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Listen with an unhinged mind - 58%

gasmask_colostomy, December 10th, 2017

So, here we go again into one of the strange minds of metal music. I knew that I’d glimpsed the moniker Andrés Felipe Murillo before and, as I somewhat expected-cum-feared, it’s the guy who brought The Outer RIM project together to write the album Uatism last year. If anyone needs an introduction to Uatism, there’s a review or two of it on this very site (actually, one of them is mine), though to summarize briefly: proper nuts artists record bits of songs in metal and non-metal styles, send them to Murillo, and see them cut and pasted into baffling compositions that twist and turn themselves inside out, but don’t make any more sense when they do. And don’t read the lyrics if you value your sanity. Flowers to the Welshman at Dusk (I snickered, but it would be funnier if Murillo were Welsh instead of Colombian) is saner than that, but there’s definitely a special mind at work, since we get here - partly truthful - song titles like ‘New Wave of British House Music’, ‘Satan’s Gasolina’, and ‘MC Hammer Smashed Face’, the last of which has definitely brought joy to the world by its name alone.

I can’t honestly say that you’re going to like this, but I think anyone who gives the arrogantly-titled Good Metal Songs a listen is going to at least pay attention from start to finish. Some of the cuts from this album use the same mash-up theory as The Outer RIM, juxtaposing reggaeton and black metal in ‘Satan’s Gasolina’, while ‘MC Hammer Smashed Face’ does more or less what you feared and intersplices death metal riffage and growls with rapping and actual MC big-ups that couldn’t sound more inappropriate if they were dressed up as hotdogs at a children’s party and headbutting the birthday girl’s mum from behind. There are less metal things at work too, such as ‘The Grand Story of Mr Chandy’, which tells the (facetious) tale of the man who invented meat, set to “Help the Needy” piano music, plus ‘Narcotic Skyline II’, that is an interesting textured doom soundscape of catatonic contemplation.

Perhaps it’s better if you approach Good Metal Songs with a sense of humour and a very open (possibly unhinged) mind, since the actual musical value of the songs is questionable, none of them feeling that gratifying to listen to, excepting some decent death and black riffing, as well as genuinely fiery solos on ‘MC Hammer Smashed Face’. What sort of makes me question this is that some of the more listenable songs, such as ‘This Existence’ try very hard to turn into something crazy and wacky, implementing strategic jazz breaks and very deep death metal vocals, though the joke is totally lost in the “normal” riffing, meaning that the actual quality of the music becomes important, though it isn’t quite up to scratch. There’s no reason why the jokes couldn’t all have been better implemented (‘NWOB House Music’ actually works surprisingly well) or more amusingly imagined in all of the songs, since this kind of project isn’t a bad idea if done whole-heartedly, nor can Murillo be criticized as a poor musician, as that certainly isn’t the case.

There’s one exception, which is ‘The Naiad’, and I must say that it sadly puts the rest of the album in perspective. This is a long number of traditional metal riffing, going through eight minutes of US power metal classicism, in which Fates Warning is the most prominent influence. Murillo’s vocals show themselves to be very capable of carrying a tune here, doing a fine job in the suitable folky acoustic interlude, an addition that keeps up the pace of the song and even gives it greater power when it returns. A whole album like this would be a very good use of its creator’s talents.

As a result, this ends up rather like Uatism did: it’s a worthy curiosity that doesn’t invite much in the way of replay value, just some fun stuff to show your friends at parties and learn the words to when you’re drunk. Then again, given that the material here was apparently collected over a two year period and comes on the Bandcamp page with the message, “Good luck,” we can assume that’s not a terrible result for Murillo and Flowers to the Welshman at Dusk. I just suggest you don’t take this seriously. Oh, and don’t stare at the album cover for more than 20 seconds. It causes involuntary orgasm.