Puya - _Fundamental_
(MCA, 1999)
by: Jody Webb (8 out of 10)
Those looking for serious headbanging inspiration or technical wizardry should look elsewhere, but adventurous listeners should read on. Puya is a Puerto Rican foursome displaying an intriguing combination of metal and latin music. _Fundamental_ may throw you for a loop at first, because one does not expect a pounding riff to segue into a tasty salsa beat, but that is the core idea on this album. The band opts to alternate between the two styles most of the time, although some meshing does occur at points. The minor latin percussion and unmistakable signature of brass horns in the latin parts contrast nicely with the chord oriented mid-paced metal grooves, resulting in a thoroughly listenable album that won't burn you out after a couple of songs. The Spanish speaking vocalist attains a catchy vocal prosody, and he certainly turns the tables on us English speakers, making me appreciate what it must be like when kids in other countries listen to their Iron Maiden CDs. Recommended listening includes "Oasis", "Fake" and the title track.

(article published 2/13/1999)


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