Track By Tracks: Red Elm - Arena (2022)

For us composing this album has been a natural process and at the same time, it has helped us to rediscover ourselves as artists, both musically and literary.

The whole album has been composed, performed, and produced by Dany (guitar and chorus) and Raúl “Bubu” (singer). We came from an album created by several members, with different influences, and sometimes that makes it not quite get the consistency it should, that's why we have also been able to develop a twist in the sound and structures of the songs, as well as explore a lyrical part in the lyrics that have always been present, but not exploited as perhaps it should. The freedom with which we have allowed ourselves to create, without being subject to the opinions and limitations of various brains, has been noticeable and it is for that reason that the album has flowed so organically (or that is our impression).


This song started to take shape still with the previous line-up of the band. At that time, we were already starting to move away from the hard rock - metal that defined us at the time and, after several important changes in the project, both in terms of members and restructuring of objectives and sound, Dany and Raúl gave a twist to the composition to adapt it to other songs already composed for Arena previously. The result was very satisfactory since we managed to give the weight that characterizes the heavy metal we wanted to offer, with those progressive tints that dress the whole project and we believe give it such a good personality.

The lyrics were already practically done from the beginning, but as often happens, with the new changes in the structure, Raul needed to turn again to redo some verses, even modifying melodies that fit better.

It is worth mentioning that H.P.L.V. stands for "Hasta Perder La Vida" (Until You Lose Your Life), a phrase that is repeated in the chorus together with the word AMAR (love), and in which practically the whole message of the track resides. TO LOVE UNTIL YOU LOSE YOUR LIFE. You will notice that the tracklist titles are usually one word, two at most, so we racked our brains without getting a title that convinced us and decided to make this game with the acronyms, which would also serve to generate intrigue, and mystery with the public. If you look at the video lyric you will understand it perfectly.


With this track it happens a little bit like with H.P.L.V. It began to gestate together with other members of Red Elm and we were very clear that it was going to be the first single of the new album. A song that also underwent an important transformation when it came to giving it the sound image we were looking for in this new stage. We put a lot of effort into taking care of every detail, pampering it, giving it a modern touch with vocal textures, filters, etc., as well as some great backing vocals in the chorus by our friend Alex Murga (Beals The Band). We put an appropriate title for the band's return after more than 5 years of pause and we still haven't managed to give it the prominence it deserves.

We tried twice to make him a video clip, but the covid pandemic came and everything went to shit. Then we decided to go ahead with it, but the economy and time did not allow it, so we finally had to release "Desafío" (Challenge), a song that we love, as the first single, since we still have the thorn of making the video clip in the location we had in mind for “Nueva Oportunidad” (New Chance)

We believe that the title defines very well the message conveyed in the lyrics, as there is always a point of darkness and light that characterizes the overall composition of the album by Bubu (Raul).


“Almacenados” is likely to become a hymn (Raul thinks so). It is an essential song to humanity that feels imprisoned, and caged, hence that game with the word Alma-Cenados (Soul and Stored, something like Soul Stored). Prisoners beyond the physical, stuffed in 60m2 boxes (the lucky ones) and piled up in gigantic concrete blocks, tuned like sardines ready to do whatever it takes not to lose this piece of "home" that we can afford.

After the confinement, this song gained even more strength and meaning. And the lyrics were written before, but it seemed like fate. Dany knew how to set the right atmosphere to give it the emotionality that characterizes the track, and then a second part was added as an explosion totally antagonistic in sound to the first one. We thought of making two tracks of one (as happens in another theme of the album), but in the end, progressive metal doesn't understand lengths or times, so it remained as a long journey where you can feel identified. You experience rage and a denunciation of the human being as a collective, not only to the powerful who control us but to ourselves as a species.


As we mentioned before,”Desafío” (Challenge) is the first single, accompanied by the first video clip that dresses the track and gives it a spectacular strength.

With vocal lines influenced by bands like "Disturbed", giving that touch of melodic rap that makes the song pick up speed alone, we managed to make a very complete track, with several parts that help you to be paying attention at all times, another long cut, which for the video clip became an odyssey when it came to filling with interesting shots and visual resources, that were with the energy that gives off the song, just over five minutes.

We always say that making music videos is not our forte, in the end having few resources and being for now just a band, having jobs outside the band and lives beyond being a musician, it is often exhausting to have to think of everything and do it all ourselves. Luckily, Albert Monsalve from AM Productions was absolutely involved in the whole process of recording, editing, and assembly and it is clear that the result has been another step up in the level of everything we had created so far. I hope the day comes when we have to worry only about composing and playing live because without money and without a full team, it is very difficult to make quality video clips that do not bore the audience.


“Dormido” is the only track in the album that we decided not to play live. It was a song that got in our way a little bit when it came time to take it forward. We were influenced by the ballads of bands like "Soen", a band we discovered not so many years ago and really hypnotized us (we have been to see them live the three times they have come to Barcelona) and it is clear that much of their character is reflected throughout the album, whether in Dany's guitars, harmonies or even vocal melodies. It was a great help when it was very clear when we got stuck to say; - “What would Soen do?”. In the end, this track is perhaps the weak point of the whole album, although to each his own. If you stop to pay attention to it, you are moved by the slow rhythms and the delicacy of the voice over the light chords of the verses, but it must be said that Bubu had to recompose parts of the lyrics on several occasions, as well as the percussion because in the end we are not geniuses and some instruments are not our strong point and not always the ideas flow as they should.


There is no other track more direct and forceful than "Liberarte" (Free Yourself). We don't know how we did it, but we came up with this song that is less than three and a half minutes long. For us, it is complicated to make such short songs and we realize that sometimes that plays against us when it comes to our composing skills (although the progressive metal audience already knows what they are getting into).

Dany came up with a riff with a complicated rhythmic line, at the beginning, it was hard to understand it, even for him, after finishing composing the album and going over the setlist for the live shows it was hard for him to get the flow again. Here Dany had to get more involved in the syllabic structure of the lyrics since Raúl could not find the right point to merge well with the rhythm. It is a powerful track, with a lot of energy and that talks about how hard it is to walk in this life, to search deep inside us to find will when every vital particle is taken away from us. The chorus may be one of the best vocal melodies of the album, we like it a lot.

The title of the song is unusual, since that word does not appear in all the lyrics, but Bubu thought it reflected very well what was being expressed and that's how it stayed.


With these two tracks, it happens a little bit like with "Almacenados". Originally it was just one track, but when it came to choosing the order of the tracklist, we finally decided to split it because it was more digestible instead of a single track of more than seven minutes.

You will see that this is a technique that has been done many times before, as in "Ascensión" the end is driven by a guitar that links with the jump to "Cima". Listening to the album, you get the feeling that it's like a continuation of each other (that was the idea), but it's actually the eighth track and we gave it a title as well, according to the sense of the composition of both. "Cima" remained as that instrumental ending that closes the album, with some light vocals that accompany in a lullaby-like and serene way the first minute and then disappear leaving protagonism to some riffs and some demolishing, slow and heavy drum accompaniments as a colophon of a whole journey through "ARENA".

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