Like crossing a disturbing and unpredictable landscape of sizzling heat and exhaustive oppressive atmospheres, El Mal Del Bien the new album from Venezuelan band Cultura Tres, is a stunning slab of corrosive invention. Brewing a sonically driven thick expanse of sludge metal soaked in grunge and noise essences, the release is a mighty uncompromising assault which makes every second of its inventive presence a challenging and deeply rewarding experience.
The band released El Mal Del Bien in their homeland last year but now through Devouter Records it gets its wider CD release whilst at the same time taking the already acclaimed recognition of the band to greater heights. Established as one of the big rock entities in Venezuela through their impressive live performance, as well as first EP Seis in 2007 and debut album La Cura the following year, the quartet of vocalist and guitarist Alejandro Londono, guitarist Juan Manuel de Ferrari, bassist Alonso Milano, and drummer David Abbink stand as one of the boundary pushing and inspiring bands worldwide. From El Mal Del Bien alone with its fusion of sludge and doom metal with varied strains of rock, Cultura Tres stand apart in their challenging yet magnetic world. Like a sonic fury borne from the ashes of an erosive confrontation between Deftones, Soundgarden, Coilguns, and Orange Goblin, the invasive sound which crawls and consumed from within the album is an inciting and vigorous endeavour which leaves thoughts frazzled, senses glowing, and passions bursting.
From opener Propiedad de Dios onwards, the album unleashes shadows and at times distressing soundscapes to leave a full and satisfied ardour beneath its staggering creativity and expressive sounds. The first song slowly builds up its presence through sharp blistered guitar manipulations and heavy prodding beats. It is a meandering crawl which twists and lurches through the ear to engage thoughts, the initial caustic Alice In Chains like drone in sound and vocals walking through harsher gates across the laboured and wholly compelling stalking brought by the song. It is a mighty start soon dismissed as a mere taster by the brilliant Purified, a track with the sting and incessant rapier rub of a giant sonic hornet. The track is a niggling confrontation which turns aggravation into a hypnotic charm. As melodically colourful as the fire within a furnace and as destructive, the song turns its merciless insistence into a hungry infection from which only blissful allegiance is forthcoming. The dour vocal harmonies and scarring guitar play are delicious whilst bass and drums offer a form of contempt to all merge for a totally irresistible mix.
The likes of instrumental Los Muertos De Mi Color with its distressed ambience and sinister breath and the towering El Sur De La Fe, a track simmering with rapier sonic teasing and raging burning melodic flames within its waspish encounter, fire up the heart. Both tracks are as distinct as night and day but scar the senses with a unity of quality and irreverence to the sanity of their recipients.
El Mal Del Bien is an album which offers essential incendiary and inspiring imagination from start to finish, no track or brief part of a song wasted on trivial or impact lacking invention. The release physically and mentally ensures a heavily provocative experience, usually with both aspects overwhelmed at once by the creative maelstrom of sound and textures as in The Grace, with its mesmeric blend of classic metal and sound distortion, and the sensational crunching violation of Voices. Both of these tracks alone numb and invigorate to leave a lingering corruption in their wake and a desperate longing for much more.
The songs come either in the mother tongue of the band or in English but all leave having caused the same deep and long lasting reaction, passionate adoration. El Mal Del Bien is a masterful and colossal piece of skilled craft and invention, whilst Cultura Tres stand as one of the truly unique emerging giants in metal.
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