Album Review – Inferno / Basado En Hechos Reales (2019)

An up-and-coming thrashing beast from Spain returns with another sensational round of old school, unrelenting Thrash Metal, telling stories of violence, death and corruption from our rotten society.

Born in 2009 as a cover band from the ashes of several underground groups from the Spanish city of Ceuta, but writing their own original material since 2011 after some important lineup changes, the unstoppable Thrash Metal unity known as Inferno has been on a row in the past few years, having released their six-track debut EP Arrodíllate in 2014 and their first full-length album Genética Humana in 2017, both receiving very positive feedback from the press and from fans on heavy music in general. After such solid start, it was more than obvious that this thrashing beast from Spain would strike again in a not-so-distant future, which is exactly what’s happening now in 2019 with their sophomore release, the pulverizing Basado En Hechos Reales, which translates to English as “based on true events”.

Comprised of frontman Juan Manuel León, guitarists Ángel “Koto” Bermúdez and Antonio González, bassist Carlos Bermejo and drummer Miguel Osuna, Inferno take no prisoners in their quest for extreme music, playing as loudly, fast and aggressively as they can without giving us a single second to breathe. Recorded, mixed and mastered by their own guitarist Koto and featuring an old school cover artwork designed by Indonesian artist Wibowo Yudo Baskoro (Five Milligrams), who has already worked with bands like Napalm Death, Possessed, Morbid Saint and Massacre, Basado En Hechos Reales is an electrifying ode to all things thrash, perfectly representing all the band’s passion and commitment to such entertaining sub genre of heavy music.

An ominous Gregorian chant kicks off the blasphemous havoc entitled Ruega Por Nosotros (or “pray for us” in English), with Koto and Antonio cutting our skin deep with their riffs while frontman Juan Manuel vociferates the song’s harsh and anti-religious words rabidly, setting the tone for the also hammering Tu Sucio Dinero (“your dirty money”), with the rumbling bass punches by Carlos kicking us in the face mercilessly. Put differently, it’s raw, visceral and frantic Thrash Metal that lives up to the legacy of the genre, not to mention how potent the beats by Miguel sound throughout the entire song. And as aforementioned there’s no time to breathe with another kick-ass tune titled Como A Marionetas (“like puppets”), where we’re all invited to get smashed into the circle pit to more of their old school thrashing music, with highlights to the razor-edged guitar riffs and solos by Koto and Antonio.

Are you tired already? Because Inferno will hit you hard with their Spanish-spoken version of the early days of Testament and Exodus entitled Vuestra Ceguera (“your blindness”), where Miguel is an unstoppable stone crusher on drums while the guitars exhale harmony and brutality at the same time, whereas in Apriétate El Bozal (“squeeze the muzzle”) we face a high-octane fusion of sounds as if Metallica and Megadeth form the 80’s had a Spanish Chuck Billy as their vocalist (thanks to the great job done by Juan Miguel with his raspy, enraged vocals), with all destruction being boosted by the pulverizing drums by Miguel. There’s no sign of slowing down, as they continue their Thrash Metal party in Espiral De Mentiras (“spiral of lies”), where the guitar lines are in perfect sync with the vocals during the entire song, followed by Condenado A Vivir (“condemned to live”), an 80’s-inspired Bay Area Thrash hymn tailored for slamming into the circle pit, having a cold beer with your friends or simply banging your head nonstop like a beast. In addition, Juan Manuel sounds even more ferocious and demented on vocals than before, with the music flowing infernally until all is said and done.

Inferno’s source of energy seems to be endless as they add tons of horsepower to another piercing creation named Sin Domesticar (“without taming”), a sonic tribute to everyone that’s antisocial, rude and grim, with the Thrash Metal riffs and beats blasted by the band matching perfectly with the song’s sick lyrics, followed by Exterminio (“extermination”), where Juan Manuel roars and barks like a demonic entity in a fusion of Thrash and Death Metal highly recommended for diehard fans of extreme music. Lastly, in order to finish the extermination of the human race proposed in the previous song we have the fantastic Noches Sin Tregua (“nights without truce”) as the icing on the cake, with Miguel simply destroying his drum set while the band’s stringed trio provide Juan Manuel all he needs to thrive, vociferating violently like there’s no tomorrow without showing any mercy for our souls. Put differently, the album couldn’t have ended in a more fun and demolishing way, I might say.

