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Subterranean Streams. - 90%

Perplexed_Sjel, November 24th, 2008

So, the review challenge is up and running and my first port of call is at Chilean band, Trimegisto, a ‘primitive’ death metal band. ‘Subterranean Streams’ is my first taste of this demonic death metal band and their first full-length record to date. Issued on the American Independence Day, July 4th 2008, this record marks a milestone in the career of this impressive band. Considering they emerged from the mire in 2000, the band has taken it’s time to record and release a debut effort. Was it worth the 8 year wait for those who have followed the career of Trimegisto? Yes, most certainly. Although the Chilean creators of this music are tagged as ‘primitive’, I don’t see it that way. Whilst I can understand the sighting of primitive aspects in the music, there is a fair amount of melodious music masked by the abrasive atmospherics. Professional and exciting.

My knowledge of Chilean metal is weak, but from what I have heard, the Chilean scene is home to harmonious bands like Uaral, a doom metal act with folk aspects, as well as bands like Animus Mortis, a straight edged black metal band. Despite the severe lack of knowledge, the scene is secretly developing some top class acts and hopefully, with more exposure, Chile will be recognised for it’s metal and given credit for it’s contribution to the industry, which is already stronger than ever. ‘Subterranean Streams’, as stated, is a record with two highly contrasting sides. First, we have the primitive poundings upon the audience. These elements are mostly exposed by the double bass on percussion, which is controlled and exudes power, as well as prowess. The vocals, which are deep growls, can be likened more to doom than death metal, which causes the music to not only comes across as interesting, but allows the listener to become introspective. The vocals can be considered rather clichéd in terms of death and doom collaborations, but this isn’t one of those, therefore it intrigues the listener.

The second, and perhaps most significant side to Trimegisto, is the sweeping melodious side, which contributes highly but only in scarcities which allows the sound to stay unfamiliar and thus continues to impress whenever it is included into the fast paced mixture. Songs such as ‘Let Not The Flame Die Out!’ and ‘Outsider’ are exemplary of this. The first, ‘Let Not The Flame Die Out!’ begins in typical fashion with fast paced guitars, percussion that contains a fair amount of double bass and vocals which sweep aside any happiness the listener might have had. In a short space of time, Trimegisto have gone from aggressive to tuneful, conjuring up imagery of a battle in the most picturesque places on Earth. It’s this ability to quickly alter their style that keeps their sound exciting, fresh and most of all, appealing. The second of the aforementioned songs is also a brilliant example of Trimegisto’s perfection of this melodic undertone.

‘Outsider’, much like ‘Let Not The Flame Die Out!’, begins in a fast paced fashion, slowly building to a crescendo until, suddenly, the music breaks out into a spree of sweeping solos and catchy percussion. The production, which has darker qualities, provides yet another perfect contrast to the overriding mellifluous and melodious musings that Trimegisto provides for it’s audience. Songs like ‘Outsider’ although they do contain some of the best death metal work I’ve heard, don’t utilize bass in the best fashion. With such a dark production value, the bass could have worked wonders underground but, having said that, the surface material is exceptional, leading one to believe that a superior inclusion of the bass wouldn’t have altered my opinion that much. Although the vocals aren’t the best, and the bass doesn’t take advantage of the darker qualities, this record should be recognised as a significant step towards global domination not only for Trimegisto, but for Chilean music.