Ticket to Hell
Man Made Paradise

I wasn’t expecting much from Man Made Paradise coming in, as a name like Ticket to Hell is as cliché and generic as metal band names come. I thought for sure I was in for something cheesy and/or boring, but the second I pushed play, my jaw dropped and I was locked in. Man Made Paradise is absolutely one of the most destructive and skullcrushing (a word I’ve seen used in several adds to describe the band that is dead on) death/thrash albums I’ve ever heard. Basically a one man project from Mexico, Ticket to Hell is the brainchild of Jacobo Cordova (Antiqua, Project Firestart), who is an absolute riff machine.

The first thing I have to mention is the guitar tone. I have never heard a tone so razor sharp and absolutely biting than the one here. It’s unique – in the same way that Annihilator’s Waking the Fury had an absolutely unique guitar tone that I’ve never heard duplicated or found prior. Mind you I’m not saying that it’s the same tone, but that both albums have an extremely unique guitar tone and is easily embedded in your skull.

The focus of Man Made Paradise is pulverizing riffs, and they’re not just heavy – they’re surprisingly catchy. This is a guitar lover/players wet dream. Mr. Cordova just bludgeons you over the head repeatedly with stellar thrash riff after stellar thrash riff – everything else is just a bonus. I’m sure if he thought anyone would have it, he would have done an album full of riffs designed to beat you into submission and nothing else. Truth be told, I had several of these monster riffs (“Ticket to Hell”, “Dynasty” (a total fucking beast I tell you), “A.H.”, “I Am I”, “Man Made Paradise”) lodged in my head after just one listen. That’s called superb craftsmanship right there. Then there are the solos – they slice right through you like a hot knife through butter, with precision and no remorse, provided by the one guest musician throughout the album, Cesar Tarello.

Drums and vocals – while he’s obviously a guitar guy through and through, Cordova is no slouch behind the kit or the mic. His drumming is an endless barrage of blasts and double kick – rarely letting off the juice. Vocally, he employs a venomous, raspy snarl/growl. While not totally distinguishable, it gets the job done and is mostly clear in understanding the lyrics.

I’d like to see Ticket to Hell turn into a full on band with Cordova still calling all the shots – I think it would be a great live show, as these songs are begging for a live audience. It would be nice to see more material from him in the future under the Ticket to Hell banner, regardless if the rest ever materializes – he has more than proven himself as a top notch axeman not to mention a well rounded musician overall.

To make a long story short, Ticket to Hell serves up a great dish – what’s on the menu? Your ass, sliced and diced, and totally fucking raw. Enjoy.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
July 14th, 2008


  1. Commented by: swampthang

    Add some breakdowns and I’m sold.

  2. Commented by: Staylow

    Nah, sounds great as is. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

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