martedì 27 dicembre 2016

Totten Korps - "Supreme Commanders of Darkness" (Apocalyptic Productions, 2015; Blood Harvest, 2016)

Band: Totten Korps
Title: Supreme Commanders of Darkness
Genre: Death Metal
Year: 2015
Time: 43 min
Rating: 92/100

Totten Korps: the moniker is German but the band is Chilean. Ultimately Chile is spewing forth an incredible bunch of high-quality’s extreme metal bands, in particular about the purest death metal. To name a few, I must mention Pentagram Chile (obviously!), Demonic Rage, Unaussprechlichen Kulten, Diabolical Messiah, the veterans Atomic Aggressor, and so on and so on forth, in an endless death metal explosion. But, into this interminable list, there are the Totten Korps, another band of veterans founded even in 1989 that, guided by the guitarist Francisco Torres since the early days, split-up for a first time in 1994 after various demos to return to terrorize the nights of the mortal world in 1998 releasing their long-awaited debut album in 2001. But, from here, Totten Korps hadn’t released something new, just splits with old songs and compilation dedicated to them. Finally, this silence was broken during December 2015 through a new fresh album titled “Supreme Commanders of Darkness”  and edited by the compatriot label Apocalyptic Productions. Released originally on CD, it has been recently reissued on vinyl by the Swedish label Blood Harvest. So, this is the third consecutive review about a release of this fantastic label!

The reissue of “Supreme Commanders of Darkness” is truly perfect to close this metallic year at its best. This because Totten Korps plays death metal as it should be through 10 devastating songs that offers very very much.

Firstly, Totten Korps, obviously, possess that ultra-violence typical of the South American bands so to bombard the listeners with an avalanche of hyper-fast tempos (especially blast-beats) in a similar way to the Diabolical Messiah. In my opinion, the most violent track of the album is “El Antiguo Maestro de las Pestilencias”, which is also both the shortest one with its 3 minutes and half and the only one to be sing in Spanish, that, for me, is a fantastic language for the heavy metal music.

But, in addition to the ultra-violence thanks also to the drummer Alejandro Arce, the death metal of Totten Korps is very dynamic and nervous, hence the listeners can be asphyxiated by insalubrious doom tempos also through numbers slower than the usual like “Amarduk” (where there are some groovy passages) and, especially, the conclusive “Tortured Souls from the Paths of Perdition”. This means that the songs of these 4 demons are always surprising, also because the band, showing excellent technical skills, is very able to mix the old school death metal (Morbid Angel in primis) with the most modernist solutions like in the guitars’ harmonies that opens the same “El Antiguo Maestro…”.
One of the most peculiar and nice skills of the Totten Korps comes from the refined guitarwork of Francisco Torres/Cristian Soto. In fact, there is need to say that their riffing is always dense also because they have the rare tendency to overlap riffs on riffs so to create a very embracing sound. Moreover, these 2 guys  gives birth to always excellent and often long solos which are sometimes melodic but in an evil way…and into a song like “Amarduk” there is even an oriental solo! In other words, do you want something else about the Totten Korps?
I say yes because I must say also that the album is full of memorable moments! My favorite one is into “Hastur’s Voice Echoes in Our Minds”, where, at a certain point, there is a mephitic slowdown complete of solo followed by a freezing feedback’s break and, thereafter…the assault restarts abruptly with painful blast-beats!

Said all this, “Supreme Commanders of Darkness” is surely one of the better death metal albums of 2015, also because it has everything: non-stop brutality, technical skills, inventiveness, melody, dynamicity, excellent guitar solos, the full growls of SadaX emphasized by some screams, and there is also a bit black metal (like in “The Legacy of Leviathan (Shadows from the Depths)”) useful to add darkness to the entire music. Practically, the only problem is that…I can’t find a single fuckin’ flaw into this album haha!

1 – Supreme Commanders of Darkness
2 – The Black Flame of the Underworld
3 – El Antiguo Maestro de las Pestilencias
4 – Hastur’s Voice Echoes in Our Minds
5 – I Dwell in the Mind of the Gullible
6 – The Journey Through Styx on the Arms of Hades
7 – Amarduk
8 – The Legacy of Leviathan (Shadows from the Depths)
9 – Nailing
10 – Tortured Souls from the Paths of Perdition

SadaX – vocals
Francisco Torres – guitars
Cristian Soto – guitars/bass
Alejandro Arce – drums

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