Sunday, May 17, 2020

Full Length Compilation Review: Ignominia "Ars Moriendi/Falsa Divinidad" (Fallen Temple Records) by Dave Wolff

Band; Ignominia
Location: Santiago
Country: Chile
Genre: Blackened death/thrash metal
Compilation: Ars Moriendi/Falsa Divinidad
Label: Fallen Temple Records (Poland)
Format: CD (limited to 500 copies), digital, streaming
Release date: January 11, 2019
The Chilean death metal band Ignominia started as Haunted Christians and changed their name before releasing their debut demo “Movimiento Underground Metal en Español” in 2010. Yes, this band write their lyrics in Spanish instead of English, to keep a strong bond between themselves and their home death metal community. Still this is a band with the potential for accessibility to listeners in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries.
While Ignominia is in its early stage, the name change from Haunted Christians was a clear-sighted decision. The new name Ignominia generally sounds less commonplace and more likely to inspire the listener to more deeply consider their world view. Even if they’re not releasing full lengths regularly the band is already beginning to mature. The band seems a closely guarded secret but they warrant checking out if you like brutality with refinement from musicians who care about their craft and take it seriously.
Their debut EPs “Falsa Divinidad” (2015) and “Ars Moriendi” (2017) were released independently and through a marginal label from China, Thanatology Productions, respectively. In 2019 they were both reissued on one CD via Poland’s Fallen Temple Records (also a marginal label but dealing with a greater number of bands) to spread their work from country to country. Before this compilation they made a similar effort releasing their rehearsal tape, demo and first EP on an independent cassette with another Chilean band, Teofobia (who unfortunately disbanded in 2017).
I had to play and replay “Ars Moriendi/Falsa Divinidad” (previewing on Fallen Temple’s Bandcamp and Ignominia’s Bandcamp) a few times before it grew on me, but I’m realizing their expressiveness as well as their heaviness. As Ignominia is from South America, it almost goes without saying that special attention was paid to spawning brutal old school-influenced slabs during the recording process, complete with what you’d expect from South American death metal: raw Mephistophelean guitars and bass, hammering, macerating drums and rasping, roaring, unforgiving vocals.
While keeping strong ties to Chilean death metal, I noticed the band borrow from early German death metal (particularly Kreator from 1983 to ‘85) and Norwegian and Swedish black metal from 1992 or ’93. This is apparent from “Intro.Cosecha de Almas/Invocación al Abismo Oculto” which starts with a shady acoustic section, turns to a plodding BM/DM riff and suddenly explodes into blast, tastefully going into several slower time changes without losing any tightness.
Of the tracks from “Ars Moriendi,” “Hipocresía”, “Consumidos por El Poder” and the title track follow this pattern of tireless blast with constant energy and a wide range of slower progressions, crunching guitar riffs, well planned harmonies and inventive leads. The production is gritty but not too much. You can still make out the instruments and vocals clearly enough to hear everything that’s going on. “Iniquidad” had another acoustic intro that strangely reminded me of the intro of “Spiral of Violence” by Whiplash, but much grittier.
The tracks from “Falsa Divinidad” are rawer and more straightforward, paying more attention to relentless blast and less attention to subtlety. “Visión Blasfema” especially makes this clear from the get go following a particularly noisy intro. The tempo changes are fewer but more effective in the midst of the breakneck speed. “Asesino”, “Formula de Muerte” and “Falsa Divinidad” are also thrashier than the songs on their second EP, with some Slayer influence in there. For this reason I would have liked “Falsa Divinidad” a little more when these EPs first came out, but both of them are exceptional examples of South American DM. –Dave Wolff

Marco Gajardo: Vocals, guitars
Andrés Valdés Guitars
Pablo Valdés: Bass
Claudio Anacona: Drums

Track list:
1. Intro.Cosecha de Almas/Invocación al Abismo Oculto
2. Hipocresía
3. Consumidos por El Poder
4. Iniquidad
5. Ars Moriendi
6. Intro
7. Visión Blasfema
8. Asesino
9. Formula de Muerte
10. Falsa Divinidad

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