Ricardo Remedio - Natuereza MortaFollow me into the electronic church of Ricardo Remédio, a prolific musician who has collaborated with various doom bands and electronic projects in his native Portugal. Under the divine gaze of Sunn O))) and Ulver collaborator and multi-instrumentalist, Daniel O’Sullivan, Natureza Morta is Ricardo Remédio’s first solo record. The album is atypical in that it contains no riffs, vocals, drums or your everyday heavy metal violence. It’s an album that throbs, screeches, echoes and whirs through suspenseful and ominous avenues of electronica. Natureza Morta may lack the stringed brutality and snarled rage of metal but the electronic stand-ins of dense ambient noise, 80’s horror movie-esque synths and atmospheric drones should satisfy the staunchest of extreme-metal purists.

There is a haunting density, mixed with melancholy and unease to the record as a whole – surely a by-product Remédio’s work with Portuguese doomsters Löbo – that combines deep droning bass lines, unusual percussive noise, and grating industrial repetitions together with floating synth melodies. The opener “Banquete” is a solid example of the dynamic between shimmering melodic touches and earth-shaking drones as machine-like throbs make way for glimmering, high pitched electronics. Similarly in “Vigília” cultish crowd chants rise through the mix with an angelic softness together with solemn shoegaze-esque overdrive. However the album is usually at its best when delving into the dark and ominous electronic underground.


There’s a captivating feel to the album and it pieces together reasonably harmoniously. The odd song, such as “Ossos” and “Efermo,” fails to really capture or add anything of real substance beyond weakly prolonging the atmosphere, but thankfully these two tracks are the only real let-downs and the remainder are solidly arranged and easy to differentiate. “Caça,” for example, is the most powerful song on the album, sounding like a mash-up between the atmospheric work of composer/DJ Jon Hopkins and John Carpenter. “Caca” has an engrossing mix of throbbing and suspenseful bass sounds straight from the movie The Thing and airy, fluttering, dreamlike reverberations straight from Stranger Things. It’s a harrowing ten minute track that builds layer upon layer expertly.

Ricardo Remedio 2016Natureza Morta is the sort of album that could wash over you in a muddy haze of nothingness if you ignore its intricacies. This may be read as more of a negative than a positive, but Ricardo Remédio’s electronic touches are often subtle and gradually integrated into long songs. Delicate resonances froth, layer upon layer upon layer, at a close to inaudible tone. Towards the end of “Caça,” for example, beneath the pulse and clangor, the faintest trace of whispered vocals can just about be made out. I hadn’t noticed the sound on prior listens and I was impressed, and also creeped out by these almost subliminal noises seething at a near-to inaudible tone. Similarly the final track “Rei Morto, Rei Posto” vibrates with a forcefulness as deep bass tones repeat beneath trickling synth patterns, warping space sounds, and the faintest trace of a piano. The song builds, and grooves with a vintage 80’s vibe akin to Perturbator as it heads to a satisfying conclusion. The production throughout is top-notch and aids the album greatly.

The best songs on Natureza Morta are those driven by a sturdy underlying beat. It’s the darker tracks too, the ones with a more urgent ominousness that create the lasting impression. Pure aggression and intensity is not necessarily at the forefront here but there is the occasional sharp change in tone and sound that shakes things up nicely. The twinkling melodies and more up-beat tone of songs such as “Suor Noturno” fail to really spruce things up, mostly washing through the album in bland haze, however for the most part the album, when dark and haunting, is strong. Natureza Morta is a rich and textured work that reveals itself skillfully after multiple listens. It’s well worth venturing into the non-metal wilderness for this release.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Dissociated Records
Websites: facebook.com/ricardoremediomusic
Releases Worldwide: October 3rd, 2016

Share →
  • Kind of thought music had progressed beyond this kind of thing. (I spent the 90s listening to this, a la Skinny Puppy, Plaid, Meat Beat Manifesto, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Frontline Assembly, Front 242, etc.)

    These days, this stuff reminds me of Ross on Friends in that episode where he breaks out the keyboard and shows off his mad skillz. I mean it’s enjoyable, but without hallucinogens I don’t see the point anymore.

    • Wait until the explosion effect stops to start cheering please.

