Posts Tagged ‘ Víctor García ’

Víctor García (WarCry): “Language is no limitation on music”

The international world of heavy metal is dominated by bands who sing in English and while that is understandable, those who ignore bands who sing in other languages are really missing out on bands like WarCry from Spain. WarCry just released its ninth studio album ‘Donde El Silencio Se Rompió…’, an excellent piece of heavy/power metal with Spanish lyrics. I had the chance to speak with lead singer Víctor García about the past, present and future of WarCry.

‘Donde El Silencio Se Rompió…’ featured a return to the somewhat heavier sound of the band’s earliest work, but without forsaking the melodic and progressive touches of their other recent albums. “I don’t know if it was the right time for such an approach, but at the moment, this is exactly what we want to do“, says García. “People need to classify everything these days. For me it is all heavy metal, I don’t care if it’s fast or slow, hard or power metal… I don’t believe in styles. For me, a good band is about more than a certain style.

The band obviously took being a good band very seriously, as there was more than three years between ‘Donde El Silencio Se Rompió’ and its excellent predecessor ‘Inmortal’ (2013). “It’s not easy doing a record that is better than the last one every time“, García explains. “And now that we have recorded eight albums, it gets more difficult every time. We spent a lot of time working on the lyrics. I’m a storyteller. I share a piece of myself, the way I feel, my way of thinking, I express myself in every song. I tried to change this, to not talk about the same things or approach them in a different way, but this is what works.
Our lyrics always take a positive approach, even when dealing with subjects like death, pain or other things that hurt people: keep on fighting, always look for another chance and if you die giving your best, it is a good way to go. We like to sing about human emotions, history, love, anger, pain, death, fighting, victory and loss.

Speaking of the lyrics, while WarCry is now known and beloved for its Spanish language heavy metal, but on their 1997 demo, García still sung in English. “Since then, I’ve spent around four years playing in another Spanish band called Avalanch, singing in Spanish“, García explains. “That is when I realized that singing in Spanish perhaps is not really a limitation on music. It is my language and it is the best way to express my emotions and my music.
It certainly isn’t a limitation for the Spanish metal scene, among which WarCry is a highly popular band. “There are many bands in the Spanish metal scene, getting more and more professional day by day“, says García. “As for our position in that scene, perhaps I am not the ideal person to judge that. We are very popular in our own country and in Latin America. These days, there are even a few people who listen to us outside of the Spanish-speaking world, such as parts of Europe, North-America, Japan and even Australia. We are growing, step by step.

Speaking of people outside the Spanish-speaking world: for ‘Donde El Silencio Se Rompió…’, the band enlisted the help of Tim Palmer, who worked as a producer with the likes of U2, Pearl Jam and Robert Plant. “We contacted him to mix our album“, says García. “But he is also a creator and a great professional. He told our producer Dani Sevillano that he would record some ideas and that we could just remove them if we didn’t like them. He added some reverb, some filters and just some keyboard and guitar sounds. He did a great job.

During their early years, WarCry’s lineup changed fairly frequently. However, their current line-up is about to reach its tenth anniversary in 2018. “We are not young boys anymore“, García states. “The band has been around for fifteen years now and all things are calm. We enjoy what we do. We are friends. We are having a very good time doing this and therefore, it is easy to do things right. We can talk when there are problems and we do the best we can. We are all in the same boat.
García himself is still the main songwriter of the band. “On some albums, there are a few songs that have been written by other members“, he says. “And all of them are arranged by the entire band. Their contribution as musicians is invaluable as well, of course.
Despite the fact that Spain has a metal scene, all of the band’s albums have been released on their own record label Jaus Records. “Our record label is our legal representation of the band“, García explains. “It’s like Napoleon said: if you need a friendly hand, it is more easy to find it at the end of your own arm.
Now that the Spanish-speaking world is familiar with WarCry’s material, the quintet is looking forward to presenting their music to the rest of the world. “Now is the time“, García states resolutely. “We have the experience, we have the sound, we have the music and we know what we want. We are passionate guys with a lot of energy on stage. We want to keep the band moving forward, so we are always looking to take the next step.


Album of the Week 24-2017: WarCry – Donde El Silencio Se Rompió…

While Spain loves its catchy power metal, not many of their own bands can even come close to the German, Scandinavian and American bands they enjoy. WarCry, however, have been pumping out excellent albums, especially since establishing their current line-up about a decade ago. Their new record ‘Donde El Silencio Se Rompió…’ feels like a logical continuation of the excellent ‘Alfa’ (2o11) and ‘Inmortal’ (2013). The songs are carefully crafted to ensure that the essence of WarCry – memorable, uncomplicated riffs and anthemic choruses – is captured and as a result, the album feels a little heavier without forsaking the band’s melodic sophistication.

