Amnessia Eterna – Malditos Review

Since Steel‘s clammy, hairy hand forced me to write for this illustrious establishment, I’ve noticed a trend. The trend is the inconsistency of thrash releases. It’s like the entire genre gets together as one unit of foul-mouthed dinosaurs, balding dads, and pizza-hungry horror enthusiasts to decide when to release albums. They sit around chugging Mylanta, Steel Reserve, and Truly, talking their trade and comparing solos. After evaluating the recorded material at this annual meeting, they’ll make a decision. The decision this year? No releases. Who made the decision? No one really knows. At this point, everyone’s puking from overdoing it on alcohol and stomach acid. At next year’s meeting, the verdict will flip. Or, so everyone hopes. 

But it’s not all a lost cause. There are those in the room that consider this an establishment to rebel against. While others think they’re too good for the system. Zet and Dukes throw pickles at each other across the bar, while Joel Grind passes around a tray of his special Wild Dogs. Slayer and Metallica sit on opposite sides of the room, not noticing each other, or anyone else for that matter. Mustaine is crying in the corner. Gama Bomb and Municipal Waste are trading shots, while Warbringer hides in a makeshift bunker with Sodom. The first to leave this shitshow is Chile’s Amnessia Eterna. They played their unreleased album, Malditos, for no one to hear. Just the same, they’ll ignore this year’s decision.

Having chewed on a few ideas for years now, Amnessia Eterna farts on the doorman and heads to the printers. In your earholes rests the band’s patience and hard work. In their proper debut record lies old-school thrash in its simplest form. There are no bombastic atmospheres or 80-minute long epics. There’re no songs about shark attacks, horror movies, or pimple-faced fucktards. Well, I hope not… I can’t speak their language. It’s just classic thrash that combines elements of Megadeth, Metallica, and Death Angel. What I enjoyed about Reign of Fury‘s Death Be Thy Shepherd is the same here. Though, Amnessia Eterna has stripped down even further to focus on the true elements of the genre’s ’80s glory. Wait, is less really is more?

Though Malditos crosses the 45-minute mark for a thrash record, it has a good balance of output. They have everything from the ripping thrash riffs of opener “Caminos” to the hellbilly speed attack that is “En Busca.” To round it out, you’ll find melodic pieces like “Tan Solo” and the chugging, ’90s Megadeth simplicity of “Lujuria.” Yeah, it’s all over the place. But when the band combines all their influences and styles, you get the back-to-back “Falso” and “Infierno.” Neither crosses the five-minute mark but, with the amount of riffage in them, you’d think they were eight minutes. It’s calculating, though. Not an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink scenario, they borrow heavily from old-school Metallica and use that band’s ’80s nack to create atmosphere and builds throughout their songs. They mix heavy with melodic and they grow to pleasing conclusions. And they are just different enough that the songs don’t blend.

The album also includes two instrumental pieces—”Desvanecidos” and “Initium.” The first is a simple two-minute acoustic interlude that shares similarities with the outro of “Infierno.” “Initium,” on the other hand, is a complex set of emotions. It’s another that should be eight minutes long, but it’s barely five. Surprisingly, it’s also my favorite song on the record. It sounds like a mix of Metallica‘s “Orion” and Reign of Fury. It starts slow and melodic but is quick to tease with one of the slickest riffs on the album. The mfer rises and falls throughout, working a subtle ascension until it literally explodes. Few songs of this caliber completely pull it off. But the end of “Initium” is worth the journey.

Unfortunately, there are parts of Malditos that don’t work. There’s a lot of good energy and an upward slant for most of the album. But the back-to-back melodic pieces (“Tan Solo” and “Todo Cae”) drop a barrier into place following the title track. “Tan Solo” is the best of the two, but maybe it would work better elsewhere on the album. Also, without the pair, we’d chop off ten minutes and, potentially, have a tighter release. But it’s not all their fault. After the killer energy of the Death Angel-like opener, its follow-up (“Desquiciado”) is nothing more than a standard thrash metal piece. That said, Malditos is a fun album, and it’s a purveyor of the old-school sound. It’s also cool to hear these influences recorded in the band’s native language. It ain’t perfect, but, goddamn, I’ll be keeping my eyes on this crew.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 320 kb/s mp3
Label: Brutal Records
Websites: amnessiaeterna.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/amnessiaeterna
Releases Worldwide: July 30th, 2021

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