    • Eldritch Elitist

      My wife and I watched that episode recently. That bit can only get better with the passage of time.

  • Alexandre Barata

    But does he djent?

  • Mr T

    So basically you are reviewing techno now.

    • Yep. We change the site name to Angry Rave Guy next month.

      • Elton Chagas

        Expecting some Skazi reviews. It will be amazing.

        No.

      • Oscar Albretsen

        I have one word. Opeth. Okay, 2 words. Opeth. Sorceress. Okay, now that that’s out of the way, this was actually pretty decent. I have a soft spot for this stuff that sounds totally different than what I’m used to, and electro-metal almost always fills it.

        • Excentric_13073

          LOL, we’ve reached a point where there’s hype for the review of a hyped album. Where do we go from here? Hype for the comments for the Hyped review of the Hyped album?

          • Oscar Albretsen

            The site just happens to be my personal favorite metal site, so I thought I’d annoy them by demanding the review again. I know it’s in progress, and I’m not actually that freaked out over how long it’s taking. Just curious to see the thoughts of a site I really respect, as Opeth is one of my favorite bands.

          • Excentric_13073

            Annoying them (AMG staffers) for the lolz is a completely legitimate explanation.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Their life is simply too easy.

        • Diego Molero

          I have 3 words for Sorceress: not good enough.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Not good enough. That was what I was thinking the first five times I listened to it. I love these growers.

          • Diego Molero

            I have listened to it like 3-4 times, and so far is good but just that, and with Opeth I expected more. Maybe it will grow sometime soon.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Well all these non-metal ones have had that effect for me. At first they were kind of confusing and seemed simply not too good, but they all ended up being really strong after some more listens. Not like “Still Life” though, where I was just in awe the first time I heard it…

          • Diego Molero

            I’ll give it time then, hopefully it will click. Even with Heritage? That one I can’t like it. Damnation I really love it, that is the best non-metal album that Opeth have made, in my opinion of course.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Yeah, I tried hard to like “Heritage,” but never could. It’s the one Opeth album I don’t currently own, but I have some desire to get it again. I’ve also always adored “Damnation.,” it’s possibly one of my favorite albums by any band. But “Pale Communion” was dissapointing at first. None of the songs seemed to stand out and the album as a whole felt almost like a shanty effort by one of my favorite bands. But, like this new one, it didn’t just click all at once. iI started getting more comfortable with some of the early songs, particularly “Eternal Rains Will Fall,” and as I continued just playing the whole thing, it just all started sounding great, and it ended up being one of my favorite albums of the year. The new one, I’m really liking some of the middle tunes, “Wilde Flowers,” “Seventh Sojoun,” but even though I’m not in love with the whole thing yet, it’s having that same effect were every time I listen to it, there’s some new aspect that had escaped me before, so I can already tell it’s gonna end up being a favorite.

          • Diego Molero

            Damn, that is a pretty good explanation. I really hope that Sorceress have the same effect that is having on you, because is one of those albums that I really want to love, time will tell.

          • basenjibrian

            One word is enough…yawn.

  • Ooops, I thought I was on Pitch4k… But the Sunn O))) and Ulver names got me to actually read and enjoy the diversity.

  • Reese Burns

    T..t..techno? More like Tech-no! Amirite? Anyone?

    • sir_c

      nope, that’s not techno :-)

  • Diego Molero

    Next thing we know there is going to be a Yer Metal is Olde about Darude – Sandstorm.

  • Elton Chagas

    Electronica Metal.

    WAAAAAAYYYY MOREEEE electronica than metal.

  • Zadion

    I’m totally ok with the non-metal reviews. If it’s a sort of music there’s a high chance would appeal to [AMG’s relatively open-minded] metal listening audience, it’s worth giving attention to me thinks.

  • sir_c

    It’s more in the line of darkwave and EBM, methinks. Or even witch house comes to thought. Take a sample of Velvet Acid Christ, Suicide Commando or †▼BF▼CK to see what I mean.

  • Adjudant

    Rubbish

  • I, for one, am happy to be pointed in the direction of this one. Reminds me of early Delerium albums/Ulver’s Themes from William Blake’s the Marriage of Heaven and Hell.