Are you ready to slam into the pits of hell to the thunderous Thrash Metal made in Spain by Inferno? If the answer is yes, simply go check what those talented metallers are up to on Facebook, including their live concerts (the best thing in metal music, of course), and buy your copy of Basado En Hechos Reales from their own BandCamp page, as well as from the Necromance Records’ BandCamp page or webstore. Basado En Hechos Reales is, as its name already says, based on all sad but true stories of corruption, death and violence from our decaying society, and the guys from Inferno certainly deserve our utmost recognition for gathering all that evil and putting together such entertaining album of classic Thrash Metal for our total delectation.

Best moments of the album: Ruega Por Nosotros, Condenado A Vivir and Noches Sin Tregua.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Necromance Records

Track listing
1. Ruega Por Nosotros 4:01
2. Tu Sucio Dinero 3:00
3. Como A Marionetas 3:10
4. Vuestra Ceguera 2:56
5. Apriétate El Bozal 3:41
6. Espiral De Mentiras 4:00
7. Condenado A Vivir 3:21
8. Sin Domesticar 3:20
9. Exterminio 3:05
10. Noches Sin Tregua 3:22

Band members
Juan Manuel León – vocals
Ángel “Koto” Bermúdez – guitar
Antonio González – guitar
Carlos Bermejo – bass
Miguel Osuna – drums

Album Review – Bolu2 Death / Spiral (2018)

Aiming at becoming a reference in the Spanish underground scene, this up-and-coming “Flamencore hate crew” returns with their most ambitious release to date.

Born in 2009 as a side project based on Heavy Metal and Hardcore with electronic music and flamenco influences, to the point their music can also be labeled as “Flamencore”, Spanish quartet Bolu2 Death has been making a name for themselves in their homeland since the release of their 2011 debut album, titled Aviate, becoming a reference in the Spanish underground scene. Following the success of Aviate, the band continued to pave their path with a series of steady releases, those being Mastica Tus Dientes in 2013, Dualitas in 2016 (which by the way was elected “Album Of The Year” by Metal Nacional, a Spanish written metal webzine), and their brand new album Spiral now in 2018, their most ambitious release to date which aims at establishing this “Flamencore hate crew” comprised of Mario Lérida on vocals, Jose Luis Corrales on the guitar, Juan Miguel Ramírez on bass and Francisco Llévenes on drums as one of the most important bands in modern-day Spanish Metal.

The alternative, futuristic intro (0) sets up the stage to the electrifying Nace, Crece y Muere (which would translate from Spanish as “all is born, grows and dies”), a high-end Alternative and Nu Metal tune made in Spain where the demented growls and distorted noises blasted by the band will darken your mind and inspire you to break your neck headbanging, with Francisco simply crushing his drums. We Bleed, We Fight is a rebellious anthem of Alternative Metal, showcasing rumbling and metallic sounds extracted by Juan Miguel from his bass while Mario delivers some truly enraged words (“No, I don´t wanna be like you, never / I don´t wanna be like you / We must look at the past but never look back / We bleed, we fight / Create the path of your life / We will try again, come on, come on”); whereas Smells Like 90´s Spirit is a tribute to all bands from the 90’s that helped shape up the band’s musicality (“It´s the time when we grew up / Music came into our lives / We will never forget the smell / Que nos hizo amar / Nothing will ever be the same / But it in my heart the world doesn’t change / I give thanks for all”) in the form of another feast of extreme and modernized sounds, this time led by the sharp guitar lines by Jose Luis.

