Spanish Metal

Blazar – Fatal Cosmic Wound Review

Blazar – Fatal Cosmic Wound Review

“People call funeral doom boring, and I get it. It’s very slow, often very long, not particularly technical, and contains few riffs per minute. Its compositions are not ordinarily gym-friendly, or headbangable. But good funeral doom is good. Crushing, transportive, and at times incredibly beautiful, as the low, slow and leaden is partnered with rising, floaty, ethereal melodies. Think Shape of Despair, Clouds, Esoteric. All this to say, that the best funeral doom is that which balances its punishing heaviness and crawling tempos with clean, graceful melodiousness in order to produce something truly immense. Blazar, Spanish funeral doom/sludge gang have a different philosophy.” Angry burial.

Eternal Storm – A Giant Bound to Fall Review

Eternal Storm – A Giant Bound to Fall Review

“I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: unless you make funeral doom, you probably don’t have a great reason for making a 70+ minute metal album. Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, like the Spectral Lore/Mare Cognitum double album a few years back. That one worked because A) the material, against the odds, kicked ass throughout, and B) the concept was to write an album about the whole goddamn solar system. It was cosmic in scale, literally. But for every Wanderers: Astrology of the Nine, there are 10 more Esoctrilihum records that I will never listen to, at this point on principle. In completely unrelated news, Spanish melodeath-ers Eternal Storm grace us this week with their highly anticipated second album, A Giant Bound to Fall. Thankfully, they keep their album length to a reasonable (checks notes)…oh dear.” Giant-sized Storm front.

Pestilength – Solar Clorex Review

Pestilength – Solar Clorex Review

“Last we met the secretive Basque duo Pestilength, they had released their second full-length Basom Gryphos, an album that was appropriately slimy and punishing but fell by the wayside due to its scattershot compositions and unashamed Portal worship. Its potential was there, lurking beneath the surface like eldritch grandiosity yet to be awoken, but the right combination of incantations and blasphemies were needed to truly wreak havoc on mankind. In many ways, what Pestilength does is braver than dissodeath acts of similar ilk, refusing to shroud its riffs in murk or atmosphere and letting the chord progressions do the talking – putting added pressure on the string attack.” Clorexing the murk.

Savaged – Night Stealer Review

Savaged – Night Stealer Review

“Sometimes a band offers exactly what you want. One glance at Night Stealer by Savaged gave me all I needed to choose it from the promo dump. A roaring space panther scratching a moon in front of an exploding planet? This is exactly the volume-upping, beer-downing, old man-moshing palate cleanser that I needed after a black metal review. Though Spain may not be known for such loutish behavior, Savaged are keen to stake a place for it at heavy/speed metal’s dinner table.” Wild days, Savaged nights.

Æolian – Echoes of the Future Review

Æolian – Echoes of the Future Review

“It’s difficult to fully articulate why I feel so strongly about Spain’s melodic death metallers Æolian. I stumbled upon their debut album Silent Witness shortly after its release in 2018, and while I saw lots of potential in their aggressive take on melodeath, Silent Witness ultimately left me unimpressed to the point that I ended up passing over their 2020 release The Negationist. So when Æolian’s name appeared within the promo sump, why did I feel such hope that this time, this time Æolian would nail it?” Hope and reality.

Dantalion – Fatum Review

Dantalion – Fatum Review

The fusion of black metal and doom is a finicky one. With a vast repertoire in both reported palettes, the sounds and combinations are as diverse and unique. Spain’s Dantalion specializes in a blend of the Gothic doom enchantments of My Dying Bride or Saturnus and the lightless whimpers of Silencer or Lifelover. Their ninth full-length Fatum is as melancholic and hopeless as its themes suggest: the inevitability of fate.” Doom looping.

Morta – La España Negra Review

Morta – La España Negra Review

“Black metal has many faces, so it can be easy to forget that its most well-known outside of the initiated is the wind-whipped, moon-howling, corpse-painted, devil-worshipping one. Just a glance at La España Negra’s artwork reminds you, as it manages to include a good many tropes of the genre. A sacrificial altar complete with goat head–check. Skulls—check. A defiled version of Christ on the cross—check. Monochromatic color scheme—check. With this as their image, Morta give the impression of trveness, and with their words, claim to take influence from the whole of the genre’s rich history.” Through blackened ages.

At the Altar of the Horned God – Heart of Silence Review

At the Altar of the Horned God – Heart of Silence Review

“There’s a reason humans have worshipped nature throughout history. The natural world has an allure and a power that many can appreciate, whether or not they attribute divinity to it. At the Altar of the Horned God takes the more worshipful tone, conducting their second rite of reverence through deeply atmospheric, folk-tinged, experimental black metal.” Horns up.

Frozen Dawn – The Decline of the Enlightened Gods Review

Frozen Dawn – The Decline of the Enlightened Gods Review

“As someone allergic to major keys, I find a natural home with metal, which tends to focus on the minor, or indeed, dissonance. We’ve all heard non-metal-listeners in our lives pontificate about how angry metal sounds. We all also know that it can bring happiness no matter how nasty it seems on the surface. Allow me to introduce you to some extreme metal out to prove this with a vengeance. Spain’s Frozen Dawn make their Transcending Obscurity debut with LP number four, a slice of melodic black metal fizzing with rambunctious energy. Polished and fresh, yet still retaining an air of the dark, occult past.” Stay frosty.

Ósserp – Els nous cants de la Sibil·la [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

Ósserp – Els nous cants de la Sibil·la [Things You Might Have Missed 2022]

“Look at how fucking cute that hydra-bear thing is! I want to give it so many pets and cuddles that it dies from feeling too loved. Unfortunately, such creatures are but a myth, and I shall never know the multi-faced adoration of an adorable lil’ hydra, strong enough to carry me all the way to that ringed planet in the background. Instead, I’ll settle for telling the masses about this grimy, fucked up deathgrind slab by Barcelona quintet Ósserp, entitled Els nous cants de la Sibil·la.” Hail Hydra.