Ernia, How To Deal With Life And Fail (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Spanish grindcore band Ernia release their second album, How To Deal With Life And Fail.

Formed initially from a couple of the members of Wormed, Ernia is a blasting grindcore band from Logroño, Spain that appears to value variegation, and perhaps chaos, in their musical compositions. Mainlining death metal into the grind framework and then cracking it in every direction has worked out for them. Following up on their self-titled debut (2016/18), How To Deal With Life And Fail might just be the ticket they are looking for because it is a major accomplishment. The band is Omar I. Sanchez (vocals), Gabrial Valcazar (drums, bass), Daniel Espinosa (guitar), and Daniel Valcazar (guitar).

There are thirteen tracks on the new album, all save one running under three minutes. “Farewell Sputnik” begins with a tinkle and a scream before moving on to flat out belligerence. “Q,” up next, has a very punk feel to it, and it goes out on a thrashing ravager ramp. Very nice. “Room Full Of Paper Cranes” is like a car that didn’t pass a state safety inspection going at a high velocity on a rough road until it breaks apart, with a nice little bass romp in the middle.

By now your senses are becoming a little frayed and you are only six minutes in. Suddenly, “Frustration Theory” brings the doom, and then “The Deer Chaser” pops it up for a while, making sure to slip in multiple chops and hacks. “Dharma” is a devastating deathpunk piece. “A Mute Florist” is a chainsaw in a beehive. It is one outlandish expression after another. The final song is the epic “Ikigai,” twice as long as any other on the album. It is surprisingly somber and sad in its first half, then otherwise after.

I am not sure what I expected from this album, but it definitely delivered – which makes little sense because I didn’t know what I was looking for. But there you have it. Recommended.

How To Deal With Life And Fail is out on Friday, July 22nd through Transcending Obscurity Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://ernia.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ErniaTheBand

Transcending Obscurity Records, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Ernia, How To Deal With Life And Fail (Transcending Obscurity 2022)

Orthodox, Proceed (Alone Records 2022)

O, the doom. Orthodox release their eighth album, Proceed.

Spanish doom trio Orthodox always offer surprises in their music, I have come to understand. The band is Borja Díaz (drums), Ricardo Jiménez (guitar), and Marco Serrato (bass, vocals). In addition to the seven other full-length albums they have released over the years, there is also a list of EPs, splits, and other material that hold any number of wonders.

When you listen, at first it sounds like the album is going to be straight-up doom metal on “Past Seers,” but it doesn’t stay that way for long. The vocals stretch the ideas beyond presumed boundaries, and the composition flexes past any preconceived standard. The set continues with “Abendrot,” and begins to incorporate some experimental elements and lingering otherness that band has become known for over their career.

With “Rabid God” there are dark jazz looks and sidelines. Clinking percussion blinks in now and again, and the guitars foster clashes that unsettle any complacency that might be lurking. You can feel distress in the vocals, and the kind of pleading where no respite is actually expected. The heavy foot of doom clobbers you when you are not expecting it, and twists to push in postures that have been established.

The final two tracks are both long and involved. “The Son, The Sword, The Bread” stands sounds together that, on your own, you might not have thought of as musical combinations. When you hear them here as they have been arranged, they are a veritable symphony with a choir of one. “The Long Defeat” closes the presentation in what sounds to me like a solemn reckoning. The doom is mountain-sized, and it is joined in cosmic collision with other elements to form what I would call conclusions.

I was not very familiar with this band until I listened closely to Proceed, then went back to hear some of their earlier work. Their music is genuinely unique, and if you don’t know about Orthodox yet, the new record is a good way to find out what it is all about. Recommended.

Proceed is out through Alone Records now. Gather it up from your favorite vendor after investigating the info at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://orthodoxband.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/orthodoxband

Alone Records, https://alonerecordsshop.com/

© Wayne Edwards

Orthodox, Proceed (Alone Records 2022)

Golgotha, Remembering the Past – Writing the Future (Xtreem Music 2021)

Golgotha – the band from Spain – offers an extended abbreviated album to follow up on the success of the impressive Erasing The Past record from 2019.

This enterprise has had several incarnations. In the mid-1990s, they came together and released two full-length albums, a couple of EPs, and several demos. Taking a break at the end of the century, the band coalesced again for New Life in 2005, then had another hiatus. A couple years ago, resurgent energy was found again, and the musicians are creating new music. The band for Remembering the Past – Writing the Future is Amón López (vocals), Vicente Payá (guitar), Samuel Morales (guitar), Andrew Spinosa (bass), and Tomeu Crespí (drums).

“Don’t Waste Your Life” in some ways functions as the overture, presenting themes that will recur and showing the phases the guitars, vocals, and other instruments will vacillate between. “Helpless” is next, and it plows a neighboring field, establishing the low boundaries and the highs. “I Am Lost” has a forceful opening statement surrounded by sinister whispers and solemn melody. “Elemental Changes” begins softly and sweetly in the piano, strings, and voice, introducing strong, slow guitar riffs to set up the narrative vocal. The song goes toward loudness and never turns fully back.

“Lonely” is a long, dirge-like reminiscence that begins quietly and turns into savage growling in a caustic devolution. From doom to death you might say, and back again. A couple of times, in the manner of a sine wave. It is the longest piece on the album, and the anchor, but really all of the tracks have an insular oneness about them, and any of them could be the beginning or the end. I like the music for its mix of doom and death styles, and for the way beautiful, quiet melodies exist in and among the savagery. Recommended.

Remembering the Past – Writing the Future is out today, March 2nd, and you can get yours at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://golgotha.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/GolgothaOfficialBand

Website, http://www.golgothaofficial.com/

Golgotha, Remembering the Past – Writing the Future (Xtreem Music 2021)

Nervosa, Perpetual Chaos (Napalm Records 2021)

The thrash is verily raging from the new metal set by Nervosa.

