INTRANCED - Muerte y Metal  CD
INTRANCED - Muerte y Metal  CD
INTRANCED - Muerte y Metal CD

HRR 924CD, slipcase, booklet

James-Paul Luna - vocals
Fili Bibiano - guitars / keyboards
Nico Staub - bass
Ben Richardson - drums

01 Reyes De Las Tinieblas
02 Switchblade
03 Fantasy
04 I Dunno Nothin'
05 Muerte Y Metal
06 Entra La Tormenta
07 Lady Lightning
08 Intranced - Pulse
09 Passionate Pretender
10 See You on the Other Side


Intranced are one of the hottest newcomers on the current American metal scene. The band originally came together as a three-piece in Los Angeles in 2022, consisting of Fili Bibiano (guitars, also active in Fortress and Gravesword), Ben Richardson (drums) and James-Paul Luna (vocals, ex-White Wizzard). On the day Argentina won the football World Cup in 2022, bass player Nico Staub was added to the line-up. Before signing with High Roller Records, Intranced released one EP and one single (both can be found on the mini-album »Enhanced«). »Muerte Y Metal« is the band’s first full-length studio album.
“’Muerte Y Metal’ is a Spanish phrase that translates to ‘Death and Metal”, explains vocalist James-Paul Luna. “Beyond the literal translation, I feel like this title encompasses the album, its themes, and the vibe of the music. The lyrics vary, but the themes are real life, real experiences, ups and downs, grief, fantasy, death, and joy. In a sense, it is heavy metal about life. You could say ‘metal por vida, y metal hasta muerte.’ In English, that means ‘metal for life and metal ‘til death.’ Hence: »Muerte Y Metal«.”
Luna himself and Fili Bibiano are of Mexican heritage, whereas Nico Straub is from Argentina. This explains song titles like “Entra La Tormenta” or “Reyes De Las Tinieblas”. “I have always wanted to write and sing songs in Spanish, since that is my family's native tongue,” says Luna. “This would in turn hopefully reach Los Angeles, but also my friends and family in Mexico, Latin America, Europe and anywhere Spanish-speaking metalheads grow their hair long, play on 10, and bang their heads. It is definitely a goal for us to play shows in Spain and South America.”
No wonder then that Spanish metal bands have been a huge influence on Intranced: “Oh man... don't even get me started! Aside from the greats – Baron Rojo, Angeles Del Infierno, Obus, Panzer, Muro, etc. – I have to mention bands like Santa, Zeus, Tigres, and Banzai. There's so much amazing Spanish-language metal music, and my roots are strongly grounded in the heavy 70’s Spanish rock and prog bands too. I think we could write a whole separate bio about the awesome heavy music coming out of Spain, Mexico, and Latin America. Some noteworthy favorites are Rata Blanca, Megaton, Luzbel, Khafra, Hermetica, Crazy Lazy, Gehenna, V8 and Riff. But in terms of the 70’s stuff, I love Los Dug Dugs, El Reloj, Tapiman, Pax, Tarkus, Leño, Pappos Blues, Pescado Rabioso, or anything that Pappo or Spinetta did, for that matter.”
Listening to “Switchblade” or “I Dunno Nothin’”, it’s obvious that Intranced must be huge Thin Lizzy fans as well. The singer confirms: “Yes, Thin Lizzy and UFO are big influences for me – always and forever, in addition to the NWOBHM. ‘Switchblade’ is actually an old song from 2007 that I co-wrote when I was in the band White Wizzard with then-guitarist James J. LaRue. We had him play a guest solo on the track for us when we resurrected it as Intranced.”
Talking about UFO, the initial riff of “Passionate Pretender” breathes classic (Schenker-era) UFO. Another fantastic song … with the lyrics coming across a bit Mogg-ish as well. “I think Fili totally nails the Schenker vibes,” comments James-Paul Luna, “and yes, it does shine through on this tune. I am so pleased to hear you think these lyrics are even close to something Phil Mogg would write. I am a big UFO fan, so that is probably spilling out a bit here, but that wasn't intentional; I was leaning more into the Lucifer's Friend and Judas Priest vibes.”
It’s very hard to write a good ballad these days without sounding cheesy, but Intranced managed to do so on »Muerte Y Metal« with “See You On The Other Side”, which goes back to classics like “Holiday”, “When The Smoke Is Going Down”, or “We’ll Burn The Sky” (with a bit of Dio mixed in for good measure). “The Scorpions are masters of the ballad, and I figured we couldn't have a band named after our favorite Scorpions album and not have at least one ballad,” laughs Luna. “The chords and vocal melodies were written in May of 2022 when working on new ideas for Intranced. I sent it to the band to help finish it up a few nights before we were going in to track the album, so it had to come together as we were recording in the studio. I'm thrilled with how it turned out.”
Although bearing the same title, “Lady Lightning” is not a cover by Dutch band Picture, James-Paul Luna has the full story: “I love Picture, and there's a story behind this: we considered calling this band ‘Diamond Dreamer’, before we decided on Intranced. ‘Lady Lightning’ was the first Picture song I heard, and I love that band. When I first started writing melodies and lyrics for this song, I couldn't help but hearing the words ‘Lady Lightning’, and I figured it would be a nice homage to Picture. I thought somebody might say something about our title being the same as Picture’s, so I'm glad you did. I think two bands can have the same song title, especially if they are 40 years apart. If people don't agree, they can go listen to Picture, I guess!”
Listening to the fantastic vocal delivery on »Muerte Y Metal«, James-Paul Luna and the boys might have spun a few Riot albums on their turntables as well, have Guy Speranza or Rhett Forrester been an inspiration for the Intranced singer? He says: “I love Riot – they are another major influence, combining raw pure heavy and amazing American trad metal. Both Guy and Rhett are influences, as well as Tony Moore from the »Thundersteel« era. Even their new singer Todd Michael Hall is just amazingly talented. Interesting story: I first met with Fili to listen to demos and talk about starting a band together in spring of 2022. One of the first demos he played me was almost an exact copy of a Riot song and I said: ‘Dude, we can't play this – it's too much like early Riot’ and he said ‘I've never listened to them.’ I couldn’t believe it, and replied ‘Dude, we need to stop everything and listen to all of these records now, and on your way home.’ Somehow Fili writes Riot-sounding riffs accidentally, without even knowing it, which is amazing and hilarious to me.”