Album Review – Prion / Aberrant Calamity (2019)

Erupting from the warped heart of chaos, here comes a roaring Argentinian Death Metal horde armed with their brand new and extremely brutal album.

Erupting from the warped heart of chaos, here comes a roaring, screaming and slithering mass of nightmares named Prion, a Death Metal horde formed in the distant year of 1994 in the city of Buenos Aires, the capital of the always vibrant Argentina, tearing down the doors which guard your sanity, and letting loose every childhood fear kept locked away in darkness and drown your dreams in terror. Four years after the release of the excellent album Uncertain Process, from 2015, Prion are back even more enraged and vile than before, unleashing upon our damned souls their brand new, rip-roaring full-length album Aberrant Calamity, a lesson in sheer brutality highly recommended for diehard fans of Immolation, Krisiun, Hate Eternal and Morbid Angel.

Comprised of Gregorio Kochian on vocals and guitar, Walter Barrionuevo on bass and Flavio Coscarella on drums, Prion take no prisoners in their quest for old school Death Metal, adding absolutely zero artificial elements to their crushing sonority. Featuring a phantasmagorical and creepy cover art by Italian artist Marco Hasmann (Comatose Music), Aberrant Calamity is a precise and thunderous album of classic Death Metal where all three band members are in absolute fire and in total sync from start to finish, putting a huge smile on the faces of not only the fans of the band, but also to newcomers to the world of Prion who love when a band transforms their instruments into weapons of total annihilation.

It’s quite impressive how crisp, vibrant and raw the trio sounds from the very first second in the opening track Fictitious Form of Stability, with Flavio beginning his onrush of blast and furious beats à la Krisiun while Gregorio is a beast both with his demented riffs and his infernal growls; and as demolishing and intricate as the opening track, Irreversible Ways brings some Brutal Death Metal for the masses, with poetry and violence walking hand in hand in its lyrics (“So much real the time proceeds / without ask. Everything born and die, / we are not exempt from that. / Accelerating the natural course of the things. / Life disorders! / The malformed system now is out of control, / till our non existence.”). Following such smashing start, the rumbling bass punches by Walter will hammer your head mercilessly in I Remembered to Breathe, a sonic devastation that lives up to the legacy of old school Death Metal (and don’t forget to check their playthrough version HERE).

Apparently Flavio never gets tired of smashing his drums like a maniac, which is the case in Unable to Discern, an imposing Death Metal tune that feels at times like a “Death Metal Opera” (if that exists, of course), where Gregorio keeps vociferating rabidly and deeply in a true lesson in extreme music by this evil triumvirate from Argentina. Then get ready to slam into the circle pit to an avalanche of violent and technical sounds in Over the Asphalt of a New Era, with Gregorio and Walter extracting thunderous lines from their stringed weapons and, therefore, generating some unstoppable action for our avid ears and bodies. As you might have already noticed, there’s no time to breathe in Aberrant Calamity, with the dark, headbanging massacre entitled I’m Jonah, Sacrifice Me, led by Gregorio’s sharp riffs (and who also screeches like a demonic entity, by the way) sounding inspired by the greatest of the genre like Morbid Angel, Death and especially Prion’s neighbors Krisiun; whereas Pathological Self Destruction starts as obscure as possible, suddenly exploding into vile and infernal Death Metal where Flavio is once again precise and berserk on drums, generating a Stygian atmosphere perfect for Gregorio’s deep roars.

Are you tired already? Because there’s still more pulverizing Death Metal sounds made in Argentina for our total delight starting with Observed Relativity, showcasing a demented performance by Flavio on drums supported by Walter’s metallic bass, recommended for crushing your damned skull into the circle pit. The Hesse Paradox is another solid and demented display of extreme music brought forth by the trio, spearheaded by the scorching riffs by Gregorio while Walter and Flavio show no mercy for their instruments, sounding visceral and disturbing just the way we like it. And closing the album on a demolishing note to the detailed and potent beats by Flavio we have Slow Down, a song about our society’s cult of rush (“We live in the age of speed. / We strain to be more efficient, / to cram more into each minute, / each hour, each day of the existence.”) that will leave countless bodies on the floor after all is said and done.

If I were you, and especially if you’re an admirer of the pulverizing sounds of old school Death Metal, I would definitely take a good listen at Aberrant Calamity in full on YouTube or on Spotify, follow the band on Facebook, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and buy a copy of this fantastic album of Argentinian Death Metal from the band’s own BandCamp page or from Comatose Music’s BandCamp or webstore, as well as from Apple Music, Amazon or Discogs. There’s a very good reason why Prion have been proudly carrying the flag of classic Death Metal high for decades already, and that’s simply because those talented and obstinate Argentinian musicians breathe and live Death Metal, with Aberrant Calamity representing their boiling blood flowing through their metal hearts.

