Friday, January 30, 2015

CD review: GUERRA TOTAL El Armagedon Continua by Dave Wolff

El Armagedon Continua
I Hate
Guerra Total from Bogota, Colombia fuse black metal and old school thrash, adding NWOBHM and occult themes to the concoction The result is an engaging, memorable collection of cuts you’ll be checking out often. The band describes their approach as “black metal speed horror,” a description that fits this full length well. The contrast between the polished production and raw guitar sound first gets your attention, drawing you in to blazing Metallica-meets-Bathory chord progressions and black metal ferocity of burning riffs blast beats. This approach is somewhat comparable to bands like Witchery in the late 90s; like the melodic black/thrash bands of that time their delivery is tight and full of condensed energy; but Guerra Total is less razor-sharp and more cult. Their song lyrics alternate between English and Spanish, and atmosphere is often used to highlight many of the songs, their use of keyboards and guitar echo effects giving further contrast to their influence from the old school. There are a few more tempo changes and slightly longer guitar solos. Another difference here is a deeper, more prominent bass sound. One particularly creepy hint of atmosphere in “Misanthropist God” really plays up the horror aspect here; suffice it you don’t hear such effects often on a thrash album. This appears again in “Grande Messe Des Morts” producing a similar effect. These and the keyboards appearing elsewhere give this recording much depth. Guerra Total has a new full length coming out in October; be certain to check the band out. -Dave Wolff