Album Review – Lascar / Saudade (2017)

Blending modern elements of extreme music with feelings of loss, fragility and desperation, this one-man band from Chile offers us a unique interpretation of the apparent conflict on the naturalistic experience.

Hailing from the alluring city of Santiago, the capital of the mighty Republic of Chile, here comes a Post-Black Metal one-man army that goes by the name of Lascar, who since 2014 has been delivering truly captivating music by blending modern elements of extreme music with feelings of loss, fragility and desperation, offering a unique interpretation of the apparent conflict on the naturalistic experience. After the releases of the demos Lascar (2014) and Depths (2015), followed by the band’s debut full-length album Absence (2016), it’s time for Lascar, the brainchild of Chilean multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Hugo, to mesmerize us once again with beautiful Atmospheric Black Metal in the full-length opus Saudade, a Spanish word that can be translated as “yearning” or “nostalgia” (albeit there’s no specific word for it in English), implying a sense of abandon and a nostalgic mourning manifested within an artistic environment.

The opening track, entitled Tender Glow, is Atmospheric Black Metal at its finest, bringing forward a bucolic start with the sound of the guitar thoroughly blended with the wind while the music remains gloomy, desperate and anguished at all times thanks to the demonic gnarls by Gabriel, who effectively vociferates the song’s poetry-like lyrics (“The sun expands through the morning air / with its astral constant energy. / Ornaments of ice melts / through the cracks of crystal moments in an hyperbole. / A heartbeat rumble through a fragile atmosphere. / Echoes of lost dreams trespassing the ethereal. / Seasons of purple blossoms falling through the hands of time. / Ornaments of ice melts / through the cracks of crystal moments in an hyperbole.”). Thin Air continues from where the first song ended, impregnating the air with visceral blast beats, old school Black Metal riffs and tons of agony and melancholy, resulting in a wall of dark sounds built up by several distinct layers that will crush your soul mercilessly. Furthermore, Gabriel keeps growling like an uncanny entity until a gentle break brings some peace to our minds, with this paradox of negative emotions and gentle sounds being absolutely fantastic.

The third track of the album, Uneven Alignment, couldn’t start in a more melancholic manner, with its smooth sounds and nuances mesmerizing our senses before Gabriel returns with his visceral roars and frantic drums. Put differently, this is a solid and beautiful depiction of modern Black Metal with Gabriel taking us all on a whimsical journey through the obscure realms of Lascar. And lastly, the acoustic guitar by Gabriel kicks off the final breath of Post-Black Metal in Saudade, a 14-minute aria named Bereavement, showcasing all elements from Atmospheric and Depressive Black Metal fused with traditional Doom and Black Metal, with devastation and despair flowing from all instruments from start to finish, therefore ending the album on the highest note imaginable.

It’s quite difficult to express in just a few lines what the music by Lascar truly represents, which means that, if I were you, I would definitely go take a very detailed and focused listen at Saudade in its entirety on YouTube, as well as follow Lascar on Facebook. Hence, in case Saudade has all the elements you’re searching for in obscure extreme music, you can purchase a copy of the album at Lascar’s BandCamp page, at the ATMF’s BandCamp page or webstore (as a regular CD, a regular LP, or a collector’s edition translucid purple vinyl LP with white speckles), at the Throne Records’ webstore or at Discogs. The feeling of loss followed by a strong and deep sense of yearning might not be something easy to deal with inside ourselves, but with the lugubrious music by Lascar as the soundtrack at least we have a very good reason to let those feelings and thoughts consume our minds in the darkest way possible.

Best moments of the album: Thin Air and Bereavement.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 A Sad Sadness Song

Track listing
1. Tender Glow 10:25
2. Thin Air 8:49
3. Uneven Alignment 8:34
4. Bereavement 14:25

Band members
Gabriel Hugo – vocals, all instruments

Advertisements

Metal Chick of the Month – Caterina Nix

Wake up, this is my dream… Just let me sleep… In my loneliness, high above of me I fly.

The Republic of Chile might be known worldwide for its astounding attractions such as the arid Atacama Desert, the ski resort of Valle Nevado and the beach resort of Viña del Mar, as well as the country’s rich culture which has already provided the world the beautiful poetry of Pablo Neruda, for example. However, it’s time for the world to also know more about one of the most talented Chilean singers in heavy music, the gorgeous Caterina Nix, born Caterina Torrealba in Santiago, Chile and also known as Cati Torrealba, a solo artist better known for her partnership with the iconic Finnish guitarist Timo Tolkki in the Power Metal projects Chaos Magic and Timo Tolkki’s Avalon.

