The Spanish band Ernia made a concept album about feeling bad. The full title is How to Deal with Life and Fail: A Guide to Self-Improvement That Doesn’t Work in the Slightest. Does that idea sound depressingly (but also hilariously) familiar?
With that as its concept, how does the album sound? Well, take in the cover art by by Xabier Sagasta, and consider that Ernia‘s lineup includes two members of Wormed, and you’ll have a couple of good clues.
“Grindcore” might be the easy genre choice, but it’s an inadequate descriptor. Ernia are certainly capable of laying a high-speed barrage of cathartic destruction on you, but they’re even more interested in giving you a head-spinning adventure in every track, with an approach to songwriting and execution that’s intricate, unpredictable, ecstatic, and every bit as wild and colorful as the artwork.
As proof, we give you a first listen to the song “Helium-3“.
At about a minute and a half in length, “Helium-3” can’t waste time, and it doesn’t. It strikes quickly with a jolting groove backed by riffing that seethes and writhes, a vocal expulsion which sounds like raw, screaming madness, and bursts of hyper-blast drum fills.
The band also infiltrate long guitar reverberations that sound miserable, and other arpeggios that seem both crazed and anguished, as well as explosions of violence and a weird interlude where the instrumentation seems to fade back and a strange audio transmission materializes.
Just reading the preceding paragraph should give you a sign of how much happens in this short track — and those words aren’t even a complete description. The tempos change constantly, and so do the moods. Altogether, the band’s mad maneuvers create sensations of tension, confusion, derangement, despondency, peculiar wonder, and a kind of futuristic atmosphere. The unexpected icing on the cake is that this whirligig of experiences turns out to be catchy.
Omar I. Sanchez – Vocals
Gabrial Valcazar (Wormed, Bizarre) – Drums and bass
Daniel Espinosa – Guitar
Daniel Valcazar (Wormed) – Guitar
The album will be released by Transcending Obscurity Records, and further release info and pre-order opportunities will be coming soon via the links below. The label recommends the album for fans of Pig Destroyer, Full of Hell, Bathtub Shitter, Brutal Truth, Contrastic, Rotten Sound, Fuck the Facts, Wormrot, and Gridlink.
A couple other songs from the album (“Farewell, Sputnik” and “Dharma“) have already been released, and we’ve got streams of those for you as well (below the links).