domingo, 14 de abril de 2019

Evoken - Hypnagogia 2018




El año que pasó nos dejó grandes publicaciones, siendo algunas de ellas potentes novedades, mientras otras se convirtieron en la continuidad lógica de una historia de brutalidad, contundencia y oscuridad. EVOKEN nos dejó una de las placas destacadas de la escena (algunos detestan esta palabra, personalmente sirve mucho, más como un elemento de reunión claro antes que como un concepto definitorio) donde expresaron, una vez más, la historia musical que es EVOKEN.

“Hypnagogia” es el sexto álbum de una de las agrupaciones de Funeral Doom más determinantes de los últimos 25 años, no tan solo en los Estados Unidos, su país de procedencia, sino que en el mundo entero. Su propuesta, el ritmo y sus musicalizaciones, la lírica de sus álbumes, la potencia y oscuridad de sus composiciones y el manejo de las atmósferas han hecho de su historia algo único y fundante. El tiempo de actividad, no por nada llevan 24 años de carrera, les ha dado la razón en la construcción de lo que EVOKEN ha entregado en cada uno de sus álbumes.

Siempre profundos, siempre guturales, siempre oscuros y perturbadores, siempre sonando lento y potente, siempre leales a una idea y a una forma de construir realidad. EVOKEN siempre será EVOKEN.

Comparto su más reciente álbum, de noviembre del año 2018, “Hypnagogia” (indagando sobre el concepto y su significado encontré que así se denomina al momento intermedio entre la vigilia y el sueño, momento en extremo perturbador, de locura y fascinación). Disfruten el disco y disfruten la vida, hasta siempre.





Tracklist:


01. The Fear After   09:18
02. Valorous Consternation   08:20
03. Schadenfreude   08:45
04. Too Feign Ebullience   10:01
05. Hypnagogia   03:49
06. Ceremony of Bleeding   07:43
07. Hypnopompic   02:11
08. The Weald of Perished Men   10:09








jueves, 4 de abril de 2019

Monads - IVIIV 2017



De pie en medio de un arcano bosque, escucho cómo cae la lluvia. Ensimismado por la majestuosidad, las sombras eternas me cubren mientras las ramas de los árboles me abrazan en un baile antiguo. Imagino que otros hombres en otros tiempos ya estuvieron en esta misma situación y quizá pensando en cosas semejantes. Dichosos somos algunos de poder desentrañar los dilemas elementales de la vida en compañía de la gloriosa naturaleza.

Me siento uno con la naturaleza. Imagino cómo habría sido la vida en tiempos remotos cuando el mal y el bien no existían. Cuando los dilemas morales eran solamente una palabra dicha. Cuando la vida era más difícil que ahora pero vivirla era un deleite de sensaciones humanas, no plásticas ni falsas. Todo era verdaderamente real.

Camino en dirección de un riachuelo que corre en sentido norte; su ancho no es mayor de un metro y sus aguas son cristalinas e inspiradoras. Cruza toda la extensión del bosque, con diferentes intensidades y con diferentes grosores del caudal. Su sonido es esperanzador. Reanima en reflexiones de inmensidad. Me inspira a sentir el lejano movimiento de los astros. Veo mi reflejo en las cristalinas aguas y al levantar mi cabeza me veo destellado en todas partes. Veo mi rostro en todos los lugares. La naturaleza y yo comenzamos sigilosamente a mimetizarnos…

La lluvia, incesante, me hace pensar en cómo sonaría el movimiento de los planetas y de las estrellas. En cómo sonaría el respirar del Universo. En cómo sería el sonido de la vida y de la muerte. Sensato y abstraído entiendo con claridad que en la naturaleza se ven reflejados todos los sonidos del Universo.

