Label : Lausan Records

Review by Tony Cannella

I had no idea what to make of the Spanish band OffTopic and their new EP “Backstage”. Their band name is decidedly un-metal sounding, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. After listening to OffTopic’s 6-song, 27-minute EP, I came to realize that OffTopic are a metal band and a very good one at that. The 6-songs that make up this EP, were previously released on their 2009 album “A Fuego” but have been re-recorded in English and released as “Backstage” All fears and doubts about the metal-ness of OffTopic were quickly put to rest from the opening of the slamming first track, “Mask”. A great, heavy opening riff dominates this song. At first, I was not sure what to think of the lead vocalist Rosa Ibáñez but she quickly won me over. Her style is a bit raspy at times but very strong, out front and crystal clear – and did I mention powerful as well? I was also impressed with the lead guitar work of Toni Sánchez-Gil. With so few guitar heroes these days, I am sure he will be a favorite among aspiring guitarists. Next up is “Time Flies”. The pace of this track is more frenzied and faster than the previous one. Another great opening riff and more stellar vocals highlight this track. For the third track, “Because of You”, OffTopic show off their more sensitive side with the cool ballad “Because of You”. The next two tracks, “How Many Times” and “Game Over” ratchet up the heaviness once again, before “Because of You (Reprise)” brings the whole thing to a close. This is another version of the ballad featuring Rosa’s emotive vocal presence accompanied only by piano and some orchestration. Throughout the entire disc OffTopic inject the songs with generous amounts of melody, that takes nothing away from the Hard Rock and Metal edge that the band exhibit. After having released two full-length Spanish language albums, the “Backstage” EP is OffTopic’s English debut and quite a good debut it is. There are absolutely no pretensions about OffTopic. They play straight-forward metal, plain and simple.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Mask
  2. Time Flies
  3. Because of You
  4. How Many Times
  5. Game Over
  6. Because of You (Reprise)

 

Line Up

  • Rosa Ibáñez – Vocals
  • Toni Sánchez-Gil – Lead & Rhythm Guitars
  • José Luis López – Bass
  • Cristian Millán – Drums

 

Links

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