Best moments of the album: Irreversible Ways, Unable to Discern and Pathological Self Destruction.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Comatose Music

Track listing
1. Fictitious Form of Stability 4:33
2. Irreversible Ways 4:33
3. I Remembered to Breathe 5:12
4. Unable to Discern 4:36
5. Over the Asphalt of a New Era 4:09
6. I’m Jonah, Sacrifice Me 4:47
7. Pathological Self Destruction 4:28
8. Observed Relativity 5:10
9. The Hesse Paradox 4:33
10. Slow Down 4:40

Band members
Gregorio Kochian – vocals, guitars
Walter Barrionuevo – bass
Flavio Coscarella – drums

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Album Review – Preludio Ancestral / Oblivion (2018)

A magnificent opus of epic-painted Power Metal with symphonic arrangements and amazing guitar work, where various guest musicians help give form to an album that will be a delight for any lover of the genre.

Formed back in 2005 by guitarist Leonardo Gatti in San Miguel, a city in the northwest region of Greater Buenos Aires located around 30km from the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Symphonic Power Metal band Preludio Ancestral has been making a name for themselves since their inception with a steady flow of high-quality releases, starting with the EP Silencio and the full-length album Hacia lo Inmortal, both in 2012, followed by the 2013 EP Putrefaction, the 2015 album Kybalion, and the 2016 album El Misterio de la Pasión Divina, gaining strong recognition not only in their native country, where they even opened for acts like Rhapsody of Fire and Stratovarius, but also everywhere where the epicness and electricity of Power Metal are admired.

Now in 2018 the band comprised of the aforementioned Leo Gatti on the guitars and keyboards, Ari Katajamäki on bass and Diego Camaño on drums are set to release a brand new album titled Oblivion, a magnificent opus of epic-painted Power Metal with symphonic arrangements and an awesome guitar work, where various guest musicians hailing from different parts of Argentina and Europe give form to an album that will be a delight for any lover of the genre. As a matter of fact, due to the fact that almost every song of the album has a different lead singer, Oblivion feels like three or four album in one, with the music always remaining fresh and captivating throughout its 10 distinct songs (or 12 if you purchase the special Japanese edition of the album).

Presagio is a cinematic intro that takes you to the world of Preludio Ancestral, where the flammable sound of the guitar by Leo and the unstoppable beats by Diego are joined by Alessio Perardi on vocals in King of Silence, a classic Melodic Power Metal tune the likes of Dragonforce and Stratovarius; followed by Storm, a Power Metal extravaganza led by the intricate drums by Diego with Enzo Donnarumma taking the vocal duties, while Leo and Ari bring tons of melody and feeling to the musicality. And Alessio is back on vocals for a fast and harmonious exhibit of modern-day Melodic Metal named Fear of Falling, showcasing all elements we love in this type of music. Furthermore, Ari is simply fantastic with his bass, smashing his strings mercilessly while guest keyboardist Gabliel Crisafulli embellishes the overall sound with his kick-ass solo.

With Fran Vázquez on vocals, Preludio Ancestral offer a mid-tempo, melodic tune titled Ready to Rock, leaning towards the darker and deeper metal crafted by icons such as Dio and Saxon. Moreover, can you feel those beats pounding inside your mind? Moving on with the album, the title-track Oblivion, featuring Juan Pablo Kilberg on vocals, could be part of a concept album due to its initial narration and pace, morphing into straightforward Power Metal the likes of Helloween and the early days of Sonata Arctica, with Juan Pablo also delivering a crisp guitar solo to make things even more epic. Then it’s time to slow things down a bit with a power ballad titled Universal Love, presenting more of the voice of Alessio Perardi, passionate solos by Leo and a dense background, but unfortunately with the overall result falling flat after a while.

In Reflection in the Wind they get back to a faster and more slashing musicality, presenting a solid instrumental base by Leo, Ari and Diego that sets the perfect stage for Kimmo Perämäki to thrive on vocals. This is one of those songs to sing along with the band wherever you are, not to mention another spectacular keyboard solo by Gabliel Crisafulli. In Dust World, a classic mid-tempo tune led by the powerful riffs by Leo, Alessio Perardi returns for one last breath of his potent vocals, while Ari and Diego keep the atmosphere as thunderous as it can be, before the closing act in Oblivion, titled Metal Walls, brings Daniel García on vocals in what can be considered the most modernized of all tracks, displaying elements from distinguished styles such as Alternative, Industrial, Dark Metal and Hard Rock, and let me tall you that the final result is above all expectations, in special due to the amazing job done by Leo on keyboards.

In summary, Oblivion (available for a full listen on Spotify) will not only cement the name of Preludio Ancestral as one of the best and most professional bands from this new wave of Symphonic and Power Metal in their homeland, but it will also help the band spread their wings and reach higher grounds in the world of heavy music. And if you wan to show your honest support to such up-and-coming act, simply go check their Facebook page and YouTube channel for news and other shenanigans, and purchase Oblivion through the band’s own BandCamp page, through the Xtreem Music webstore, through the Spiritual Beast webstore, or on Amazon. May the power of Heavy Metal be with Preludio Ancestral anywhere they go, and may other bands from Argentina and South America follow their steps and deliver more metal music to fans tired of having bad and fake music shoveled down their throats by their local TV shows, radio stations, and websites.

Best moments of the album: King of Silence, Fear of Falling and Reflection in the Wind.

