Many of you will be familiar with the decades-old Colombian death metal band Vitam Et Mortem, in which Julián “Thánatos” has been the composer, vocalist, and guitarist. What we have for you today is the music of a side project of Thánatos that he has named Jaue, which we’re told is the name of a spirit that can take the form of any animal.
We’re also told that the purpose of forming Jaue, as revealed in the project’s debut album Cantos del Sur Salvaje, was to “explore ancestral sounds and voices from ancient cultures of the world and puts them in relation to metal”. Organized as a trio of triptyches, the songs interweave many styles, with results that could broadly be summed up as “Colombian epic melodic pagan black metal”.
But summing up is a difficult thing to do with this album, because the journey through it is so varied. As evidence of that we’re presenting a heart-bursting song called “Guerrero Mapuche” today, as well as a juxtaposition of it with the new album’s first single, the majestic “A vuelo de cóndor“.
Photo by Wilson Rojas Flórez
With no prelude, “Guerrero Mapuche” explodes immediately in a torrent of thundering drums, ecstatically darting and writhing guitars, and gritty snarls and howls that are equally inflamed. It sounds like a wild and raucous musical dance, just on the edge of levitating and flying apart in exhilarating madness. Even when the drums strike a measured, stalking pace, the jittering and swirling riffs and ebullient soloing (as well as a burst of singing) keep the feeling of euphoria at a high boil.
The song is thoroughly devoted to its dervish-like raptures and revels, and so Jaue leaves no room for breath before the end — but does make this romp begin to sound more sinister before silence falls.
As suggested above, the album’s first single (and the album opener), “A vuelo de cóndor“, reveals a different side of Jaue‘s music, one that interweaves folk elements in more pronounced ways (both instrumentally and vocally), especially in the beginning and end, and it sounds grand and glorious.
But it also sometimes feels like a dance (perhaps a more stately one than the song we’re premiering today), and includes chords that pulse like heavy-metal fanfares, as well as plentiful doses of sprightly and seductive guitar work. It sets the listener’s head spinning, and gets the heart pounding and swelling.
Credits for the music on the album are as follows:
Julián David Trujillo Moreno (Thánatos) – music, vocals, guitars, bass, synthesizers, drums, banjo, ocarines, seeds, incidental sounds
Andrés Carmona – lyrics
Melissa Perdomo Bolaños – drums
Anna Anysimova (Anakhoret) – violin [track 9]
Cantos del Sur Salvaje will be co-released (CD and digital) by Satanath Records (Georgia) and Exhumed Records (Ecuador). It features cover art by Arda Lepha (from Indonesia).