reviews-paraiso-sin-fe-en (Singapore)

(19 Jun 2013)

Spain has delivered quite a number of surprises over the years, and for some reason, my impression of bands from the region has always been somewhat similar to the barbaric and filthy styles of bands of South American origins. Getting Karonte‘s sophomore full length album, Paraiso sin fe in my mailbox one day came as quite a surprise then, with the band playing death metal in a more melodic style.

It has been six years since the band’s last release, and only the second full length release since the band’s formation all the way back in 1994. These guys are therefore certainly not newcomers to extreme metal, and this is quickly proven as soon as the first notes of the album hit the listener. Don’t be fooled by the melodic death metal tag that the band adopts, as the first few moments of Carne are brutal as fuck, with the downtuned, trem-picked riffs along with the crushing drumming fusing together to create a rather oppressive atmosphere, and the deep guttural growls of Kini helping to make the listening experience all the more abrasive. However, along with the brutality in the music, the band has also infused a rather groovy feel in the music, and with the mid-pace that the band goes at, one is easily reminded of such acts as Jungle Rot, Obituary and Bolt Thrower, only broodier and darker.

While the rhythmic section of the band provides the heaviness and brutality in the music, the melodic side of the band comes in with the lead guitars on the album, and just on opening track Carne, Karonte‘s style of fusing aggressiveness and melody is already shown on the melodic, extended guitar solos, dripping with emotion and overwhelming the listener with a sense of melancholy. The lead guitars might not be particularly technical or complex, yet it is nice to hear how the band manages to combine these seemingly contradicting elements together to provide a rather unique listening experience, especially on tracks like La piedad de los débiles.

Unfortunately, the mid-pace that the band goes at tends to wear the listener out as the album progresses. It is not the mid-pace per se that is tiring, but the rather repetitive character of the band’s style, and songs like Mercado infecto drag on for much too long before hitting the climax. While it is understandable that this could have very well been the intention of the band, it definitely has the potential to put off those looking for a dose of adrenaline in their music.

Apart from that though, Karonte‘s sophomore full length effort has been rather impressive, and those looking for a melodic, melancholic style of death/doom metal would definitely be pleased by Paraiso sin fe.