Caterina’s interest in singing and in music started at an early stage of her life, when she joined several rock bands during her adolescence at school and in the choir, discovering Heavy Metal during that period and falling in love for it. She started listening to classic bands such as Metallica, Pantera and Iron Maiden as a kid, expanding her metallic horizons a little more with bands like Tool and Fear Factory, before getting completely in love with female-fronted groups such as Lacuna Coil, Nightwish and After Forever. With metal and rock flowing through her veins, Caterina was always motivating her friends at school to play rock tunes when they were around 12 years old, which years later led to the creation of her first band, named Aghonya. In addition to that, our metal diva has a soprano vocal range and has received both classical and pop singing training, showcasing her versatility in music. Well, she mentioned in one of her interviews that her biggest idols in music are the unparalleled Freddy Mercury and Bruce Dickinson, and that singing along with them is like being in a master class, learning a lot by playing their music and imitating them. That alone says it all, don’t you think?

As aforementioned, Caterina’s first professional endeavor in the world of heavy music was with Chilean Gothic Metal band Aghonya, with whom she recorded a demo in 2006 and the full-length album Oxygen, in 2008, which she wrote all lyrics and vocal lines. Although the record was released independently, the band and Caterina garnered critical acclaim, leading the band to open for renowned acts like After Forever, Edguy and Within Temptation. In addition, Caterina believes that, as Aghonya started as a cover band for Nightwish, that helped shape her style to become the singer she is today, which you can see in songs such as Lead Me Into You (also check this nice live version at an extremely cheesy TV show from Chile called Sin Dios Ni Late) and the title-track Oxygen. Unfortunately, as it happens with several bands worldwide, Aghonya came to an end sometime in 2010, when each band member took a different path in life. The band’s drummer, Javier Guzman, moved to Australia; bassist Sergio Silva and guitarist Sebastián Coulon both got other jobs; and keyboardist Andres Cruz moved to a small town in the north of Chile.

Although it was only in 2015 when Caterina and Timo Tolkki joined forces to form Finnish/Chilean Symphonic Power Metal band Chaos Magic (together with Finnish drummer Jami Huovinen), our metal diva had already met Timo many years before that at a meet-and-greet at a Stratovarius concert in Chile, and they kept in touch after that. Years later, she sent Timo her material and they started to think about recording music together, which ended up happening when Frontiers Records came up with the idea of having a female vocalist to have a solo project written and produced by Timo, who opted for Caterina among three names, culminating with the release of their self-titled album Chaos Magic in 2015. The name Chaos Magic was chosen by Caterina herself, aiming at portraying our positivity and spirituality towards the universe, with each one of us being just one piece of energy altogether. You can feel the energy proposed by Caterina and all her passion for Melodic Metal in the classy tunes One Drop of Blood and A Little Too Late, as well as in the official video for I’m Alive (which you can see at the end of this tribute to Caterina). However, when asked about her favorite tracks of the album, she said she has a special place in her heart for Seraphim and Passionflow, as both are sexy and put a woman in a position of power, making her dive into the femme fatale character and sing from a powerful point of view.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our Chilean bombshell can also be seen in different bands and projects as a guest vocalist, including  Finnish Symphonic Power Metal project Timo Tolkki’s Avalon (yes, her partnership with Timo started before Chaos Magic was born), where she sang in two songs from their 2014 album Angels of the Apocalypse together with Simone Simons (Epica), Elize Ryd (Amaranth) and Floor Jansen (Nightwish), those being High Above Of Me and Angels of the Apocalypse. You can also enjoy her sweet vocals in the gentle ballad Believe In Me, from the 2015 album Post-Apocalyptic, by Croatian Heavy/Power Metal act Undercode, as well as in the song Lost Innocence, from the 2016 album The March of the Fallen by Chilean Power Metal band Triboulet. In addition to that, Caterina is also part of Vivaldi Metal Project (you can see a short clip of our diva introducing herself to the fans of the project HERE), and has been working hard as a solo artist, consistently performing live in several venues and cities. For instance, she had the chance to open for Nightwish in her hometown Santiago in October 2015, being chosen by the production of the show among hundreds of applicants. As a few excellent samples of what Caternia has been doing for metal music in her career, you can see her singing together with members from the bands from Delta, Resilience and Witchblade in a cover version for Dio’s all-time classic Rainbow in the Dark during The Metal Tour 2016 in Chile; delivering a passionate performance of Queen’s No One But You together with Ronnie Romero (Lords of Black, Rainbow); presenting an acoustic version of a new song called I’d Give it All; showing her heavier and groovier side in the excellent Throw Me To The Wolves; and kicking some serious ass at Chile Rock Festival 2016.

