Ask 12 different bangers about metal supergroups, and you’ll get 20 wildly divergent answers, most of them in the “yawn” end of the spectrum. What sets De La Tierra apart isn’t their Latin American origin or even their Spanish/Portuguese lyrics, but the fact that these guys come from such disparate, major bands—Argentine groovesters A.N.I.M.A.L. (singer/guitarist Andrés Giménez), ska-loving countrymen Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (bassist/vocalist Sr. Flavio), Brazilian metal legends Sepultura (guitarist/vocalist Andreas Kisser) and Maná (drummer/vocalist Alex González), that scourge of Mexican rock-pop mediocrity. They somehow manage to make something cohesive and often unexpectedly melodic, their level of comfort as a unit evident in songs like “Fuera” and the funkily groovy “San Asesino,” as well as the unexpected nod to the indigenous tribes of my Andean fatherland that is “Cosmonauta Quechua” (Cholitas in spacesuits! Ayacucho astronauts!). Though De La Tierra—“of the earth,” for you bolillos—does briefly descend to that monotonous groove that should have stayed in the ’90s, this promising debut indicates that these veterans are quite capable of creating something that is greater than the sum of its parts. And, thank Quetzalcoatl almighty, it sounds nothing like fucking Maná.
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