Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Siaskel - "Haruwen Airen" (Signal Rex Productions, 2016)

Band: Siaskel
Title: Haruwen Airen
Genre: Black/Death metal
Year: 18th November 2016
Time: 40 min
Rating: 73/100

As we know, black metal is a very particular and unique genre. Specifically, many black metal bands prefer to sing through their own national language than every kind of popular music. In other cases, some bands are so set to the roots of their own land to sing in very unusual languages. Ultimately, these linguistic experiments are relatively frequent: to name a few, the Spanish Ostots, being Basque, sing in Basque; instead, Wóddréa Mylenstede, a mysterious English entity, sing even in Old English, which is, in practice, a dead language. It's like to say that black metal has a (fantastic) educational purpose because, in these cases, it's able to bring again to light strange languages that aren't the now ultra-abused modern English. But then, there is also the band that we'll talk about today: Siaskel, a Chilean quintet founded in 2003 which, releasing their debut album only in 2014, sing in Ona Language, that is the idiom of a group of Native Americans called Selk'nam lived in the far South of Latin America between Argentina and Chile, before to be extinct during the last 40 years of the previous century due to the death of its last survivors (in fact, the Selk'nam were brutally exterminated, a common fate for many others indigenous tribes). But now Siaskel have honored again the memory of Selk'nam through their second album "Haruwen Airen", originally self-released on January 2016 before to be re-released on cassette by the US label Graceless Recordings (February 2016) and on CD by the Portuguese label Signal Rex Productions (November 2016).

Ended this long introduction, "Haruwen Airen" is, as the South American extreme metal tradition wants, a brutal onslaught full of (hyper)-fast tempos reminding to me some Swedish black metal bands like Marduk or Setherial, especially regarding tracks like "Hais", that has also a bit thrash metal influenced riffing. But, despite all this extreme ferocity, the songs aren't short since they often lasts 5 minutes while the longer one, "Hain", lasts even 8 minutes containing, naturally, a (slightly) stronger presence of the mid/slow-tempos. Fortunately, Siaskel are enough able to hot up the assault of their 7 songs because these ones are very nervous and unstoppable, also due to some breaks with relative very violent restarts (guided especially by the drummer Sinn Hayek) and to the lead guitar of Ma'hai Jippen, a gentlewoman that spews forth some tremolo pickings solos while other ones are more technical (in this way, the unleashed solo of the opening track "Hechuknaiyin Yecna Shuaken Chima" is amazing!).

But, to speak the truth, Siaskel don't play a pure form of black metal. In fact, they combines the spirituality, the majesty and the evocative melodies of black metal with the carnality, the technical skills and the (omnipresent) growls (also if alternated with some screams) of the singer Gorrge more typical of the death metal, for a lethal mixture between Marduk and Morbid Angel. In addition to all this, Siaskel have also a light tribal touch comprised primarily of mantric vocals used as intros/outros for (few) songs finding its major expression into the aforementioned "Hain".

Just a little criticism now: I have the impression that "Haruwen Airen" offers a very homogeneous sound, hence there aren't so many differences between the songs with the final result that this album is strong and evocative but, at the same time, paradoxically lack of real surprises in a way very close to another good album, the last one of the Canadians Forteresse.

In conclusion, "Haruwen Airen", embellished by a potent and clear production and by a lyrical concept focused on the mythology and cosmogony of the Selk'nam people, will be a must-have for every fanatic metalhead of the purest hyper-violence in South American-style, also if it presents some interesting skills like the guitar solos. Instead, for the skeptics, I suggest to them to give a preventive listening to the album or else their ears will be...spit roasted with no fuckin' escape!


1 - Hechuknaiyin Yecna Shuaken Chima
2 - Só'ón Hás-Kan
3 - Haruwen Airen
4 - Hais
5 - Hain
6 - Mai-ich
7 - Han K'win  Saik


Gorrge - vocals
Oblimink - rhytm guitar
Ma'hai Jippen - lead guitar
K'hmal Jauke - bass
Sinn Hayek - drums

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/siaskel/
BandCamp: http://siaskel.bandcamp.com/
Graceless Recordings: http://gracelessrecordings.blogspot.com/
Signal Rex Productions: http://www.signalrex.com/

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