Though WarCry never went overboard with progressive touches and big arrangements, ‘Donde El Silencio Se Rompió…’ is not the first “back to basics” album they ever released. However, frontman Víctor García has really matured as a songwriter since ‘¿Dónde Está La Luz?’ (2005) and that is why it feels like the songs on this new album have been conceived a little more naturally and organically. There is a spontaneous energy to all of the new songs and therefore, the album is a very worthy successor of the last two albums, which were the best two albums WarCry released thus far. This one is equally great.

It is impressive how Víctor García has succeeded in writing a collection of songs that all have their own strong identity. Especially considering that the songwriting is relatively simple and concise. Sometimes it is a riff, sometimes a certain vocal melody in the chorus, but all of the songs have strong hooks that make them instantly recognizable. Therefore, it is not very difficult to imagine legions of Spanish metalheads singing along to catchy heavy metal tunes like the uptempo ‘Resistencia’, the mid-tempo stomper ‘Así Soy’ or the remarkably upbeat ‘Ya No Volverán’ at upcoming WarCry concerts.

However, the best moments of ‘Donde El Silencio Se Rompió…’ appear toward the end of the record. ‘Por Toda La Eternidad’ is easily my favorite song of the record. How the song suddenly transforms from what appears to become a ballad into an epic heavy metal tune with an amazing chorus and a fantastic guitar solo by Pablo García causes me to have goosebumps. The riff-oriented ‘Luchar Y Avanzar’ is an excellent, more traditional heavy metal track, while the bombastic ‘Odio’ shows a somewhat darker side of the band and, again, a fantastic Pablo García guitar solo. ‘Muerte O Victoria’ has an amazing, dramatic vibe, while the melancholic closer ‘No Te Abandonaré’ is probably the best piano ballad the band ever recorded.

Everyone who enjoyed the last two WarCry albums can blindly acquire ‘Donde El Silencio Se Rompió…’. You will even be rewarded with an artwork and packaging that is simply stunning. But in the end, all that matters is that the songs are simply excellent. I am very happy that the band went for a slightly heavier approach without sacrificing any of the nice flourishes that keyboard player Santi Novoa adds to the sound. WarCry proves that you do not need a million riffs and dozens of unexpected tempo changes in order to write a fine heavy metal song. ‘Donde El Silencio Se Rompió…’ is full of them.

Recommended tracks: ‘Por Toda La Eternidad’, ‘Odio’, ‘Muerte O Victoria’

Album of the Week 33-2016: WarCry – Alfa

While maybe not directly associated with heavy music, southern Europe loves its Power Metal. As a result, a lot of bands playing that style pop up in countries like Greece, Italy and Spain that are popular in their home countries, but not so much over the border. Often, these bands just aren’t good enough to stand out in the saturated field of European Power Metal, but in case of WarCry, I think the Spanish language is really the only obstacle. It shouldn’t be. Give ‘Alfa’ one spin and you’ll hear all the euphoric, anthemic Power Metal you need on this side of the globe.

Many fingers point toward ‘Alea Jacta Est’ as WarCry’s best record. And while that album contains a lot of good music, it lacks the coherence that ‘Alfa’ – and its follow-up ‘Inmortal’ – do have. ‘Alfa’ isn’t quite as eclectic, but feels more like you’re listening to the same band for the entire album. And yet, there’s enough variation to keep the listener entertained all the way through. There’s definitely an outlined style at work here, but a catchy chorus and to a lesser extent its location within the song are the only things set in stone. Tempos, atmospheres and approaches vary.

Interestingly, WarCry almost always deviates from the standard Power Metal formula of opening with your best song. Not that ‘Alma De Conquistador’ is a bad song; in fact, it’s a very effective moodsetter for this record. However, it isn’t until later that the true brilliance of the Spaniards – sorry, Asturians – shines through. ‘La Muerte De Un Sueño’, ‘Amistad’ and ‘Ardo Por Dentro’ are all excellent, passionate slabs of Power Metal where none of the musicians outshine the actual song. Sure, Víctor García’s gruff, yet melodic throat is front and center and Pablo García regularly fires a blazing guitar solo towards the listener, but the song is always leading.

Generally, WarCry’s ballads bore the hell out of me and ‘Recuérdalo’ is no exception. The composition just hasn’t much going and the tempo is rather sedate. Better is the borderline progressive ‘Todo Es Infierno’, which has some balladesque sections and a surprisingly complex structure by WarCry standards. Another relatively progressive moment is Pablo García’s composition ‘Apariencias’, which has a complex guitar line, but also a strong seventies vibe due to Santi Novoa’s Hammond sounds. And a beautiful, intense chorus. ‘Tan Fácil’ is another masterpiece on the more atmospheric side of the spectrum and ‘Cobarde’ shows the band’s class even in midtempo.

The moment I stopped caring about understanding the language in which the lyrics are sung, a true treasure trove opened before me. WarCry was one of those treasures. It’s not like they do anything particularly special, they just do what they do extremely well. If you like your Power Metal anthemic, fun and melodic, ‘Alfa’ is a more than worthy addition to your collection. And there’s a good chance that you’ll be singing along the choruses despite not knowing any Spanish. You won’t be alone; that’s exactly what happened to me as well.

