Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Corrupted - Ilenandose de Gusanos

Corrupted
Ilenandose de Gusanos


Released 1999 on H:G fact
Reviewed by Lawrence, 24/10/2003ce


OK, this is the first time I've done this. (Fanfare!) I hope this does turn out to be readable since I've often had problems with grammer and paragraph construction and shit...

Anyways, enough of the cornball stuff!

Well, my own personal story with this record goes like this... My friends in the band Pengo were opening up for (I think) National Almanac or something -- this was last spring. Anyways my friend Nuuj who was playing in Pengo at the time played the first disc of this album before the first act. I was struck by how beautiful the piano was on the first half, and when the noise-metal part of the piece kicked in it was like nothing I've ever heard! Very much reminded me of the Swans, but more than that. There actually seemed to be something ritualistic in the music that most metal never had. I was moved to stand in front of the speakers in a trance just before the first band came on (who probably saw me as weird, not that I care!)

So I asked around about how to get this here recording... Another musician friend Aaron told me the label his last band (some grind-core act called Kalibas) was on asked Corrupted if they could release their album in the states, but the band angrily refused, saying they preferred to be on Japanese labels. Finally I managed to find the recent issue of the Relapse records catalog and noticed the album listed there, so I ordered it, and quite coincidentaly it came in the mail on my birthday.

Well, not much is known about this mysterious band or even if they're still around. In their "Gracias y saludos" list there are alot of highly regarded metal and punk bands as well as (predictably) Merzbow... Another thing is although the band are Japanese, they prefer to sing in Spanish.

Well, lets talk about the music! The first disc starts with some stark, minimal yet dignified block chords played on piano, reminding me alot of Chopin. The singer starts to mutter the lyrics over this occasionally, and it goes on for about 15-20 minutes.

Then the "metal" part of the piece kicks in... The guitar plays the same chords as the piano in the intro, sounding very grimey and distorted. Again, this reminds me very much of the Swans and also classic Black Sabbath. The vocals are in the typical gruff death/black metal style and are hard to get into, but as far as the music goes, it doth not matter... But one of the important things here are the lyrics, of which an English translation is printed in the booklet. They read about as grim as most metal, but quite poetic. Sample lyric: "We must go walk for our ways/even in the dark/even the arms holding on to for coldness rot and fall off/we must go on walking/we must go on dancing".

Later in the piece there is some uplifting ambient synth and also very Swans-like piano which is quite moving. I certainly would not call this typical "black" metal -- no typical devil-worshipping or anything of the sort you would expect. But as I said there seems to be more to this -- I feel some kind of energy from hearing this, like I have felt from hearing ritual-oriented stuff by early Current 93 forinstance, or early Coil or other related bands...

Well, the second disc is a different kettle of fish. Mainly synth-oriented -- mostly a very deep low end drone that might wreck your speakers if you play it too loud. Also some more atmospheric sounds that remind me of Joy Division's "Atmosphere" or Black Sabbath's "Changes".
Again, like the intro on the first disc, very restrained, dignified and quite uplifting. I play it when I don't feel like loud music and just want to calm down -- the same reason I play Music For Airports.

Anyways, even if many of you don't like metal, I highly recommend this. It's like nothing you've ever heard.


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