Todo y Nada could easily be used as the soundtrack to a wicked underground movie, where the band turns their instruments into noise-making machines and with Mario shaping his vocals in an inhuman, eerie way, being perfect for fans of both modern Industrial Metal and the Nu Metal played by bands like Korn. Then we have Forgiveness, a slower and more introspective creation by Bolu2 Death that sounds too “30 Seconds to Mars” to me, lacking the band’s usual violence and speed, and the whimsical instrumental bridge (vortice), warming up our senses for  the low-tuned, thunderous Korn-inspired chant I Am Doomed, where the entire band brings forward a high level of aggressiveness, dementia and heaviness, especially Jose Luis and Juan Manuel with their strings, while Mario vociferates sheer insanity from start to finish.

I like how they mix English and Spanish throughout the entire album, and they do it in great fashion in what’s perhaps the best depiction of what they call “Flamencore”, the fun and fresh Los De Arriba, followed by Statues, less belligerent but still very melodic and modern, becoming a great choice for banging your head together with the band and displaying a strong performance by Mario with both his clean and harsh vocals. Bury Yourself is another introspective composition by the Spanish quartet led by the thunderous riffs and bass lines by their stringed duo, losing its grip after a while despite their solid job done to keep it heavy and vibrant; while A.R.R. is a melancholic, cinematic bridge with a dark narration guiding us to the obscurity and rage blasted in the title-track Spiral, featuring guest vocalist Juan A. Soler “Kantz” (Tenpel, De la Cuna a la Tumba, Delobos, The Holy), presenting a fantastic balance between clean vocals during the darkest parts and harsh gnarls during the heaviest and most visceral moments, offering the listener over six minutes of modern and thrilling metal music that flows into a wicked downward spiral ending.

In summary, Bolu2 Death, who can be found on Facebook and on YouTube, sounds more mature, modern and experimental than ever in Spiral, proving the band is not exaggerating when they say they want to become a reference in contemporary metal in their homeland. And if you want to show your true support to such distinct group, go buy your copy of Spiral from their own BandCamp or webstore, as well as from the Necromance Records’ BandCamp or webstore, and from iTunes. Bolu2 Death offer music that inspires us to bang our heads and dance at the same time in Spiral, and they do it in such great fashion they truly deserve the recognition they’ve been gaining in Spain and in the rest of the world.

Best moments of the album: Nace, Crece y Muere, We Bleed, We Fight, I Am Doomed and Spiral.

Worst moments of the album: Forgiveness and Bury Yourself.

Released in 2018 Necromance Records

Track listing
1. (0) 0:52
2. Nace, Crece y Muere 3:58
3. We Bleed, We Fight 3:57
4. Smells Like 90´s Spirit 4:34
5. Todo y Nada 4:41
6. Forgiveness 4:12
7. (vortice) 2:00
8. I Am Doomed 3:19
9. Los De Arriba 3:43
10. Statues 4:07
11. Bury Yourself 4:02
12. A.R.R. 2:10
13. Spiral (feat. Kantz) 6:21

Band members
Mario Lérida – vocals
Jose Luis Corrales – guitar
Juan Miguel Ramírez – bass
Francisco Llévenes – drums 

Guest musician
Juan A. Soler “Kantz” – vocals on “Spiral”

Album Review – Dormanth / IX Sins (2018)

Succumb to the dark side with the well-crafted and entertaining collection of crushing, riff-oriented Doom and Death Metal tunes by an old school act hailing from Spain.

Born in Bilbao, Spain in January 1993 after various experiences of its components in different bands, such as Nopresion, Beer Mosh and Elbereth, Melodic Doom/Death Metal act Dormanth went on an almost 20-year hibernation period in 1996 after releasing their debut album Valley of Dreams, in 1995, breaking the silence in 2015 with the release of the EP Voice of the Soul… Under the Tears of Sun, followed by the full-length album Winter Comes, in 2016. And it looks like Dormanth are on a roll on this second phase of the band, as their brand new album, titled IX Sins, is an extremely well-crafted and entertaining collection of crushing, riff-oriented metal tunes that will certainly drag your soul into pitch black darkness.