El viento mueve los árboles, las gotas de lluvia descienden por los troncos y las ramas de los árboles. El piso comienza a humedecerse. Paulatinamente el nivel del caudal del riachuelo empieza a ascender y la velocidad con que avanza el agua se incrementa. Un largo y ruidoso trueno me interpela. Estremece por completo el lugar y el viento parece avanzar al mismo ritmo con que se desplaza el agua del riachuelo. Tiemblo, sacudido por el entorno, pensando en mi presente. Soy feliz. La vida me muestra su mejor cara. Me arrodillo, beso el piso con respeto y veneración, y siento que la vida y el bosque me abrazan con igual respeto e infinito cariño. He sido bendecido con la eternidad.

De atrás de unos arbustos emerge la magnífica figura de un ciervo. Imponente y vigoroso, luce sobre su cabeza unos ornamentos majestuosos, los que le entregan una apariencia única y solemne. Nos miramos, con aprecio y respeto mutuo. Se me acerca, me rodea y huele mis manos. Vuelve a mirarme, casi consigo entender sus gestos. Lentamente hace una reverencia, da media vuelta y se retira con la misma calma con que se acercó. En ese mismo instante siento que he podido comprender el secreto máximo de la existencia. Ya no hay misterios en la vida…Satisfecho, cierro mis ojos e inspiro una bocanada larga y profunda de oxígeno, mientras pienso en los años vividos y en las experiencias recogidas.

Cuando lentamente comienzo a expirar el oxigeno, con una grata idea en mente, abro mis ojos. Ya no me encuentro en el bosque. Aquel sagrado lugar ha sido reemplazo por algo aún más elemental. Ahora me encuentro de pie en la superficie del Sol. Incandescente y luminoso, su calor abrasador no me afecta. Puedo ver su inmensa superficie. Puedo mirar la galaxia en su absoluta magnificencia. La monumentalidad esta ahí. El secreto del secreto esta ahí…

La música del movimiento de la vida. El Doom es la encarnación de la eternidad. Nunca pasará de moda pues nunca ha estado de moda. Siempre será sólido e innovador. Cubre nuestras vidas con la dicotomía esencial. Ilumina nuestros días más grises y oscurece los días iluminados, según sea el caso y la personalidad.

Hablando desde mí mismo y desde mis propias experiencias, el Doom me entrega dicha, sabiduría, paciencia, meticulosidad, perspicacia, rigurosidad, calma, conciencia, estrategia, concordancia, perseverancia, voluntad, pasión y amor. No puedo vislumbrar mi vida sin el Doom.

Hasta este momento soy un agradecido de la existencia, pienso que la vida sí es bella; belleza que se matiza con todas las distintas tonalidades que la vida misma tiene. Hay que entender su devenir, a veces en la incongruencia. En lo más ilógico que podamos encontrar, incluso ahí, sí tiene sentido.

Hoy, como otras tantas oportunidades, vengo a pagar una deuda personal. Estoy aquí para reconocer el aporte de una joven pero talentosa agrupación de Doom Death belga: MONADS. Deuda que arrastro por más de un año, dejando en claro que durante un tiempo prolongado mis obligaciones y las directrices de mi vida se desviaron y no reflejaron con profundidad mis intereses y gustos. Hoy, esto cambiará. Hoy MONADS ocupará el lugar que merece, en primera línea de la escena y con un reconocimiento público que ya tienen ganado. Debo decir que este es su primer LP, y que para muchos sería bastante difícil hablar de trascendencia e importancia de una banda con solo un álbum, pero MONADS subió la montaña de la oscura luminosidad del Doom con su primer demo, siendo este LP una lenta, violenta, deprimente, sobrecogedora y estimulante continuidad.

Del año 2017 el primer LP de MONADS,  "IVIIV". Un saludo caluroso, disfruten el disco y disfruten la vida. Hasta siempre.




Monads – “IVIIV”


Tracklist:


01. Leviathan as My Lament   11:13
02. Your Wounds Were My Temple   10:20
03. To a Bloodstained Shore   13:07
04. The Despair of an Aeon   15:48   








miércoles, 20 de febrero de 2019

THE OCEAN: "Romper esquemas es la premisa". Entrevista exclusiva.



