(In this post our guest Kunal Choksi, owner/editor of the Transcending Obscurity webzine and record label, recommends releases by four death metal bands from Chile.)
Sadism – Alliance (Toxic Records/Mechanix Records)
Long-running and probably the most overlooked Chilean band of all time, Sadism have interestingly released a new album late last year, which is a must for fans of the band in general and those who’re into the Floridian style of death metal propagated by bands like Monstrosity, Diabolic, Eulogy, and Malevolent Creation – perhaps only darker.
There’s something that comes with the soil that makes the music sound all the more evil and menacing in comparison to the American counterparts, and it definitely helps that the band members are technically proficient, as was evident with the release of gems like Summon and A Dwelling of Gods a decade or so back. It’s worth revisiting the band’s past catalogue.
As for the new one, you are bound to derive maximum pleasure from it. It is not only as potent as the band’s previous albums but also contemporary in terms of extremity. This band, along with Totten Korps, are worthy of all the respect that they get for churning out crushing death metal since the late ‘80s and setting a strong example for others to follow. Instead of sounding washed out like some bands that have re-formed to play death metal recently, Sadism probably sound just as powerful if not more so than they did back in the day, and that’s extremely commendable.
Alliance is a rifftastic album, well-tempered with tasteful variations and solos, and as solid as it can get in this style.
Death Vomit – Gutted by Horrors (Xtreem Music)
Death Vomit have released what can be called a perfect death metal album – if by that you mean the perfect channeling of the standard Blasphemy-meets-Incantation worship. Death Vomit from Curico have the outright malice of Blasphemy with the ominous and brooding quality of Incantation, circa Onward to Golgotha – but the music is not plainly derivative in either sense, in that it’s not mindlessly chaotic as most of the B-clones or servile towards Incantation as most of the other newer bands in this style tend to be.
It has that trademark South American savagery but not necessarily chaos, which serves well to make the music distinct and somewhat memorable. The songs have marked character, more or less, and it’s definitely not one seamless collection of songs from start to end. More variations couldn’t have hurt, but Death Vomit don’t want any form of deviation from their mean intent or sound, which is evidently rooted in the old school form.
They’re doing it better than most that come to your mind. Although it can be argued that they haven’t formed their own sound, it also must be counter-argued that this kind of balance and effectiveness haven’t been achieved by many, and this is near perfect. For what it is, Gutted by Horrors is one of the best death metal albums to come out of Chile in recent times.
This release went under the radar because of its underground nature and output. Released on the excellent Apocalyptic Productions label, this band has done everything right aesthetically. It’s a sonic mayhem out there, a whirlwind of demonic proportions.
The vocals sound downright scary, and the delivery is something that other bands ought to take a lesson from. It’s as infernal and underground as it can get, reminiscent of the mighty (but once again underrated) Infester, but still the vocalist manages to enunciate with remarkable ease and conviction.
The music is a raging maelstrom of blackened buzzing death metal, more chaotic than Death Vomit for sure, but more underground and artful, too. The artwork and packaging are top-notch, just what the Uggae Command need to portray where they’re coming from – pale, bleak darkness that doesn’t belong in the limelight. Fans of underground blackened death metal will consume this faster than starved maggots in a vacated grave.
Exterminio – Proclamando el Exterminio (Apocalyptic Productions)
This is a chaotic monster, but instead of dabbling in the obscure sound, the Chileans use the Brazilian-rooted death metal chaos propagated by bands like Krisiun, Abhorrence, Rebaelliun, and the like, to express their art and feelings. It’s darker, blacker, and more “bestial”. It’s reminiscent of Yogth-Sothoth from Colombia when it comes to this kind of muddled dark death metal chaos.
Exterminio’s blackened nature brings Ravager to mind, what with the incessant blasting, sharp aggressive riffing, and otherworldly-sounding vocals. On a bigger label, it would have been hyped to hell and back, but Apocalyptic Productions is doing a remarkable job in providing a good platform for these underground Chilean bands and not compromising on the packaging either.