Furthermore, Caterina has a law degree and currently works as an attorney specializing in liability cases. She mentioned in one of her interviews it’s tough to earn a living as a musician in Chile, although she always wanted to be an opera singer (which her parents were against). She went to college, got her degree and works as an attorney (for a loss adjustment company specializing in liability) for the money, but her true passion is music. I guess that’s not too different from many of us, don’t you agree? Caterina mentioned that, if she could dedicate herself to music 24/7 that would be a dream come true, but that’s unfortunately not the reality for her, at least not yet. Furthermore, our Chilean diva said being an attorney somehow helps her being more aware if someone is not being honest with you or if someone is trying to do shady things behind your back, but also that so far nothing bad has happened and her record label has treated her with the utmost respect and transparency.

In regards to her favorite places in the world, Caterina said she had a blast visiting cities like Florence and Venice, in Italy, and the Sedlec Ossuary, the church made of human bones located in Kutná Hora, in the Czech Republic, not to mention an amazing AC/DC concert she had a chance to attend in Paris after many years waiting for a chance to see the most important Hard Rock band of all time. She’s also an animal and nature lover, being the proud owner of cats, a turtle and some birds, going outside to connect with nature when searching for inspiration, staring at the sky and having that instance of being alone with nature. Those seem to be very basic things, but Caterina consider herself a very simple person who loves singing and creating music, being in love and being loved, spending time with her family and with her pets, working out, eating different types of food and, obviously, shopping.

Her taste for music couldn’t be better, as she enjoys listening to several types of rock and metal music such as Tool and In this Moment, her youth classics Korn, Pantera, Black Label Society and Fear Factory, and of course female-fronted bands like Lacuna Coil, Amaranthe and Nightwish. When asked about the metal scene in her homeland, she said everyone knows how Chileans are completely passionate about Heavy Metal, with fans smashing each other to see their biggest idols playing live. However, when it comes to the local metal scene, Caterina said Chile is very different from Europe, for example, with local bands lacking the necessary resources to be known or listened to, with things slightly improving nowadays with the use of several online tools. It’s a case similar to her own, where you have to do music in Chile because you love it, not because of the money. Well, Caterina, your passion for heavy music is truly inspiring, and we’re sure it will encourage numerous bands and musicians, including talented women like you, to keep the fire of metal music burning bright in your charming “Land of Poets”.

Caterina Nix’s Official Facebook page
Caterina Nix’s Official YouTube channel
Caterina Nix’s Official Instagram

“I’ll do my best to bring people beautiful strong music and I’ll keep on screaming that no one should ever give up on their dreams. We all deserve a chance. We all deserve to give ourselves that chance.” – Caterina Nix

Album Review – Porta Daemonium / Serpent of Chaos (2016)

Let the ritual begin to the sound of the old school fusion of Black and Death Metal by this demonic band from Chile.

Porta Damonium_Serpent of ChaosPure evil, hatred and darkness are about to take over the world through the bloodthirsty music by Chilean Black/Death Metal horde Porta Daemonium, who are releasing their debut full-length opus titled Serpent of Chaos, a devastating album comprised of eight cavernous compositions tailored for fans of Immolation, Incantation, Angel Corpse and many other renowned spawners of dark and apocalyptic Death Metal. And if you survive the 27 minutes of bestial growls, demonic riffs and two-fisted beats that envenom the entire album, you’ll be allowed to cross the gates of the netherworld and join this hellish band on their path to eternal damnation.

Hailing from the city of Santiago, the amazing capital of the Republic of Chile, Porta Daemonium started their mischievous career almost 20 years ago, more specifically in the year of 1998, when they were still called Porta Salomoniis. However, due to undisclosed reasons, the project took almost two decades to really take off, having released only a few rehearsal demos and promos through the years (most of them after changing their name in 2011 to Porta Daemonium) until their disfigured progeny Serpent of Chaos finally reached its ultimate form earlier this year. As already mentioned, Serpent of Chaos is a tribute to the true essence of Death Metal, a straightforward and extremely raw album that proves  to the unbelievers how powerful this obscure genre still sounds even after decades being almost unchanged, surviving to all new trends and transformations in music.

