Huinca - Huinca
L.H.D.L.B. Records
Tribal Metal / Rock
9 songs (33:06)
Release year: 2006
Huinca, L.H.D.L.B. Records
Reviewed by Dylan
It may just be me, but it seems like every time I listen to a band from South America, they all seem to be putting an ever so slight spin on the tribal-laden precedent that Chaos A.D. and Roots laid down. As you have probably guessed, Huinca is another one of those bands. Their sound falls somewhere closer to a lighter combination of Roots, among other places. Those “other places” I speak of seem to be a reoccurring problem that Huinca grapples with throughout this entire debut.

In the opening minute of Mari Chi Weu, one gets the feeling that things are going to get odd after the mouth harp makes it’s quirky appearance doubling the opening guitar riff. The song itself is a mix of a bouncy verse, and a rolling chorus that isn’t really heavy at all. Soon, it becomes obvious that Huinca doesn’t sound as metallic as much as they sound like a tribal flavored version of lukewarm hard rock. Vocalist Mauricio Contreras has to be given credit for his attempts at multiple vocal styles, even if the results vary from fitting (as found in the upbeat, punkish Extremist), to overly emotional and slightly pretentious, as heard in Scars. Lyrically, he switches between English and Spanish regularly, and sometimes within the same song. Unfortunately, his voice just doesn’t have the power or strength that a metal vocalist must have in order to keep listeners interested for a whole album. The riffs themselves are simple and easy to follow, but they have a certain oddness about them. It almost seems as if both the guitarists and the bassist all had different ideas (which is nothing unusual), but chose to mesh them all together, rather than iron them out to produce something cohesive. Charity is a good example of this, with an odd motif that sounds like something from a System Of A Down album, interwoven with the mid-paced chugging of Jorge Cumplido and Mauricio Contreras. These guys don’t shred, rip, slay, or take the listener on wondrous melodic journeys. They just go through the motions of the average modern metal band.

For all the negative things I have mentioned about this album, things do not look utterly hopeless for them. Bassist Flavio Salas isn’t content with just sitting back and letting the guitars drown him out, which ends up producing some interesting results in Ruca and Extremist. His partner in rhythm, Miguel Yáñez, is a competent drummer who keeps things in order. I get the feeling that he is doing some interesting things with his feet in some parts, but due to the flat bass drum mix in an otherwise well-rounded mix, I can’t tell.

The biggest gripe I have with this debut is it’s failure to put a mental picture in my head. When I listen to Bloodbath, I can just picture a gore-soaked zombie war occurring in front of my face. Dissection gives me insight on what a freezing and dark winter night sounds like. I could go on, but I am sure most music fans know what I am talking about. Good music should have a good atmosphere, and that is something that just seems to be completely missing form this release. All I get a picture of is four guys making music in a studio, which is quite boring. Huinca’s future could be brighter if they could up the heaviness or melodic bite. In fact, they could use a boost in every department, but until then, I’m afraid these guys will remain in the vast sea of metallic obscurity.

Note: Below is the video for "Ruca". In time the video may become outdated a fail to play.

Killing Songs :
Dylan quoted 53 / 100
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