Piraña (Chl) – Manifestando el Absurdo
This is a demo, but it aspires to more, with eight tracks and fairly involved artwork. I must note that this Chilean band emailed me this demo as MP3's and jpeg's, citing the high cost of postage. That's fair enough. However, most labels don't accept MP3 submissions, and if the band wants to get anywhere, it had better prepare to pool resources to shell out for postage.
Normally I don't accept MP3 submissions, either, (Ed. note: How times have changed) but this material is so cool that I'll make an exception. Basically, it's thrash with touches of death metal. The band cites At the Gates as an influence, and that does rear its ugly head in the first real song after the superfluous cinematic intro. Thankfully, this influence is minimal throughout. There should be a law against any more bands influenced by At the Gates. That sound has been done to death, and no clone will ever top Slaughter of the Soul, so why even try?
The songs on this demo are more like collections of riffs than identifiable units. But what riffs they are! "Vigilar y Castigar" and "Trono de Angustia" both take some time to wake up. But when they do, they launch into some vicious old school thrash. Sometimes the band loses focus and wanders off into vaguely proggy territory. But when these cats set their minds to it, they absolutely nail the '80s Bay Area vibe, recalling Death Angel and Slayer. The raspy vocals are kind of like Jeff Walker in Spanish. From my miserable grasp of that language, I can make out that the lyrics are abstract, dealing with psychological issues and the state of the world. Somehow Chuck Schuldiner comes to mind, which is always a good thing.
Vigilar y Castigar
Trono de Angustia
It's obvious the band's heart is in the right place, and I have just a few suggestions for improvement. First, tighten up the performances, especially in the bass and drums. A band is only as good as its rhythm section. Second, drop the At the Gates and prog bits. More killing, less filling! Third, get a bio in English. It's a crappy language, but it's also the most universal one. Lastly, take band pictures together, not as individuals. Digby of Earache made this suggestion, and it makes sense - bands look stronger as a gang.