Radical Sonora is the name of the album where ex-Heroes del Silencio lead singer Enrique Bunbury debuts as a solo artist. The album is a journey in which the imperative dark voice of Bunbury soars across the reverberating colors of raging guitars and resonant drums — characteristics of heavy metal — while skillfully blending with the dynamism of electronica and a touch of Arabic music. The result is a landmark record that sets standards with its sonic ambitions. Its robust-sounding elements and the radical context of the lyrics presented in this towering-yet-melodious production resembles a futuristic version of Heroes del Silencio, a heavy metal band that spread Latin rock through the world in the beginning of the ’90s.
Radical Sonora opens up with a stalwart demonstration of industrial/electronica-meets-heavy metal in songs like “Big-Bang” and “Negativo.” Bunbury’s throat seems to hurt as he sweeps hard through the notes, while spatial sounds complement each song. The delightful melodies in “Alicia” induce a sad atmosphere, as Bunbury narrates his own version of Alice in Wonderland. The adrenaline-fueled tracks “Salome” and “Servidor de Nadie” and the terrifying ballads “Encadenados,” “Despacio,” and “Alfa” are instant pleasers. The artful combination of Arabic melodies with roaring guitars in “Contracorriente” sets a menacing mood, while “Planeta Sur” resolves to be the climax of the masterful distortion-meets-sweet-samples called Radical Sonora.
Eleven skillful tracks of mostly loud guitars, distortion, progressive industrial music, plenty of frenzied electronica samples and loops, Arabic music, all of this sarcastically combined in a melodic way by Bunbury’s imposing voice, makes of Radical Sonora the most awe-inspiring Latin rock album that I’ve heard in years. Its stamina has been shamelessly underestimated and unexposed in the rock en español field. I can truly say that this is my album of the year, regardless of music genres and regardless of releases to come. It would be a shame to not give this album a chance. EMI Records Group, 8730 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069