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Requiem Aeternam
Philosopher
May 2005
Released: 2005, Icorp
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman

The vocals are a tad overwrought, but all in all, this is a decent entry into the Darkane-styled Post-Death/Progressive Melodic Death subgenre. There are both clean and rough vocals, Death and Black Metal elements, as well as obscure jazz and Prog references. It's less confused and experimental than, say, something like Isle Of Man or Paria--but no less dynamic.

It is nicely bizarre, and pleasantly odd, at times bringing to memory Blackened Russian Prog-Metallers like Mental Home.



Track #2, "Wisdom" is among the best examples of what the band is capable of--a statement of intent if there ever was. There is a Helmet-style backbeat, some grinding, mysterious Black Metal guitar ambience, that congeal together to form some more traditional Swedish Melodic Death riffs...then an interchange of lung-chaffing screams and heavily accented clean vocals (the band is from Uruguay)...then a handful of Meshuggah riffs and odd time-changes take over...then the acoustic interlude...then back to the Black Metal and Melodic Death stuff. It's actually more coherent than I'm probably making it sound--but there is no doubt that it is eclectic, and diverse. You won't be bored.



Lyrically, while English is clearly not vocalist Jose Romero's first language, his choice of subject matter is remarkably high-brow (for instance, "Liberty" is based on Rousseau's "The Social Contract"). Some of them read like Zen koans; others are strictly Engrish--but again, they're never boring. His vocals, likewise, are always two octaves away from a Ethnic Diversity program, with a myriad of multilingual screams, howls, roars, and a laid-back melodic drawl not too dissimilar from System Of A Down's Armenian pride, all stepping to the mic at intervals.



At times, the band's over-the-top experimentalism overstays its welcome (for instance, the forced vocal harmony at the end of "Liberty," or the shiftless drifting of the opener, "Rectitude"). Other tracks make it almost worth your while, though--"Logos" is an epic melodic winner, with stunning guitarwork and clever vocal parts. "Antichrist" is as straight-forward as the band seems to be capable of, with a weeping-wookie vocal style and a furious Scandinavian rhythm assault.



Fans of everything from Darkane to Meshuggah will find something of interest here. It is off-kilter, and on-target--at least most of the time. This will probably be a band to watch (not everyone will be brave enough to listen...).
Track Listing

1. Rectitude
2. Wisdom
3. Liberty
4. Logos
5. Antichrist
6. Desperation
7. Philosopher
8. (untitled)

Lineup

Alex Hernández - Drums
Maciej Kupiszewski - Bass
José Romero - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards

Other reviews

» Philosopher
by Gabriel C. Zolman


Next review: » Requiem Of Revulsion - A Tribute To Carcass
Previous review: » Requiem - Mask of Damnation





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