Recommended tracks: ‘Ardo Por Dentro’, ‘La Muerte De Un Sueño’, ‘Amistad’

A Song For A Day: ‘Hoy Gano Yo’

While I don’t give a rat’s ass about soccer, I won’t let this opportunity pass me by. Today in the 2014 World Championship, the match between Spain and Chile will take place. Obviously, that’s not the match that will keep my entire country busy – Holland plays Australia as well – but once again: I really don’t care. Since Spain got beaten 5-1 in their last game and might need something to boost their spirits, I’m offering them something from one of their own bands. Then again, it might also boost their opponents’ spirits, since Chileans speak Spanish as well.

‘Today I Win’. That’s what ‘Hoy Gano Yo’ translates to. And though it is possible that the game will end in a tie, there’s a bigger chance that one of the teams will be able to utter those words. Statistically at least. And while the lyrics of the song have absolutely nothing to do with sports in any way, it is a tale of personal triumph and believing in who you are.

Víctor García may have experienced said personal triumph through this song as well. He, along drummer Alberto Ardines, was kicked out of Avalanch – one of Spain’s most popular Heavy Metal bands at the time – because they were working on material on the side. Their project, which they named WarCry, became a fulltime band and while the true masterpieces were still a long way ahead of them (2011’s ‘Alfa’ and 2004’s unbelievable ‘Alea Jacta Est’, the self-titled debut was a relatively simple and one-dimensional affair), WarCry became vastly superior to Avalanch and comparable in terms of popularity. The triumph was García’s.

Lyrically, ‘Hoy Gano Yo’ deals with Heavy Metal, plain and simple. About how it’s consistently ignored by mainstream media – though I personally still think that’s a good thing – and how its fans are ridiculed and ostracized. García pleads for unity amongst Heavy Metal audiences, speaking of the victorious feeling of a concert. It’s a common theme in the genre, but it’s effective. ‘Hoy Gano Yo’ was on WarCry’s first album, but it still closes virtually every live set of the band and as you can see on the video, it drives the audiences crazy.

If you like what you see, please consider buying WarCry’s fantastic ‘Omega’ DVD. It’s worth your time and money.

Album of the Week 11-2014: WarCry – Inmortal

Although Spain is full of decent Power Metal bands, many of them fail to make any impact internationally because they’re singing in Spanish. Tierra Santa’s records are relatively easy to come by, but in order to obtain a record by the vastly superior WarCry, some effort is required. And that’s too bad, because these Asturians are perfectly capable of putting together a bunch of catchy, melodic and powerful Heavy Metal tunes. Nothing too complex, but their latest album ‘Inmortal’ is a guarantee for repeated listens. An addictive collection of fantastic riffs and melodies.

What originally got me hooked on ‘Inmortal’ was the perfect opening track and first single ‘Quiero Oírte’. With its irresistible sense of hopeful melancholy and a breathtaking chorus to boot, the song got a hold of me and didn’t let me go, despite the fact that I only understand fragments of its lyrics. Like many of WarCry’s songs, the structure of ‘Quiero Oírte’ is relatively simple, but it stays interesting regardlessly, which is impressive in itself. Structure-wise and melodically, the song has sort of a Hardrock vibe, but Pablo García’s riffing and high-speed soloing keeps it firmly within the Metal realm.

Listening to ‘Inmortal’ a couple of times made me realize the album is divided into two distinct halves. The first half consists of simpler, yet brutally effective Power Metal anthems such as the awesome ‘La Maldición Del Templario’ with its larger than life chorus and the aforementioned ‘Quiero Oírte’. A full album of those, however, would get boring at some point. Singer and chief songwriter Víctor García must have foreseen that; starting with the fantastically dark and brooding ‘Si Te Vas’, the more epic second half starts, resulting in awesome highlights such as the aggressive ‘La Elección’, the atmospheric closer ‘Mi Tierra’ and the surprisingly progressive ‘Keops’, which works its way through multiple climaxes through many unexpected twists and fantastic riffs. That chorus is bound to send chills down your spine.

Individually, not one band member outshines the actual compositions. Pablo García delivers a couple of blazing leads and Víctor García’s gruff, yet melodic vocal style is an important part of what lifts this band above the international Heavy/Power Metal standard, but the songs are the true stars here. Especially keyboard player Santi Novoa seems to understand his role better than many colleagues in the genre; when he’s allowed to shine, its quite obvious that he’s among the genre’s best, but he does just as well providing background atmospherics.

Though WarCry started as a spinoff for the popular Asturian band Avalanch – Víctor García, original drummer Alberto Adines and current bassist Roberto García were part of that band – it’s sort of a blessing that Victor García was asked to leave this band; WarCry is definitely one of the better Power Metal bands around these days. And with these strong melodies and riffs, let’s just hope there will be plenty more to enjoy. Don’t let the language barrier keep you from hearing this.

Recommended tracks: ‘Quiero Oírte’, ‘Keops’, ‘La Maldición Del Templario’, ‘Si Te Vas’, ‘Mi Tierra’