Comprised of founding member Oscar del Val on vocals and guitar, Javi Prieto on lead guitar, newcomer Miguel A. Richart on bass and Victor Franquelo on drums, Dormanth are an unstoppable Extreme Metal machine in IX Sins, delivering nine pestilent, heavier-than-hell compositions (or maybe we should call them “sins”) that will please most fans of the darker and more lugubrious vibe of the fusion between Doom and Death Metal. Furthermore, Spanish artist Igor “Mugi” Mugerza (Abigor Artwork) is again the artist chosen for the cover art concept, with the nine knights (clearly inspired by the Nazgûl, from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings) representing all the heaviness and obscurity present in the music by Dormanth.

Oscar and Javi begin their Black Metal-riffage onrush in the opening track Human Claim, a pounding funeral march that tells us all darkness is about to take over our minds in a dense and potent hybrid of Doom and Death Metal with melodic influences. After such strong start, the strident sound of guitars keeps permeating the air in another atmospheric and melodic composition titled Lamb Or Wolf, with the band’s guitar duo accelerating their riffs until all hell breaks loose. Moreover, the vocals by Oscar get more putrid and devilish as the music progresses, while Victor becomes the band’s driving force with his potent beats. And in Let See The Wood, we’re treated to a frantic and furious Death Metal extravaganza with Thrash Metal and Hardcore influences where Victor and Miguel simply demolish their instruments. Hence, the nonstop violence contained in this gripping tune will certainly set the crowd on fire during their live performances.

Slowing things down considerably and venturing through the realms of modern Doom Metal, the band offers the listener Like Ice, keeping a solid pace and providing Oscar exactly what he needs to fire his deep, enraged growls; followed by Promised Land, where Dormanth get back to a more piercing mix of Death and Black Metal. During its almost five minutes, Victor delivers from blast beats to rhythmic, galloping moments, while the band’s guitarists keep the sound cohesive and gripping with their riffs and solos. And the sixth “sin” of the album, entitled Soul Shall Die, once again leans towards more old school, sluggish Doom Metal, with Oscar growls being in perfect sync with Victor’s steady beats.

Misery is a potent, galloping tune with tons of shredding and demented beats and fills, showcasing an almost-Black Metal sound mixed with old school Death Metal and, as a consequence, reminding me of some of the creations by Swedish masters Unleashed; whereas The Skin, the second to last display of blackened sounds by Dormanth, begins with an old school guitar solo before all instruments explode, generating a menacing atmosphere, while its second half is a feast of shredding and blast beats intertwined with an eerie female voice. And closing this obscure album we have another threatening tune named Sands Of Frozen Tears, yet again displaying the band’s solid instrumental and Oscar’s deep growls, albeit not as vibrant as the rest of the album.

The dark and sinister realm of Dormanth can be better explored by visiting their Facebook page, and if you want to put your hands on IX Sins simply go to the band’s BandCamp page, to the Necromance Records’ Big Cartel or webshop, to the Dead Sheep Productions’ webshop, or to Discogs. Dormanth are also beyond ready to hit the road and bring to the stage the same energy and darkness flowing from their music, with the only difference being that their live lineup has studio bassist Miguel on the lead guitar (instead of bass), Isma Fernandez on bass, and original member Javi Martinez on drums, but of course still spearheaded by Oscar on vocals and guitar. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t really matter if you prefer staying home to listen to their studio version of the songs or if seeing them live is what really excites you, as long as you succumb to their captivating fusion of Death and Doom Metal.

Best moments of the album: Lamb Or Wolf, Let See The Wood and Misery.

Worst moments of the album: Sands Of Frozen Tears.

Released in 2018 Necromance Records/Base Record Production/Dead Sheep Productions

Track listing  
1. Human Claim 4:02
2. Lamb Or Wolf 4:29
3. Let See The Wood 4:46
4. Like Ice 4:38
5. Promised Land 4:55
6. Soul Shall Die 4:08
7. Misery 4:26
8. The Skin 4:32
9. Sands Of Frozen Tears 5:02

Band members
Oscar del Val – vocals, guitar
Javi Prieto – lead guitar
Miguel A. Richart – bass
Victor Franquelo – drums

Live members
Oscar del Val – vocals, guitar
Miguel A. Richart – lead guitar
Isma Fernandez – bass
Javi Martinez – drums