to be found, it’s that Sofia’s emotional vocals can occasionally be ever-so-slightly less than 100% convincing in the English-language songs than they are in her native Spanish. But just listen to the heart-rending perfection of “Tortura” to hear what she can really do. Clocking in at under 26 minutes, Metal Rose is a short album, but stunningly impressive.
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