Nové album norské heavy sludge / hardcore kapely složené z ex-členů Ictus, Sons of Saturn nebo současných členů Okkultokrati.
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I’ve heard a lot of people discuss their interpretations of what the term ‘heavy’ means when attached to a song, band, or musical genre. It is most commonly associated with audio alone, the volume and texture of a band’s music, something that is designed to hammer the senses and create a controlled space of discord akin to a studio apartment rumbling with the engine of a fighter jet. In other words, the weight of sound has always been considered the ‘heavy’ in heavy metal. In other circles, you might hear the scarf-choked indie raja refer to his or her favourite acoustic act as ‘heavy’, in which case they are referring exclusively to the myriad of powerful emotions on the display during a performance, and the execution of such a performance. Not to say that metal is devoid of extremely passionate, blood-letting thoughtfulness, quite the contrary, I just haven’t heard a band that sounds as ‘heavy’, and as ‘heavy’, as Hombre Malo, in a long time.
Hailing from Oslo, Norway, this four-piece mob of aggressive sludgery have been peddling audio nastiness since their formation in 2008 and have been quite consistent in their output, despite Persistant Murmur of Words of Wrath being their only full-length in six years. You can forgive them for the tardiness, however, because this fucking bastard of furor is nothing short of punishing and provoking. The album’s artwork, which depicts a young man, naked all but for a noose around his neck, playing a harp amidst a flock of ravenous vultures, acts as something of a mission statement for the following 40+ minutes of heavy.
‘L’Etranger’ opens up the record with some familiar stoner sludge riffery that melts, crystalizes, and eventually shatters into a razor-sharp assault with more than just a nod in the direction of their motherland’s infamous black metal sound. ‘Crosses And Marching Feet’ comes to life with a truly mean-spirited, bully, pounding detonation that acts as the first of many obvious criticisms of religion and the violent intolerance associated with it, a theme that continues throughout the album, but perhaps never quite as striking as on ‘Golden Calf’. The third track is a snarling, turbulent assault from every direction, one that breaks down and gives reign to a truly painful, arresting sound bite of a news report regarding the violent murder of the young homosexual, Vladislav Tornovoi, in Russia last year.
‘Vladislav’ comes off as something of a lamentation framed by a slow, pulverizing beat until a foot finds the accelerator pedal that speeds us through a barrage of rock n’ roll punishment. Kicking off with something close to clean singing, ‘Reach The Shore’ is perhaps the most melodious and progressive offering on the record, completed by glimmering guitar work and that near-mesmerizing coalescence of blustering bass and percussion. ‘Elena’ is an interesting one from the beginning, boasting a truly far-out drum pattern that sets the building blocks for discordant murmurings that soon erupt into a deeply convulsive head banging frenzy. ‘Deathbed Conversation’ is the longest and final track on this ditty and is haunted by ethereal guitar chiming, ambient gentleness, spoken-word purring, and ending with one final gasp of crushing, emotionally spent hostility.
With this offering, Hombre Malo have built something that will not only please the headbanger, but something that also radiates with truly organic fury. Perhaps it is the sound bites, the overall theme, perhaps it’s The Muerto’s gruelling vocal delivery, perhaps it is the general air of torturous animosity, but there’s something about Persistant Murmur of Words of Wrath that really rings an uncomfortable bell in the mind of the listener. It’s a heavy record, take from that what you will.