Review Summary: Seventy-plus minutes of nothing?
Some things in life are just plain impossible. It is impossible to try to get laid with an underage teen, and most certainly to get away with murder. It is impossible to be a musician who doesn't credit himself as being awesome with every new album they release. It is, as well impossible, to rate this album, in my most humble opinion.
Under what kind of microscope or magnifying glass can I put... this? Corrupted's last effort, El Mundo Frio
, is one of those impossible things to do in life. It's one of those rare achievements in music. Just in case you don't know who Corrupted are, they are a Japanese band (see that there are no raping tentacles or large-breasted school girls involved in the project) that play drone/doom metal, and sing in English, Japanese and Spanish (hooray!). So I'll just describe the song as is. But hey, let's make this interesting!
Cronicas del Mundo Frio: Una aproximacion a la musica sludge que dura mas de una hora por Don Tojes Dolan de Gongora y Gongora
or Chronicles of the Cold World: An approximation to sludge music clocking over an hour by Mr. Tojes Dolan of Gongora and Gongora
The song takes at least 5 minutes to even consider beginning to show some pulses of life. Random, sporadic guitar notes surround the ambient, and drums, playing a simplistic, minimalist beat, looped over and over,. Up to this point, I must say I'm not overly surprised by the song up to this point. I mean, the beginning is meant to happen, but to be quite honest I'm not drawn to it. Suddenly, drums stop the beat, slower, leaving the song pulseless. Only guitar is left playing. The same riff... over... and over... and...
Then the real song starts! 10 minutes into the song and finally, something starts! It's a crunching, magnificent riff. The drumming is still constant, but keeps up with the dark vibe of the song in this much smaller section. There are some really interesting fills here and there, and there are subtle but noticeable changes in the main riff that will probably lead into... more crescendo! A pattern rather used in sludge and post rock. Into the seventeenth minute, some drum parts indicate that there's something coming further... guitar leads that might break into... well. Nothing. The song remains the same. Still building up? I don't think so. This reminds me of the time I was waiting for the bus and I saw headlights, but they were truck headlights, so I was like "dang". The bus never showed up so I had to walk like a good mile to get to a bus. While this happens, I'm still listening to the same riff. Finally, 20 minutes, probably the normal Dream Theater song, and there's a switch, into the first riff, but now with more present percussion. A very nice riff. I think I'm being a victim of Stockholm syndrome, since I'm beginning to feel infatuated with the song. Despite I've been listening to the same riff for twenty minutes minus slight variations, alas, smoked my second cigarette so far and... hey, 22 minutes, a couple seconds and finally vocals come in. The singer sounds everything but Japanese. He actually sounds... good! The vocals are deep, but not necessarily forced. They sound natural. They remind me of the voices that sound in a few old Japanese action movies, with Bruce Lee and what not, since there's a certain oriental background to it. The guitar riff begins to sound more desperate, clinging farther, changing! Being active! Second cigarette dies, and the riff changes yet again.
Minute 26, and there's a different tone of the guitar, not sounding sad anymore, but sounding harder. Harsh vocals enter, and they are not half bad. They actually complement the deep voice that was presented before this. The instruments follow amazingly the vocal feeling. There are no unstable ups-and-downs, everything is kept under control through the vocals, because there's a certain lead in it. Vocals subside, instruments subside. We are in the first minuendo of the song gentlemen! Thirty minutes into the song, hooray!
Now it's drums who leave a certain beat, and guitar continues, with sporadic notes from the guitar every now and then, that have an acoustic feel to them. It might as well be a harp, who knows. But definitely not a keyboard, doesn't sound as operatic. Some guitar with echo or reverb plays a chord every now and then, fades into the dark, and returns. Drums are the constant now, they keep the song from falling into deep silence. The despair that was achieved in the first half disappears in this point, is drowned beneath a more sorrowful, grieving tone. Around minute 36 or so there's a harp playing, I'm most definitely sure, or maybe a keyboard? Damn my ear is so messed up. Which gets worse as I'm also going blind, because I spent too much time in front of the computer. This is another very long, but very nice instrumental section. I don't know. I'm trying to figure out the appeal of the minimalism. Despite me not liking repetitive music for the sakes of repetitiveness, the instrumental sections always have the little... sections, the little riffs that compel and make a minute different to the last one. Reviewing the album is making me like it even moreso, since I'm listening things in the music that I hadn't noticed before, like the harp that comes and goes through the quieter sections. The little elements that make the song, despite being minimalist for the most part, grotesquely brutal in others... and by minute 45, the tension is gone, there is some feedback here, some feedback there, but drowns everything into a deep silence. Drums take the lead once again, around minute 46, and I light another cigarette. Drum solos suck because they usually are just masturbatory ba-dums, ba-pshs, and ba-ba ba-da-dums. The little drum solo here has a different take on it. Instead of going everywhere, just takes little beats and goes there. And oh! Again, back to the main riff. I feel the need to go to the store when... by minute 49 vocals enter again. And wait... they seem to be in the same vein as the first section! As I browse the lyrics, there seems to be a repeated lyrical section...but I don't know. It's sung in Japanese, because I don't really match the lyrics written with the vocals I'm listening, heh. I feel the need to go to the store, so I'll finish my cigarette and continue.
*25 minutes later*
So I'm back, and I'm still in the 56 minute mark, and this seems like a repeated chorus section, the drumming marks the end of a vocal section, but unlike the first vocal section, this time the vocals don't really end the section... but oh wait. The vocals continue. This time it's just a spoken verse. The culmination of the hard section is purely magnificent. The way a rock arena song would end, minus the stupid musical masturbation. Just a simple culmination, and back to a silence. Some feedback follows a couple minutes later, and for the next minutes, the song turns into a big black fade to nothing, to darkness.
So, what can I say of this album/song? The song is magnificent as a whole, but the sections don't really make sense to the casual listener. This album or song, or whatever you consider this to be is beautifully somber in its somber moments, heavy in its heavy sections, and the vocals are spot on, the tone is so magnificent, I adore it. It's an excellent album, in my own scale of values, because it's not a classic due to not being for all the public, and not superb because there's probably no need to repeat the sections. Ah! Did you think I was not going to make a lyrical review of the album? You are so wrong then. Bitch. The whole concept of the album is well put into the lyrics, but there are some parts that don't really fit, due to trying to be too poetical. This, part, I find it really nice:
To maintain silence
Get out of here immediately
After reading the second section it appeared to me that it's better written than the first (I read through it fast because I thought they were the same), the ideas are more solid, even though overall they are your common metal lyrics, they do fit the whole idea of the album, and some parts are very well written, as the aforementioned, some nice word choice here or there, but there are some similes used that are just not so interesting ("Expression filled with insanity/Ecstatic smile of the dictator
"... I don't know. I don't like the image of Mussolini but it's fitting for the theme, but not the best way to put it. I prefer... governor. Or Arnold Schwarzenegger).
So there you go. An excellent, purely haunting album for those who have a little extra time on their hands to listen through an hour and a little less than a half listening to really beautiful, haunting, brutal, but nonetheless a great experience. Petey, this is dedicated to you my friend. Thank you for introducing me to this excellent, time-consuming experience.