First originated in Pagan Europe as an invocation during rituals to summon Choronzon and to activate the eleven dark angels of the broken pentagram, Zazas Zazas Nasatanada Zazas (or “Open, Open, Gates of Hell Open” in English) is a hellish atmospheric intro perfect for the massacre that’s about to come, the ungodly Via Sinistra, where the obscurity of Black Metal and the characteristic deep growling of Death Metal are enhanced by its blackened lyrics (“Glory to the tunnels forgotten, A timeless trails Apofis / Where whisper in the dark. The voices on the other side. / In the realms of Lilith, Under the Tree of Knowledge / Celebrating Via Sinistra.”), not to mention all the destruction generated by drummer Ocultavio while at the same time guitarist Ignigarak fires forbidden riffs from his blasphemous instrument.

After that brutal start, lead singer Avitchi and his horde of chaos bring forth another bestial composition named The Blood of the Dark Madness, a song not recommended for the lighthearted. Quite the contrary, it will definitely darken your thoughts and soul, giving you the chills if you’re a big fan of the early days of Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel. And their demonic onslaught goes on with more visceral barks by Avitchi penetrating our ears in To the Left of God, a truly heavy Death Metal chant with a potent Black Metal vibe led by the blast beast by Ocultavio; followed by A Las Primordiales Serpientes del Caos, the only song in Spanish and, in my opinion, the most awesome of all. Although I doubt you’ll be able to recognize any of the words almost vomited by Avitchi even if you speak fluent Spanish, you can still enjoy the amazing job done by Ignigarak with his flammable guitar riffs and solos, as well as the complete anarchy blasted by the whole band to conclude this vile chant.

Porta Daemonium_1Bassist Necroterror and drummer Ocultavio craft a Doom Metal ambience that ignites the most obscure of all songs, the slower and more rhythmic The Apep’s Chaotic Dreams, an interesting variation of the band’s traditional havoc perfect for banging your head nonstop during their live performances, whereas the title-track Porta Daemonium lives up to the tradition of evil and putrid Death Metal, in special its wicked lyrics (“Practice the black tradition, Of walking reigning between the Qliphoths / And leave a key for us, to cross to another side / We will Open the portals to the unknown / In the name of the eleven Ancient Ones”). Moreover, the low-tuned guttural vocals, the drums at the speed of light and the epicness added to its second half help elevate it to one of the top moments of the album without a shadow of a doubt. The sharper guitar lines and cleaner sonority found in the last track of Serpent of Chaos, Under the Sigils of the Fallen Angels, turn it into perhaps the most Black Metal of all, an infernal composition with highlights to the excellent guitar solos by Ignigarak, and when it’s over you’ll be at long last fully consumed by darkness.

Opening the gates of hell and unleashing the Stygian music by Porta Daemonium upon humanity is easier than reciting a satanic mantra. All you have to do is like their Facebook page and purchase your copy of Serpent of Chaos at their BandCamp page. Let the ritual begin to the sound of the old school demonic fusion of Black and Death Metal by this excellent band from Chile, and let’s hope these talented musicians release many more brutal albums like Serpent of Chaos in the coming years for the delight of all fans of extreme music. Zazas Zazas Nasatanada Zazas!

Best moments of the album: The Blood of the Dark Madness, A Las Primordiales Serpientes del Caos and Porta Daemonium.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 Iron, Blood & Death Corporation

Track listing
1. Zazas Zazas Nasatanada Zazas 3:08
2. Via Sinistra 3:24
3. The Blood of the Dark Madness 3:28
4. To the Left of God 3:14
5. A Las Primordiales Serpientes del Caos 3:44
6. The Apep’s Chaotic Dreams 2:56
7. Porta Daemonium 4:20
8. Under the Sigils of the Fallen Angels 3:18

Band members
Avitchi – vocals
Ignigarak – guitars
Necroterror – bass
Ocultavio – drums

Radio Show Review – Timão Metal

If you’re crazy for Heavy Metal and the almighty Corinthians, come join the “bando de loucos” together with Mr. Jorge Diaz and his weekly metal show.

Rating1

Timao MetalWe have to admit we metalheads go completely crazy while listening to the thunderous sound of heavy music. Although each one of us has a different taste and style, there’s no way we can live a single day of our lives without the electricity emanating from either an old classic by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, or from the modern headbanging riffs from Disturbed and Slipknot, and it’s this strong passion for Heavy Metal that unites us all and keep us moving forward no matter what. Thus, if there’s one type of person that truly understands what I’m talking about, it has to be a real soccer fan. However, I’m not talking about fans of specific players, like many “supporters” of Barcelona or Real Madrid nowadays, but people that love their clubs or national squads more than anything, and if those people root for the Brazilian team Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, from the city of São Paulo, Brazil, or if you prefer Corinthians, Timão or Coringão, the first FIFA Club World Cup winner, it’s when things get even better.

