Amnessia Eterna – Malditos

Frank head to South America to check out the new album by Amnessia Eterna, here’s his thoughts of this Spanish language Thrash…

I am entering into this review completely blind. Now I like thrash metal from South America, In fact, I find so much of it to listen to on Spotify or Amazon music that it’s easy for it to blend into a blur without really finding out too much about the band I’m listening to.

Enter a new band to me. The Santiago-based quartet “Amnessia Eterna”. Formed in 2017 where they spent the next couple of years touring relentlessly on the live scene across Chile and beyond. Gaining a decent fan base with well-received shows. March 2020 saw them enter the studio to record their debut full-length release “Malditos”. An eleven-track album featuring a hand full of songs from 2020’s digital download self-titled offering, along with new material. The recording process took a marathon nine months due to covid restrictions, but the result was well worth the effort.

It is not what I was expecting, to say the least. The furious all-out attack that seems to be a South American trademark is replaced with a more subtle approach, with lots of melody in the structure of each song. It leans towards a more Spanish approach to things ala Angelus Apatrida with a sprinkling of the bay area with a nod towards Testament. This mature approach has set them above a few of their contemporaries and pushed them to the forefront of the South American scene. Having said that there is enough lightning-fast riffing with a dirty groove to keep the purists happy.

Opening up with the title track “Maltidos” you immediately get the impression of a well-produced record with some very good musicianship. The drumming of Jairo Sepulveda immediately comes to the fore as being very clean and precise. Then the curveball hits you. The lyrics are in their native Spanish. This for me was very surprising but also a breath of fresh air.

Once past the initial shock, you can settle down and get absorbed into the music. Each track eases into the next seamlessly and the eleven songs go by before you know it. There is no straightforward blueprint here, the first four tracks set a fast tempo but each has enough variation to keep it interesting. Track five “Initium” takes things to a more mid-paced and almost traditional metal instrumental where the band show off a varied array of technics before setting off at high speed on the very European thrash-sounding ”Infeirno” .Then they slow thingsdown with ”TanSolo” an Unforgiven style track.

“Falso Predicador” and “Todo Cae” are both mid-paced and possibly could have benefitted froma faster section within the structure of the songs at some point. These two songs are separated by a two-minute classical guitar interlude “Desvanecidos” akin to the beginning of Battery or Ride the Lightning only longer. The closing track “Caminos” is back to the thrash and probably my favorite track on the album.

On vocal duties is Camilo Sanchez who does a fantastic job throughout while doubling up on guitar duties, alongside Rudy Pereira. They together form a tight dual guitar attack with solid riffs and screaming solos. Accompanied on bass guitar by Fernando Martinez, who while not being outstanding he does a solid job in keeping the rhythm section tight and precise. Taking on all the production duties including recording, engineering and mixing is Fernando Guerra, of Darkshape studios Santiago. He has made a very good job in delivering a full-sounding album where all the musicians are clear and on an equal footing.

Overall this is a very good debut album but perhaps loses its way ever so slightly in the final third. I enjoyed the fact it is in Spanish even though my knowledge of the language is limited, I would have liked to have understood what was being sung but that is a minor point.

“Malditos” is due to be released on 30th July through Brutal Records and can be purchased via

bandcamp.

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