With only a few splits and EPs behind them, Corrupted’s debut LP was nothing short of a masterstroke – despite the fact that the Japanese sludge doom outfit would come to better themselves with future LPs, Paso Inferior
remains as a milestone to the excruciating and soul-destroying experience that comes with listening to Corrupted. Later releases will show the band delving into different forms of experimentation, many of which coming with some elements of melody, and so Paso Inferior can be differentiated from these subsequent efforts for its sole aim of demoralizing the listener.
The often lauded El Mundo Frio
and Se Hace Por Los Suenos Asesinos
are indubitably amazing compositions – while maintaining Corrupted’s sense of sonic destruction, they incorporate lengthy build-ups and harmonious climaxes to give a truly satisfying musical experience. Nevertheless, they do not match Paso Inferior
on one point – a stomach churning, almost disgustingly revolting and suffocating atmosphere. This debut LP perhaps stands on its own as the album to crush all happy and positive thought, a droning piece of corrosive doom that infects you and gloats as you struggle to find a cure.
As a single forty minute track, Paso Inferior is not an easy listen. Including the fact that the Japanese group does everything in their power to make this as uncomfortable a listen as possible, the record can be somewhat inaccessible. Beginning with an introduction of feedback, Corrupted set the standard for what’s to come: the weighty and almost droning presence of the feedback never subsides throughout the record’s entire length. Even when the monstrous riffs begin raining down, even when ‘Hevi’ starts to utter his monolithic roars, the overwhelming background noise remains – and to put it bluntly, that’s all there is to the album.
The track moves at an agonizingly slow tempo; while on many occasions I’ve felt that the feeling of suffocation kept increasing as I plunged further into Corrupted's 'abyss', there is little to no variation in the track’s forty minute length. It could be argued (and probably has) that this is all the album has to offer, simply a long and repetitive song – what should not be ignored is that this is all that Corrupted choose
to offer, and if one is to take them seriously, the genius of this album will most certainly emerge.
And what is this genius? If my rambling so far hasn’t made it clear, I’ll sum it up thus: a hypnotic and droning slab of doom; a vicious and unrelentingly slow surge of pure crush; the musical encapsulation of every menacing thought you’ve had, and ever will have. Despite the importance of their other full lengths, Paso Inferior
is an essential album for any doom fan. The atmosphere it brings to one’s doom palate is unmatched and I am certain that this release has set the standard for all doom to come.