36 minutes of dirty Speed/Thrash Black Metal in the vein of the ancient glories for the steel & death Cult! Second full length from this great Colombian band. Recommended for fans of old Venom, Destruction, Sodom...
The Metal Observer [80%]:
Everyone knows South America is a hotbed of dirty black metal, thrash and speed metal combinations. Maybe it’s the rich history of bands playing this style or maybe it’s the simple fact that the denizens of the southern hemisphere just want to have fun with the style. Whatever the reason for the over pouring of bands from the region, the simple fact is that when it comes to dirty amalgamations of the aforementioned genres, South America has the market pretty much cornered (aside from all the Japanese legends, you know). Guerra Total is a Colombian act that falls perfectly into line with most of the continent’s output, blending good old fashioned eighties speed metal with dirty, thrashy, black metal.
Guerra Total’s music on “Más Allá de la Tumba” is simple and straight forward. The guitars are the most prominent element here. There are riffs galore on this album, mostly being a simple chunky thrash style a la early Megadeth as heard on “Cenobits” or a straight up speed metal blitz on tracks like “Black Goat of the Woods” and “I am the Werewolf”. The riffs go from catchy, grooving palm muting to fast paced and punchy fret board running. The combination of speed metal and thrashiness sits very well with the rather thin and dirty production, but it also adds a very eighties, punkish feel. Being influenced by speed metal a great deal, there are some really interesting lead lines that just scream mid-eighties German speed metal. The leads aren’t the focal point of the music, but the shredding lines on “Terror Thrash” and “Holocausto Zombi” are impressive enough to grab the listener’s attention. The drums are relatively standard, mostly being a fast fairly paced rock rhythm, but with the production’s focus on the guitar riffs, it’s not that big of a deal. The bass and snare drum are extremely muffled, giving a fairly hollow sound, but there’s enough power to the drumming to keep from being completely washed out. Rolls and fills are throughout the album and are always fast paced. There are a few points that slow down to a crawl, but the guitars stay gritty and punk-infused during these parts. Most of the band’s black metal influence is shown through the raspy, throat torn vocalization. The vocals start out with a shrieking falsetto, but the majority is a very raspy, black metal style that comes across as more of a shout than a scream. They’re gruff, they’re dirty and the sloppy vocals match the music perfectly.
The music on “Más Allá de la Tumba” is a black thrash slash speed metal amalgamate that should please fans of the dirty and raw metal styles that frequently come out of South America. The music is fast paced and dirty yet competently performed. I can make comparisons all day, but the music here speaks for itself. Guerra Total play a competent brand of black thrash and speed metal with a punkish flair. This is recommended to fans of dirty thrash and raw speed metal and the standard South American combination of black metal with the above mentioned styles. This is far from the most inventive album out there, but it’s played well enough to stand a little ahead of the pack.