El trabajo periodístico encuentra sus recompensas cuando podemos concretar aquellas cuestiones que más nos reconfortan y satisfacen de la profesión, sea cual sea el objeto profesional, cuando podemos completarlo sentimos la sublimidad.

En mi vida son algunas cosas las que me elevan, que me hacen sentir satisfacción, que me reconfortan y que me permiten sentir cómo el desarrollo profesional va de la mano con el trabajo y el esfuerzo individual. Mi página es, probablemente, uno de los lugares donde se concentra con más fuerza el foco de la satisfacción personal.

Las entrevistas, la escritura y los reviews de bandas son el desenvolvimiento del espíritu y, no siempre, se valoran y dimensionan como lo que son: esfuerzos personales que marcan mi vida y que se han convertido en lo que más busco: ser un periodista de la escena extrema.

Particularmente las entrevistas son algo que me entrega una satisfacción altísima. Contactarse con las bandas para solicitar una entrevista, recibir la respuesta, positiva o negativa, redactar algo decente que sea desafiante o entretenido, escribir la introducción de cada entrevista y, finalmente, publicar la entrevista son los pasos que se siguen.

Cuando me confirmaron la entrevista con la banda alemana THE OCEAN realmente no cabía en la dicha y la satisfacción profesional: era una agrupación que durante los años que los he escuchado siempre me han impresionado, tanto su propuesta musical como el fondo lírico que construye la banda en cada álbum, así que ni bien leí el mensaje que aseguraba la entrevista dije: “chucha, soy un bendecido, alguien único, realmente he llegado donde nunca hubiera imaginado”.

No es por desmerecer a los otros artistas que he podido entrevistar, pero contactarte con las bandas que te gustan es impagable, produce un sensación de crecimiento, seguridad, estabilidad y continuidad que reconforta espiritualmente. Es, probablemente, la razón por la que comencé en una primera instancia con lo de las entrevistas: saber de primera fuente todo lo que no me quedaba claro de la música y de las bandas.

Es más, después de leer las respuestas escritas por el propio Robin Staps, fundador y único miembro original de la banda, solo puedo pensar en seguir, mucho más, con mucha más fuerza, más bandas, el metal es mi espacio, mi vida está aquí.

En esta oportunidad tengo el enorme orgullo de presentar la más reciente entrevista: THE OCEAN.

Un saludo caluroso, disfruten la entrevista y disfruten la vida. Hasta siempre. 






FELIPE: Estimated, thank you very much for wanting to participate. I confess I'm a follower of the band and I'm also someone whose albums have deeply questioned. Thank you very much for your time.
THE OCEAN: Thanks!


FELIPE: How do you remember the first years of the band? Was the first band of each of the members? It was always present to build challenging albums with a deep idea behind?
THE OCEAN: I am the only one that is currently still in the band that was there in the first years. We started out as a collective with varying members in 2001, at times we had 3 or 4 different guitar players in the band, as well as a pool of classical musicians that were somehow part of the band, but not permanent members. We decided to keep this term after the collective consolidated into a more consistent band lineup, as we always played with different people and as a there have always been a lot of people contributing that were not band members, but still very important towards creating what we do – guest musicians, video artists, lighting designers, classical players, etc. So we are both, THE OCEAN and THE OCEAN COLLECTIVE.


FELIPE: How did the idea of building several albums with a theme focused on science arise? How was the work of musical and lyrical creation?
THE OCEAN: The new material was shaping up to be in the vein of “Precambrian” music wise, so it made sense from the beginning… and when I closed my eyes and listened to the pre-productions, I saw archaic images and prehistoric landscapes in front of my inner eye once more. That’s a lot of times how we get to the conceptual frame of our albums, I’m trying to visualize the music that I write and that usually goes intuitively in the right direction… it’s like a reverse soundtrack, where the music is there first and then you come up with the motion picture, based on the music.