With over 30 million passionate fans all over the world (known as the “bando de loucos”) and a beautiful history of over 100 years of glorious triumphs and a distinct connection to each one of their supporters, which translates into over 10 million fans on Facebook and 4 million followers on Twitter, it was time for Corinthians to provide their metalhead fans a special show where soccer and Heavy Metal are combined in a compelling way. That’s the awesome fusion you’re going to get every week while listening to TIMÃO METAL, broadcasted by the official Corinthians web radio station Rádio Coringão.

Rádio Coringão has been active in the promotion and coverage of several sports events organized in different corners of the world since 2009, focusing obviously on all professional soccer matches played by Corinthians throughout the year in different championships, with approximately 500,000 likes on Facebook and about 140,000 followers on Twitter, also providing their listeners a solid mix of Rock N’ Roll, Heavy Metal, Samba and several other rhythms during their weekly schedule. As this is a webzine dedicated to Heavy Metal, I’ll “ignore” the other programs that do not play metal music, but if you also like listening to different stuff I can assure you Rádio Coringão is an excellent choice for your daily playlist. For instance, their show called Noite Corinthiana, where only the best of Rock N’ Roll is played, is indeed fantastic.

Radio Coringao

Rádio Coringão – The Official Sport Club Corinthians Paulista Web Radio Station

The high-octane Timão Metal, presented live from “Fiel Chile” in Santiago, Chile every Tuesday at 10pm BRT – Brasília Time (which would be at this time of the year 8pm EST – Eastern Standard Time and 1am of the following day GMT – Greenwich Mean Time, but it always depends if the daylight saving times are on or off) by Jorge Patricio Diaz Guzman, or just Jorge Diaz, will offer you the cream of the headbanging elite from Hard Rock to Black Metal, while at the same time providing news and comments on what’s happening in the world of Corinthians. The show started back on October 10, 2012, and since last year it became live instead of pre-recorded, adding an extra layer of fun to it as you can now request a song in real time through the Twitter account from Rádio Coringão.

How about keeping up with the world of the almighty Corinthians and, at the same time, bang your head to powerful tunes such as Black Sabbath’s Children of the Sea, Unleash the Archers’ Test Your Metal, Satyricon’s Dark Medieval Times and Metallica’s One? And let me tell you the program grew to a point that there’s another show following the same format every Saturday at 5pm BRT – Brasília Time called Gavião Metal, broadcasted also live by Jorge Diaz from Santiago, Chile through Rádio Livre Gaviões. The only suggestion I would make to the show host would be to record both Timão Metal and Gavião Metal as podcasts (through online services like Spreaker, for example) and make them available online for fans who cannot connect when the shows are being broadcasted live, but as I said, this is just a minor detail.

Of course, as huge supporters of Corinthians, we at The Headbanging Moose could not miss the opportunity to build a promising partnership with Timão Metal, providing all fans of Heavy Metal that enjoy the show what’s new in the world of heavy music. In other words, while Jorge will keep taking care of firing some classic tunes to you, we will send him the best of the underground. For instance, this week’s show already featured three amazing compositions by indie bands from different parts of the world: Children of the Stars, by Canadian Heavy Metal act Phantom; Heart of Darkness, by Ukrainian Black Metal horde Morkesagn; and Degrees of Solitude, by the up-and-coming Belgian Ritualistic Black Metal band Cult of Erinyes. I’m sure everyone who was listening to Timão Metal got thrilled to the flaming sound of those bands, and I don’t need to say you can find all details about them on our reviews here at The Headbanging Moose. And guess what? This is going to happen every week, which means tons of excellent independent bands for you, impassioned supporters of our magnificent Coringão!

There are several different places where you can listen to Timão Metal as well as to the rest of the programming by Rádio Coringão, as for example:

1. Through their official website

2. On Facebook

3. And on smartphones with iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, Bada, Blackberry and some Nokia models, you can download the TuneIn app and search for Rádio Coringão

After all is said and done, I believe you all know the steps you need to take every Tuesday at 10pm BRT – Brasília Time, right? Tune into Timão Metal at Rádio Coringão, enjoy the best of classic heavy music, discover the most promising new metal acts from all over the world, bang your head nonstop, raise your horns, and obviously… VAI CORINTHIANS!