Worst moments of the album: Universal Love.

Released in 2018 Fighter Records/Spiritual Beast

Track listing
1. Presagio 1:04
2. King of Silence 3:49
3. Storm 4:02
4. Fear of Falling 4:30
5. Ready to Rock 3:45
6. Oblivion 5:07
7. Universal Love 4:24
8. Reflection in the Wind 3:31
9. Dust World 4:49
10. Metal Walls 5:35 

Japanese Edition bonus tracks
11. Like A Star (New Version) 3:31
12. No Man’s Land 3:27

Band members
Leonardo Gatti – guitars, keyboards
Ari Katajamäki – bass
Diego Camaño – drums

Guest musicians
Alessio Perardi – vocals on “King of Silence”, “Dust World”, “Fear of Falling” and “Universal Love”
Fran Vázquez – vocals on “Ready to Rock”
Daniel García – vocals on “Metal Walls”
Juan Pablo Kilberg – vocals on “Oblivion”
Raffaele Raffo Albanese – vocals on “No Man’s Land”
Kimmo Perämäki – vocals on “Reflection in the Wind”
Enzo Donnarumma – vocals on “Storm”
Gabliel Crisafulli – keyboards solos on “Oblivion”, “Reflection in the Wind” and “Fear of Falling”
Juan Pablo Kilberg – guitar solos on “Oblivion”
José Paz – keyboards on “Presagio”

Album Review – Lanthanein / Nocturnálgica EP (2015)

Beautiful classical music for headbangers by a promising Doom Death/Gothic Metal band from Argentina.

Rating5

coverArising from the city of Córdoba, Argentina, Doom Death/Gothic Metal band Lanthanein are releasing their first EP entitled Nocturnálgica, which is not only a good preview of their upcoming debut album Lágrimas (or “tears”, in English), but also an excellent option for fans of dusky and thoughtful music. Formed in early 2015 by soprano Marilí Portorrico and multi-instrumentalist Juan Mansilla (also known as A.N.XIIIU.X), this is a promising metal project that will help elevate the name of Argentina in the world of heavy music.

The music by Lanthanein is beautifully inspired by the drama of classical music and the sound of the 90’s, surrounded by powerful orchestrations and delicate vocals. This interesting fusion of styles, accentuated by the professionalism and passion of the musicians involved, ends up generating a dense ambience and a magnificent balance between darkness and light, therefore making the whole experience of listening to Nocturnálgica a lot more memorable. And, of course, the uniqueness of all songs being sung in Spanish, their mother tongue.

Just the intro of the opening track, Lágrimas De Luna (“tears of moon”), is already enough to showcase how Gothic their music is. The female vocals by Marilí seem inspired by divas such as Tarja Turunen and Vibeke Stene, while the instrumental blends elements from Lacrimosa and classical music, creating a deep and embracing atmosphere which becomes even stronger during the song’s gentle piano passages.

11328692_694320864013109_117723313_oThe growls by A.N.XIIIU.X introduce us to the title-track Nocturnálgica, an amazing Doom/Gothic Metal exhibit with highlights to its intense lyrics (“Agreste paisaje el de este día / en que la fortuna fue ausente, / el silencio cruel fue de muerte / Agreste la noche que se aproxima / fecundando sueños con tragedia”) and to the great teamwork by the operatic, harsh and choir voices. Moreover, the orchestrations complement the song in a beautiful and compelling way, turning it into a delightful soundtrack of sorrow.

A Orillas Del Silencio (“on the shores of silence”) is a very obscure and passionate tune which rhythm reminds me of some of the biggest classics by Gothic Metal icons Tristania. It focuses on its orchestral side a lot more than its metallic one, which ends up emphasizing another excellent vocal performance by Marilí. And last but not least, closing the EP we have more agony in Lacrimosa Et Gementem (Latin for “weeping and moaning”), where love (in the form of the gentle vocals by Marilí) and torment (portrayed by the power of the backing vocals and choir) are united by the band’s cohesive musicality. In my opinion, this is hands down the best track of the EP, leaving us eager for more of their music in their upcoming full-length album.

In summary, the interesting Noturnálgica, available at the band’s official BandCamp page, is highly recommended for all types of singers, fans of classical music and, of course, metalheads in pursuit of heavy music where melancholy and tranquility are its main elements. In other words, what Lanthanein offer us all is a heavier version of classical music tailored for headbangers but without overdoing any of its core aspects, remaining loyal to the foundations of Gothic Metal while at the same time adding their own touch and experiences to it, something we always expect from emerging bands no matter what type of music they play.

Best moments of the album: Lacrimosa Et Gementem.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1. Lágrimas De Luna 5:07
2. Nocturnálgica 4:05
3. A Orillas Del Silencio 5:40
4. Lacrimosa Et Gementem 6:09

Band members
Marilí Portorrico – female voice and choir
A.N.XIIIU.X – guttural, tenor, guitars and bass

Additional musicians
Ailén Ceballos – sopranos and altos
Hilen Blesio – sopranos and altos
Ramiro Morales – tenor
Guillermo Apfelbaum – bass