“Precambrian” was an important record for us, one that shaped our sound for the years to come, and when we played the “Precambrian” 10th anniversary tour this year, it felt like most of the songs on that record have stood the test of time and still felt somehow right when we played them live.


FELIPE: What can you say about your next work, "Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic"? I could hear it and it's a new top in the history of THE OCEAN.
THE OCEAN: The new album is more simple in terms of arrangements, with a focus on heavy riffs and lots of space — space for vocals, but also space for other types of sounds…I asked Peter Voigtmann, our lighting guy since 2013, to contribute synths and soundscapes to the new record. Peter was operating lights for us, but he really is a drummer and a musician with a great sense for sound design. He came back with something that was really special, his sounds were not just background layers but really colored the guitar tone on the record… so he ended up playing pretty much over every part of every song in the end, and naturally, we wanted to have him do that live as well. He will create most his sounds and effects analog and in real time, so it is really bringing something to the show that wasn’t there before.


FELIPE: What albums and what bands were a reference to wanting to form a band like THE OCEAN?
THE OCEAN: Neurosis, Breach, Refused, The Swans, and mid 90s chaotic hardcore bands like Botch, Today Is The Day, Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan.


FELIPE: What kind of activities you do apart from the band? I understand that your artistic performances are very varied and not only focused on music.
THE OCEAN: We all do different things. Paul and I run a record label, Pelagic Records, which is taking up more and more time, we have released almost 130 albums on CD, LP and digital formats so far. Loic works in a recording studio in Switzerland and Mattias is a chef in Stockholm. We all live spread out across Europe.


FELIPE: In recent years I have been strongly attracted to the work of NEUROSIS. His lyrics, his music, his visual proposal and the ideological and discursive aspect that his members express have been decisive. What do you think of them and is there a band that is deeply relevant to THE OCEAN's life?
THE OCEAN: I got into them with “Through Silver in Blood”, but the album that really was a game-changer for me was “Times of Grace”. I saw them live around the time when that came out, must have been 1998 or 1999, and that was one of the most intense shows I have ever seen. The way they combined visuals with music, and their whole set into one long song with interludes and transititions between the tracks, that was great, and no one was doing anyhting like that at the time.


FELIPE: Defining a sound is arbitrary, subjective and related to personal experiences and tastes. Knowing this, the sound of THE OCEAN is usually positioned under the parameters of Sludge, Post Metal and Alternative Metal. What do you think of these styles? They fit with the proposal of THE OCEAN? How would you define the sound of THE OCEAN?
THE OCEAN: I usually leave that up to journalists, I'm not a big fan of categorizing music or art and putting everything in a certain drawer... but people love to do that and I understand why, it makes sense and our minds are structured that way, that we always need to pursue a certain order, give labels and tags to things, in order to understand them and find them when we need them. As for The Ocean, there are elements of all the styles you quoted in our music, but also other influences that are maybe less obvious, coming from film, from soundtrack and ambient music and even from dark jazz and expererimental electronic music.


FELIPE: Given the lyric of your albums, the depth, versatility, imagery, innovation and the risk of them, where does the base come from? Who is the main responsible? Why did you decide to write the letters you have written?
THE OCEAN: Lyrically and thematically, the red thread that goes through the album is the idea of eternal recurrence, which is the idea that everything happens over and over again, an unlimited amount of times, in infinite time and space. This can be conceived both for occurrences within our individual lifetimes, as well as in the great scheme of things, for the history of humanity or even life on earth itself. It’s an idea as old as humanity, was found already in ancient Hindi writings, the Egyptians embraced it and then it sunk into oblivion with the arrival of the occident, because the idea of eternal recurrence bears integrally a sort of chance and randomness, which is hard to reconcile with the idea of one unique creation made by one unique god… Nietzsche however was an avid fan of the idea, and during his intellectual reign it rose to new fame and glory, haha.

