Don Juan Matus – Más Allá Del Sol Poniente …   Leave a comment

Peruvian rockers, Don Juan Matus continue to expand their musical approach on ‘Más Allá Del Sol Poniente’ from the more generic stoner riff-rock to psychedelic space rock to elements of avant-garde prog in the vein of King Crimson. What is impressive is each song on this album has its own sound and personality and while the album is horribly short at only 34 minutes, seven out of its eight tracks are instantly memorable. Each track is different and sometimes a completely different style but what is amazing is how smoothly each tune bleeds into the next. These smooth transitions from one style to the next make this album an incredibly satisfying and engaging listening experience and also very mature. Even their more plodding riffing moments have a mature and classy taste to them that gives the album a sense of sophistication.

Album opener and intro ‘Bajo la Sombra del Arbol de la Vida y la Muerte’ hooks you in immediately as it bleeds into ‘Kadath / Más Allá del Sol Poniente’ with one of those smooth transitions I just mentioned. The stoner-metal riffing is generic and plodding but also infectious with a classic vocal performance from singer Alex Rojas. This track shows the guitar-heavy side of the band and while there is other examples of this on the album, this one stands out as one of the albums highlights. ‘Ectoplasma’ is a instrumental space – rock extravaganza driven by copious amounts of bass and  theremin, short and straight to the point, it provides another flawless transition to the following track, ‘Mundo Alterno.’ This is the album’s heaviest track with guitar being push to the front of the bands sound but ‘Don Juan Matus’ also know how to set up a infectious groove and this tune has one of the best. It also has a great arrangement with a extended instrumental break featuring an exhilarating guitar solo from Richard Nossar. This marks the halfway point in the album and it gets there far too quickly but given its 70’s rock influences, the band might have wanted that 70’s vinyl vibe so its playing time fits in with all that.

‘Visiones Paganas’ is another very short track that plays more like a interlude or intro piece to the album’s following tune ‘Summerland.’ The band take another genre-bending move by going more into a traditional, melodic pop-rock area of songwriting. While this track shows the more commercial side of the sound of the band, it is incredibly catchy especially in the chorus where Alex Rojas is clearly stretching himself with his vocal range. The only weak track on the album comes next in the form of a track called ‘Espejismos’ which is basically a drum track but rather than a drum-solo, it is just bass drum hits and cymbal work. Considering this track that has very little variation and takes up close to 5 minutes of this very short album, it is frustrating to hear this track go on for about 4 minutes too long. The album however bounces back in a big way with the album closer, ‘Verde Nocturno / Las Horas Azules’ which is the most atmospheric piece on the disc with moody guitar lines and a arrangement that builds in ambiance.

This is a short but satisfying listening experience despite of the Spanish lyrics and prog-rock self-indulgences that interweave throughout the album. The album is very accessible and has a great amount of variety that will appeal to stoner-rock fans and traditional prog-rock and psyche rock listeners. I highly recommend you check this album out……….8.5/10
Don Juan Matus @  MySpace


Posted March 21, 2011 by doommantia in Don Juan Matus

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