Nervosa began in São Paulo, Brazil just over ten years ago. Brandishing a rugged version of classic Thrash, the band released three albums over the years, the new one making four. Founder and guitarist Prika Amaral is joined by three new musicians for Perpetual Chaos: Diva Satanica (aka, Rocío Vázquez, on vocals), Mia Wallace (bass), and Eleni Nota (drums). It is a truly international band, with the three new members hailing from Spain, Italy, and Greece.

The new set is made up of thirteen songs – that’s a good number. Brevity is the call sign with these three minute furies, speeding as they do to bowl you over before you can tell what hit you.

“Venomous” is the no-nonsense opener that cracks and zips with fist punching riffs, blast beats, and a rollicking lead break. The vocals snarl into the Death Metal range, adding a sinister touch to the sound that matches well with the wicked themes – witness the next song, “”Guided By Evil.” Apart from the ever-present up-tempo, there are a lot of approachable hooks and fan-pleasing choruses that’ll be great live when the crowd sings along. The pressure is on all the way to the final track, “Under Ruins,” which, itself, is one my favorites.

There are a few guest appearances to add to the variety and season the mix, including by Guilherme Miranda (Revolta), Schmier (Destruction), and Erik A. K. Knutson (Flotsam and Jetsam). The album is imminently listenable and bears re-spinning at its end. The newest incarnation of Nervosa has definitely thrown down the gauntlet with this one. Recommended.

Perpetual Chaos is out now. All sorts of versions and merchandise are available at the Napalm Records site. The band has its own store, too, and there is always Bandcamp. Consider yourself hooked up.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://nervosa-brazil.bandcamp.com/

Website, https://nervosaofficial.com/website/english-home/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/nervosa

Napalm Records, https://napalmrecords.com/english/nervosa.html

Nervosa, Perpetual Chaos (Napalm Records 2021)

Unbounded Terror, Infernal Judgment (Xtreem Music 2021)

Early 1990s Spanish Death Metal band Unbounded Terror offers up a vigorous assault on your senses.

Thirty years ago the band came together in Mallorca, Spain. It was the early days of Death Metal there, and they quickly joined the ranks of well-regarded heavy bands. Nest Of Affliction came out in 1992, but the band parted ways shortly afterward due to musical differences. These things happen. The resurrection was last year with the well-received Faith In Chaos.

Infernal Judgment is a compilation that includes one new song, the title track released earlier as a single, three live recordings of songs from Faith In Chaos, and four re-recorded songs from the band’s debut album. It has been a little more than a calendar year since the re-entry album so it is nice to have this new material.

The single is the big news, and it is a thunderclap of ravaging menace. The signature sound is there, and we can take it as a sign of things to come. Fast and urgent, the melodic signatures are intermingle alongside the clever hooks and pummeling rhythm. The re-recorded songs are “Dreamlord,” “Fear,” “Slaves of Sufferage,” and “Sarcastic Souls.” A lot of metal bands are doing this, and the main advantage of re-tracking old songs is the improvement in recording technology and possibly cleaning up some odds and ends from the early originals. These new versions are definitely crisper than the initial recordings. The live tracks are “They Will Come From The Pain,” “Silent Soul,” and “Hated In Hell,” and they sound great. The presentations are consistent with the studio versions but with renewed energy and the magic and madness that live music creates.

The album is scheduled to be out now and is available in digital download, CD, cassette, and vinyl versions. Check out the band’s own website for more info on what they are up to, and buy the music and merch through Bandcamp. Recommended.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://xtreemmusic.bandcamp.com/album/infernal-judgment

Band website, http://www.unboundedterror.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/UnboundedTerror

Unbounded Terror, Infernal Judgment (Xtreem Music 2021)

Kabbalah, The Omen (Rebel Waves Records 2021)

Kabbalah are brewing a psychedelic elixir in their cauldron of dreams and it is called The Omen.

The trio from Pamplona, Spain creates music that is a fascinating amalgam of contemporary fuzzy doom matched to a seventies-era rock passed through a grungy sifting machine where unexpected elements latch on, including beautiful melodic vocals and eerie themes and harmonies. The band has released a few EPs, as well as the full-length album Spectral Ascent (2017), leading up to the new one, The Omen.

The album is described in the band’s press release in part as an “occult rock grimoire where sticky melodies, funerary riffs and haunting vocals come together.” All of these things are true. I can think of a couple of bands from the past that appear to be clear influences on Kabbalah, but I have never heard anything quite like the music they make so let’s set those other names aside.

Some of the songs have a sharper edge, like the opener “Stigmatized” with its gravelly guitars, and “The Ritual,” which comes across more directly serious and dramatic. Much of the music is very laid back and hypnotic, with clearer seventies-inspired guitar tones and lovely, lilting vocals, as in “The Night Comes Near.” The echoing whispers and urging rhythms in “Labyrinth” come back to you at night when you are falling asleep, and the closer, “Liturgy,” is convincingly summative. You can feel the living desert infused in the notes of this music, and you when you close your eyes as the album plays you come to know the spirit of the ceremony.

If you rotate this album into your listening queue your life will be better. Recommended.

The digital for The Omen is at Bandcamp, Rebel Waves Records (an imprint of Ripple Music) has the CD and vinyl, and you can get a cassette from Stoner Witch Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://kabbalahrock.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Kabbalahrock

Ripple Store, https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products

Stoner Witch Store, https://stonerwitchrecords.bigcartel.com/products

Kabbalah, The Omen (Rebel Waves Records 2021)