Sunday, April 11, 2010

Filling Oneself With Worms

I opened a can of worms with my previous post (ha), I haven't stopped listening to Corrupted since. The first album I ever got of theirs was 1999's incredible Llenandose de Gusanos. It takes a bit of patience to immerse oneself, but hopefully it emerges as a truly one-of-a-kind experience. But my words don't do it justice, check out NausikaDalazBlindaz's thorough review:

"Never ones to court mainstream interest and popularity, Corrupted put out this double CD set totaling about 120 minutes of music many years ago - with one disc in the set containing one track of 73 minutes of quiet drone! Hevi and his men sure like to give value for money and listening time. This album is a call to listeners to be more aware of the state of world we live in where greed and blind obedience to tyrannical leaders and politicians count for more than honesty, conscience and wise stewardship of the Earth's resources.

Going against number order, I'll start on the one-track Disc 2 first, this is the one with "VIII - El Mundo", a long quiet drone on guitar that for much of its length has long tones that vary by a note or two. Around the 20th minute mark, there's a change in key and the track goes up the musical scale so there is a steady evolution throughout this piece. A dreamy mood occasionally goes ominous with changes in key and then turns hopeful for a while, then perhaps goes back to being peaceful or to troubled and foreboding. Quite amazing how changes in feeling can be influenced so much by such minimal changes in music! The long steady tones give the track the feel of wide, open spaces with much implied potential for the improvement of the planet's conditions. There is also a softness in the atmosphere and music which adds to the meditative aspect of the track. It's worth listening to this track at least a few times if you have this album even if you consider that nothing exciting happens: the changes in mood and ambiance give backbone to the track and you may actually find it very relaxing.

Disc 1, with "III - Sangre" and "VI - Humanos", at least promises to be very different and shorter, and so it is: it starts with a quiet piano melody that is minimal, repetitive and very stark, and goes on for some time. As the track progresses, Hevi starts to talk in Japanese in the background. The melody develops further but no other instruments appear until the 17th minute when sledgehammer doom guitars and drums slam into range and keep slashing away while Hevi growls and a lone guitar drone quivers over the top. Eventually Corrupted's usual weapons of choice take up the piano motif and continue to develop it more. A choir joins in and piano returns, building the track up and up to a solemn keyboard-dominated climax. The guitars gradually fade away and percussion also bows out leaving the piano to carry on tragically and majestically to the end.

A sorrowful, yet in a way quietly defiant and determined recording that urges us to keep fighting against abuse of humanity and nature and the decay of everything that is good: this is Llenandose de Gusanos. It may not be to everyone's taste and those of short attention spans will wander off to find something more exciting and short-lived but if you're prepared to stick around for Corrupted, you will find understated dignity and other rewards that need no fancy special effects and pyrotechnical displays to dress them up."

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