Exquirla
Para Quienes Aún Viven


4.5
superb

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (57 Reviews)
February 1st, 2018 | 98 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solemn tale of flamenco and post rock

Merging a deeply rooted and traditional genre like flamenco with the monumental sound of post rock is no easy endeavor, but beyond the apparent disparity, the fusion of these two distant genres has proved to be a logical evolution in regards to Spanish music. Where the old meets the new and the young looks to the past in search for the vestiges and the bloodlines that somehow make them what they are today, Exquirla finds common ground for the two genres to co-exist.

Lagartija Nick, a mythical noise rock band from Granada (Spain) successfully did so in 1996 when collaborating with flamenco legend and sadly passed away Enrique Morente in "Omega", an album that symbolized the destruction of a wall between two long traditions within Spanish music and that became a unanimous object of cult for the ages to come. Even before that, in the '70s, the also Andalusian band Triana had already married progressive rock with flamenco, pioneering a formula that would be recreated years after by several modern bands like extraordinary flamenco and progressive rock outfit Elbicho or the outstanding trio (now duo) Orthodox, who managed to bring the concept a step further, infusing it with funeral doom and outrageous free jazz.

Exquirla, though, had no desire of telling a story already told. The project formed by the four members of Spanish post rock troopers Toundra and flamenco "cantaor" Niño de Elche surely had something else in mind when their forces converged to lay down the foundations of Para quienes aún viven, an album based on a colossal poem called "La marcha de los 150.000.000" (March of the 150.000.000) written by Enrique Falcón in 2002 to portrait the horrors and brutalities caused by the Bosnian War ten years before.

Destruction, desolation, anguish and suffering are the imperative themes of Para quienes aún viven, a feeling conveyed exceptionally by the tortured and wounded singing of Niño de Elche whose voice bursts and breaks in an agonizing cycle of despair through the 8 tracks that conform Exquirla's first and possibly only work. Songs that dwell and linger for no less than 8 minutes each, with the exception of the magical interlude "Contigo", the calming piece "Interrogatorio" and the ominous intro "Canción de E", where the words of the author Falcón introduce the listener into this devastating sonic wasteland while the band slowly begins to construct the first chapter of the album, "Destruidnos juntos".

There are very powerful moments in Para quienes aún viven, passages that scratch your soul when confronted with the cruelty depicted in tracks like closer "Europa muda", where El Niño recites these words: "Return the corpse of my children/ the corpse of my children to their mother/the hair of my child ripped in two/When your daughter impaled in the pole/Tell me now who names you/ Tell me now who has won." The lyrical strength throughout the album is parallel to the equally mighty aural passages created by the four members of Toundra, a blackened canvas that Niño de Elche paints with masterful strokes of orthodox flamenco as well as the visceral singing and screaming in the final moments of "Un Hombre".

Even if Para quienes aún viven could stand by itself as a fantastic post rock record, it is that extra layer of folklore that melts with Exquirla's music, an influence that even transcends into their song crafting, what makes Para quienes aún viven a very special album. The 3/4 tempo that carries songs like "Destruidnos Juntos" or "Hijos de la Rabia" works wonders when combined with post rock temperate patterns like the one in "Un Hombre", making this album something not strange to post rock fans, furthermore, it helps the occasionally daunting style to breath with a gust of fresh air and a much needed distinct touch.

Exquirla have created a masterpiece that may be very well be used in future years as a stepping stone for further experimentation, upholding the heavy legacy of flamenco music with the robust pillars of post rock and defining a new zenith in regards to genre fusion to give voice to those that history might have forgotten, but whose suffering and misery will be forever imprint in Para quienes aún viven.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2018


16462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Long overdue. Special thanks to bgillesp who i know love this album and who motivated and reminded me to finish the write up.



Feedback appreciated as always. Thank you.



Digging: Cross Record - Cross Record

Papa Universe
February 1st 2018


22388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"seemingly"

seeming/apparent

Papa Universe
February 1st 2018


22388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You could also chop up the first paragraph in more than just one sentence.

Papa Universe
February 1st 2018


22388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Exquirla though,"

Exquirla, though,

Papa Universe
February 1st 2018


22388 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Anyway, POS quienes aun viven

Asdfp277
February 1st 2018


21076 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so this got a review

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2018


16462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Tx Uni, will make those fixes.



"so this got a review"



So I tried my dear, so I tried.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
February 1st 2018


2976 Comments


God, you make this sound fantastic. Excellent review. I started nitpicking but they're small and pretty inconsequential details, so take with a grain of salt:

"the fusion of these two different genres have proved to be a logical evolution in regards to Spanish music" -- it should be "has proved" I think, since we're talking about "the fusion" here (singular); "different" is a tad redundant here, too, because really any two genres are different genres. (I'm being pedantic, don't mind me, haha.) Also, "a mythical noise rock" reads better to me because placing "mythical" after "noise rock" makes it seem as though it's a part of the genre label (if it indeed is, excuse me). "hand by hand" is awkward phrasing; I think the idiom tends to go "hand by hand"? Anyway, massive pos, keep improving.

Digging: Bon Iver - i,i

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2018


16462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

You know Blush, that I would never decline a fix coming from you ;)



Definitely if you have time give this a listen. It is a far shot for your taste I believe but I think you'll find it interesting to say the least.

bgillesp
February 1st 2018


7045 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Amazing job my friend! I'd change the bit about "orthodox" in the second paragraph. You call them outstanding yet say they "bastardized and "eroded" the concept. Either they were good or ruined it but not both. Huge pos though

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2018


16462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Tx man, ummm bad choice of words yes! Def. no what I meant. Will change it.

bgillesp
February 1st 2018


7045 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cool! Sounds better now I think Will definitely check them out now too! Are you from Spain? You sure always have some good Spanish recs

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2018


16462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

That I am ;) Although I live in Japan. I actually shared stage once with Exquirla's guitar player with his other band Adrift, some 7 years ago. Really amazing people. My band that time also played with Orthodox 2 or 3 times.

bgillesp
February 1st 2018


7045 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I am super jelly

BlackwaterPork
February 1st 2018


4390 Comments


Did you apply for emiritus dewi?

bgillesp
February 1st 2018


7045 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's very likely I'll bump this to a 5 within the year I think

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2018


16462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I did Pork yeah, it has a nice metal ring to it, but I think there's a high ladder to climb before that ;)



Although the many fuck ups in this review probably show that I am not the man for the job haha...

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2018


16462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

And yeah bgill this is a borderline 5 for me already. Europa Muda is insane.

BlackwaterPork
February 1st 2018


4390 Comments


Nah mate you deserve that position, read multiple reviews of yours and I have thoroughly enjoyed each one

Hope you get it

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 1st 2018


16462 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Appreciate it man. We should know it soon I think.



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