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Extremely Unique Music - 90%

TheFatedHour666, December 6th, 2013

I'm not really sure what you would call something like this neat little demo genre-wise. I have to admit, I've haven't listened to much South American metal, but after discovering this today I might have to start. Just by looking at the picture on the tape insert and the impossible to pronounce album title, it was obvious that this was going to be something a little different. Although there are only 2 tracks, they are both quite long and contain several different sections each as well as influences from several different kinds of music.

The first track, El Templo Funerario, is definitely my favorite of the two. The main verse riff in the first half of the song has been relentlessly stuck in my head since the second I heard it earlier today. This song really reminds me of an old psychedelic rock band like King Crimson or The Moody Blues, featuring catchy rock riffs and spacey, epic sounding keyboard melodies. The vocals aren't the high point of the tape, but I think they work quite well. The song begins with some spoken words that appear later on as well. There are really 5 different vocal styles on this track. Besides the spoken parts, the verses consist of two slightly different growling/grunts that alternate lines. One is slightly clearer than the other. The "chorus" parts in the first half of the song switch to a kind of chant-ish clean singing that I rather like. Later on, there is more grunting, as well as a few lines of high pitched, hysterical shrieking that sound pretty bad honestly. But they're brief, and near the end the grunts return for the "black metal" part (more on that later.)

The guitars and drums really do have a strong 70s rock sound. As I said before, the riff during the verse parts is extremely catchy. The drums are pretty basic but effective. The middle of the song features a very nice atmospheric interlude with some cool classical guitar. About 2/3 through, the song switches gears completely into a couple quick raw black metal sounding sections followed by a decent short solo and one last chorus. The black metal sections really stand out from the rest of the song, but fit in pretty well even so.

The more I listen to this song, the more I appreciate how creative and unique it is. Can't say I've ever heard a classic rock song with black metal elements. As the other reviewer stated, little tinges of Latino influence can also be heard in the guitars and drums. If it weren't for the harsh vocals and the faster sections near the end, I wouldn't even call it metal. But it does have a heavy and somewhat dark feel to it. Judging by the cover, I would guess they are referring to some kind of native monument with the song title. It's not hard to picture yourself wandering through a dense jungle searching for the lost funeral temple while listening to this.

The second track, Chibchacum Led Setra Sal, is a bit longer and a bit less dynamic. It doesn't fell as "epic" as the first track. It's somewhat heavier, darker and grungier. I wouldn't quite call it black metal, but it's much closer than the previous song. It starts off with a sinister lead, then goes into several slow doomy sections shortly after with alternating clean vocals and growls, and mystical keyboards. The heavy rock influences aren't nearly as overt, but still evident in the solo near the end and the leads scattered throughout. There's also a flute outro that fits right in with the "hidden temple" concept from the insert cover. While not as unique and difficult to classify as the first track, this one is pretty enjoyable as well.

There is so much interesting riffage and atmosphere packed into these two songs. This demo contains elements of death, doom, and black metal, classic rock and local folk music. I cant overstate how unique it is. For a demo tape the production is not noticeably deficient in any way and actually sounds great for what they are playing. Everything is very well composed and well played and the songs never get close to being boring. I wish there were more tracks! For me, it proved to be an exciting diversion in a long demo-hunting session. To quote the other review again (I agree with all his points), this just feels obscure as hell. I've never heard anything like it, but it is highly enjoyable. Give it a shot if you somehow find out about it. I know I will be playing it regularly for a long time to come.

Amazing and Obscure - 92%

natrix, April 30th, 2007

Coming from Colombia, here you've got South America's version of Ulver. Except that Apolions Genocide is MUCH weirder. The similarities with Bergtatt are there, in the ethnic influences and contrasts between harsh and soft sounds, but Apolions Genocide has so much of the culture flowing through that it seems as though if it were not played with guitars and harsh vocals, then it would clearly be folk music. That is not to say that there is nothing metal about this, because it really does have a harsh edge to it, and the fact that it just FEELS obscure.

The whole album feels like a concept album, with one song flowing into another, and you really feel as though you are listening to one single piece of music. Passages are rarely repeated, as well, and each movement flows perfectly into the next. Ha! Take that, Opeth! And the musicianship on here is fucking tight, not a single note out of place.

I'm not sure what language all these lyrics are, but I can't make out a damn thing, so it's probably not Spanish. The vocalist has a very bizarre vocal style that goes from grunting to this really nasally shriek, but once in a while he'll burst through with some clear singing. The guitarist is damn good, too. He may not shred any solos or do any really fast rhythms, but the riffs he uses feel quite like if Tony Iommi and Carlos Santana had a jam session after listening to Mayhem for a couple of hours. There's not a lot of guitar layering, but this guy really makes the most of his guitar, getting some pretty massive sounds out of it.

The drumming on here is easily a high point. You can tell that it may not have been the best equipment, but every bit of it is expertly used. There are definate Latino influences with the toms, little rolls here and there, much like Antonio Leon's performance on The Chasm's From the Lost Years.

Production is really basic, and I think this was recorded on a four track. You can certainly hear everything, but the drums sound kind of woody and thin, and the guitar lacks some punch. Still, this is really obscure shit, but certainly worth checking out if you can find it.