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Colombians are injected with death metal at birth - 87%

Muloc7253, April 20th, 2009

It's become quite cliched right now to talk about Colombia like it's some sort of mecca for death metal, but it can't be denied that there are so many strange and wonderful albums coming out of that country. It's funny, because while the country is certainly well known for being something of a brutal death metal central, not many bands from Colombia have actually gotten much attention in comparison to the Floridian, Swedish, Quebec or even Czech scenes. Amputated Genitals and Internal Suffering have caused a bit of a stir, but not as much as their more popular successors (many of which create much more monotonous, boring music).

But I digress, this review is about Leishmaniasis, not their sadly overlooked home country. Leishmaniasis play a style of death metal that I wouldn't quite call brutal death metal, although there certainly is a lot of brutality. It's actually pretty unique, and the first thing that will stand out is the bass. Not just because it has a weird, creeking tone like a fucking cellar door (actually, it sounds more like a guitar tuned really fucking low than an actual bass), but because the bass itself seems to have a mind of it's own and does not conform to what is being played on the guitar. Make no mistake though, the mind that this bass has knows what the fuck it's doing, it's not like Atheretic where the bass gets amnesia and starts to walk around aimlessly, not quite sure where it's going, but it's certainly independent from the rest of the music a lot of the time in a completely cool, none distracting way that does nothing but benefit the music.

So as you'd expect, there isn't actually much low end as the bassist does his own thing as opposed to just filling out the bottom end, but the guitar tone does a good job of thickening out the sound. The drums might be mixed a bit too loudly for some people but the drummer's a fucking monster and plays all sorts of brilliant rhythms. He isn't an attention whore either, so you can just switch your brain off and the drums capably perform their duty of providing a beat for the music, or you can actually pay attention and analyse what's being played and notice all the great little subtleties in the beats. It's win for everyone.

There's a lot of melody involved in the guitarwork, I don't really mean in the Gothenburg sense, there are just lots of great riffs here, whether it's fast tremolo runs or power chord based riffing. The guitarists take a bit of a back seat to the nutty bassist (seriously, listen to songs like 'Hinmen Imperforado', Sergio's just on fire!) but they take centre of attention when they're needed (for instance, the aforemention song has some really cool soloing) and when the bass is soloing or just playing it's own melody the guitars provide a good backing for it (role reversal, if you will).

The vocalist wouldn't sound out of place in a black metal band, so he doesn't really fit the stereotype of the gurgly brutal death metal vocals you'd expect from a Colombian band, although there is a backing/alternative vocalist doing a lower death metal growl and they accompany each other well. It's unfathomable to me that this album is so unknown, there's very little information anywhere about Necrocannibalismo or Leishmaniasis, and not only is it a shame but a fucking mystery to me as to why this is. I guess it just wasn't distributed well, because this is a really excellent death metal album and Leishmaniasis should be known to at least the dedicated underground death metal scene. They're recently reformed and released a new EP in 2007, and as of writing this it hasn't even been added to the archives yet. They're in the process of recording a new album, and if they still have the songwriting skill they have on Necrocannibalismo then it's going to be a modern death metal classic. So keep your eyes peeled, it'll be a damn shame to let it them fly under radar again.