When you look at the Phanerozoic, you see a lot of examples for eternal recurrence. Continents have collided and drifted apart, life has nearly disappeared from the face of the earth multiple times, then resurged again in different forms and places. Global temperatures have risen, fallen, risen again.

“Phanerozoic” is essentially an album about time, perception of time, and the fact that there are things in life which we cannot change, and finding our own personal ways of arranging ourselves with that prospect.


FELIPE: I could see you when you showed up in Santiago, how was that experience? I hope word gets out with other German and European bands.
THE OCEAN: Oh it was a great night, really. Beautiful venue and really good crowd, we were positively overwhelmed as we didn't really know what to expect from playing in Chile for the first time ever, and it turned out to be really great.

We are currently working on another South American tour, which will likely happen in late 2019 or early 2020. Tell your friends!


FELIPE: In these 18 years of work what elements stand out as positive and as negative to carry on THE OCEAN.
THE OCEAN: Oh man, so many of both... we just got back from a super intense tour in India, Australia and New Zealand. The fact that we play in a band that allows us to travel to these places and get paid to play shows there really is a dream come true. So an abundance of positive experiences, travelling with friends, playing great shows in Siberia or Santiago de Chile, or at big open air festivals like Hellfest in Europe is on one side... and on the other side lots of hardships, getting robbed in Spain on the Dillinger Escape Plan tour, dealing with broken down buses in the middle of nowhere in the US, losing band members that were friends, watching relationships fall apart because we are always on the road... it's a little bit of everything really, but for me personally all the positive aspects defintiley outweigh all the negative ones.


FELIPE: How has it been the experience of having a record label? Who are in charge? You might think that listening to good bands is a dream for some.
THE OCEAN: It's been a great, vastly rewarding ride. In the beginning, Pelagic Records was more like a hobby but it has grown into a full-time label now. Paul (The Ocean's drummer) and I are in charge. We have both always been interested in the “other” side of music, not just playing in bands, but the side focused on marketing, promotion, relations, product/packaging design, etc... It's all just different sides of the same beautfiul coin for us, and I'm happy that we get to work with so many incredible bands, and can contribute to making them heard and building them up, that is a great experience, besides playing in our own band.


FELIPE: During the years of existence you have had many momentary collaborations and have also experienced some lineup changes. Why this interest in including different and diverse artists in some of your works? Is it difficult to maintain a stable lineup?
THE OCEAN: Yes, it is difficult, especially when you are a young band and you have nothing to offer really.. then all the good musicians are usually already taken by other bands. Also, people's priorities in life change, at one point they want to start families or pursue careers and work jobs that make them have a steady income and give them security. Being a full-time musician is tough in every regard, it poses a big challenge finantially but also regarding your personal relationships, when you are constantly on tour. A lot of people are very excited about this life for a while, but then they realize it's not for them.

As for the guest musicians is concerned, I have always found great pleasure in working with artists that were personal inspirations for me... so even when we recorded “Aeolian” in 2006, when I was writing the vocals I always had a certain characteristic voice in mind, a voice that I knew, from another band I was listening to... and so naturally, rather than trying to find someone to emulate that specific voice, at one point I started reaching out to the original voices and asked them if they wanted to contribute to our album.. that's how we ended up with guest vocals from Tomas Hallbom (Breach), Nate Newton (Converge / OMG) or Caleb Scofiled (Cave In / OMG) back in the days, and it was a similar scenario now with Jonas from Katatonia.


FELIPE: I thank you for the time and desire to participate in this space. Any musical release or news you have the doors open in this part of the world. This space is for a personal reflection or for a farewell. Thank you very much and goodbye.
THE OCEAN: If you are into what we do, please check out other PELAGIC RECORDS bands like Briqueville, LLNN, Abraham, Earth Ship, Spook the Horses, Saver, Ylva, etc... you might find something you like! Thanks for your time, looking forward to returning to your beautiful country.