Mar 122024

We are very pleased today to premiere a complete stream of the newest album by the Spanish death/doom metal project Ornamentos del Miedo. Entitled Escapando a Través de la Tierra, it will be released by Tragedy Productions and Meuse Music Records on March 15th.

This stunning new opus is again the solo work of Angel Chicote from Burgos, who was responsible not only for all the vocals and instrumentation but also the mixing, mastering, and artwork.

Lyrically, the songs address “interest disguised as friendship, mental illness, forgotten memories”. “Here there are no more demons, monsters or fantastic beings than those that life gives us”. But while the lyrics may express recognizable vagaries of human life, the intensely atmospheric and emotionally moving music transports the listener to realms far, far away from the mundane.

The new album includes six long songs, each of them in the range of 8 to more than 16 minutes, for a total running time of more than 73 minutes. Each song functions very well in its own space, but listening to them together without pause creates a world, each one expanding the environment the listener has entered until it’s all-encompassing and swallows us whole.

It’s a dark and mysterious world, to be sure, a place cohabited by titanic forces and ephemeral forms. In more mundane terms, the songs include massive, jagged-sounding chords and shrill, shimmering synths, bone-bruising drum blows and echoing percussive snaps, grating bestial snarls and reverberating howls, crashing cymbals and slowly moaning and murmuring bass notes.

Collectively, these sonic ingredients simultaneously create sensations of earth-shaking calamity and spectral wonder, like being in the midst of slow-moving earthquakes while glittering stars fall from the heavens, or like the midnight movement of heaving and hulking leviathans guided by fireflies to their final resting place.

The music does usually move slowly, at the pace of funeral doom, and the sound is vast in both extremes of the sonic spectrum that form the music’s boundaries. The songs are also constructed around repeating refrains which extend through the minutes like the conjuring and deepening of dire spells.

Those refrains are simple and stupendously heavy; it’s in the upper reaches of the songs where elaborate, elegant, and evanescent traceries appear, glittering and gliding or blazing in orchestral splendor. In between, the harsh and harrowing vocals growl their torment and howl their rage, and bereaved melodies wail in a multitude of tones (one of the album’s most heartbreaking and moving melodies, in “Cielos Pùrpuras”, sounds like it was rendered by a stricken accordion and a whistling flute, and those renderings appear elsewhere as well, including in the stunning title track).

Also in between those very low and very high sonic boundaries, there are some marvelous bass performances whose prog-minded maneuvers also create intrigue (“Fragmentos de Espejos” provides a prime example, as does the closing track, which will also give your spine a vigorous jolting), and there’s enough variation in the usually pulverizing drum detonations (including passages where they fall silent) to aid in the tracks’ ebbs and flows of intensity.

And most certainly, the intensity does ebb and flow. At high tide, the music towers in breathtaking fashion, as if enormous obsidian monuments have broken through the earth’s crust from below, with their awesome yet frightening rise heralded by the song of celestial hosts. At ebb tide, the music could be the accompaniment to Charon ferrying his broken and hopeless passengers across the Styx.

It’s tempting to sum up the music as an amalgam of funeral death/doom and dungeon synth, or more impressionistically as a grievous union of world-fracturing heaviness, cosmic auroras, and human agony, but any effort to make a succinct summary won’t do the album justice. There are too many ingeniously conceived and carefully planned textures and plotting in the way the songs evolve.

So, we’ll leave you to it now, but remind you that this is best experienced in one sitting (and with the best sound system you have), so you can become completely enveloped and lost in all the album’s wonders and ravages.

For more info about the album and how to get it, check out the links below.




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