Los Males Del Mundo’s Debut Ushers In An Atmospheric “Descent Towards Death” (Review)
Death faces us from the moment we enter the world; we are born, and, essentially we live in order to die. This is a pattern that humanity has repeated for time immemorial and will continue to cycle through until our ultimate end — either at our own hands or those of the wider universe. Los Males Del Mundo take that theme and form their narrative around the utter futility of existence on their debut full-length, Descent Towards Death, which embodies suffering and existential dread in its lyrical content and soaring guitar lines, echoing with untold sorrow as songs climb a tower built on a foundation of pain.
Having first released the well-received Los Males Del Mundo EP in the later months of 2020, the band found themselves partnered with Northern Silence Productions for their debut album. The Argentinian duo of Dany Tee (Acathexis, Seelenmord) and Cristian Yans have created a sound that is atmospheric black metal at its most affecting. Sweeping melodies and cascading guitar leads move with striking melancholy while Tee's vocals skip from deep and guttural to frantic high-pitched shrieks without the hint of a breath being taken. These contrasts allow the band to explore the inner corners of the mind and give a voice to each facet of the personality that is found there.
Los Males Del Mundo infuse their story with the concept of eventual death and the record resonates with heightened tension that seeps from the aggressive pulses of "The Silent Agony" and the reverberating bass (Nikita Kamprad of Der Weg Einer Freiheit, who also produced, mixed and mastered the record) of "Eternal Circle of Vain Efforts," each track bringing a heady sense of anger at the world and the speaker's place in it. The aforementioned "The Silent Agony" flickers with intensity from the opening moments as the drums push for speed and Dany Tee's voice explodes the structure of the song with a less than subtle howl of anguish. Throughout the track that voice changes and evolves, segueing from rumbling, deep roars to piercing screams and guiding this journey into the darkest recesses of the psyche.
Despair is something that Descent Towards Death holds close to its proverbial heart as songs reveal the inner turmoil of the narrator—"Eternal Circle of Vain Efforts" juxtaposes powerful gods as masters of our fate as we walk endlessly towards a void in which we will learn that nothing we have ever done ultimately matters. Whether these are incorporeal spirits, old gods or a symbol for depression is something that only Los Males Del Mundo knows, although the suffering that they effect is concretely felt. "Nothing But A Lie" explores this further as it interprets the idea of humankind disguising their inner thoughts by masking their faces, lying to others through expression and words that contrast greatly with what is actually happening in our minds. The vocals play with this contradiction through screams, howls and deeper registers in order to portray the various disguises we wear in public so that we may, simply, exist.
The doomy progression of the closing track "The Heavy Burden" gives rise to the idea that we are built to suffer and life is desperately meaningless while showing a slower, more richly textured side to the band. The song weaves discordant, bending guitar lines into an opening that builds gives the music a chance to reflect as the mournful atmosphere laments a life lost and a cycle that is doomed to repeat for eternity.
The ascending guitars that carry the album towards its final resting place belie the sorrow at its core as Los Males Del Mundo give themselves over to the higher powers that have taken control, the metaphorical gods laughing in the face of the tribulations faced by those on this voyage. There is a pain in the songs of Descent Towards Death that is tangible and breathtaking. The knowledge that these emotions can be as keenly felt by others is somewhat of a comfort and Los Males Del Mundo are unafraid to show the truth of how lonely and terrifying existence can be, and is.
Descent Towards Death released on February 26th, 2021 via Northern Silence Productions.