De La Cuna A La Tumba: 'De La Cuna A La Tumba'
(The Braves Records, 2015)
In the Iberian Peninsula we have a great band, from a time now almost part of our musical heritage: Berri Txarrak. But a band alone, no matter how “great”, cannot generate a scene, does not “invite” other artists to take their example and play using novel resources, but usually serves as a mere addition to other scenes: more often than not, it becomes a relic, a curiosity. I always felt sorry for the loneliness of the heroic Navarran band, a loneliness that, ultimately, was the loneliness of us all. Who knows how much I yearned for a band like this one I'll present now!
De la Cuna a la Tumba (“From the Cradle to the Grave”) are a band from Seville, with all of their members coming from other notable formations, a fact that the listener will clearly notice both from their compositional skills and the quality of their execution.
Undoubtedly, the presence of Kantz (singer for the great band Tenpel) will outshine the rest of the members, but everyone of them satisfies anything we might require from them in excess.
And to know what we might require, we should put things in context. Post-Hardcore has always appeared to me as the dark side of a coin shared whit political hardcore, even Oi!, a “musical token” marked by a critical stance. Whereas political hardcore directs its darts of logic against concrete social realities, post-hardcore acts much in the same way, but with the reason of feelings having a higher priority than politics. In particular, this album (a record that one could say to be born from breeze and fire) attacks the worship of appearance, ignorance, the unavoidable pain caused by the circumstances imposed upon us... and many other things, because lyrics are more evocative than concrete, and surely will make every listener recall their own personal experiences. Their main tool for getting the message across is, for most of the album, just one feeling: rage, channeled through technical artifice.
In general, this band's sonic staging reminded me of the “solutions” proposed by one of those huge band that are as epic as controversial: Thrice.
They manage to always mark the difference when compared with the rest of the genre
The high quality of the singing and its versatility or their usage of experimental textures and harmonies brings to mind the field that the Californians covered in their most melodic era. Nevertheless, their fury, ideology and fighting spirit remind of the New Yorker school: Brand New or, specially, Thursday. In some other cases, the band uses resources that might seem related with the British school, almost forgotten today. In particular, the condensed pop sensibilities of the first Reuben. And despite their similarities with other notable bands, they manage to always mark the difference when compared with the rest of the genre. In some cases, Jaime's guitar sound (labyrinthine, almost meddling, always so fluid) is the responsible, but in most cases it is Kantz' ineffable voice, as glorifying as it is bewildering, keeping a fluctuating balance amongst the strife and storm always coming from the instrumental section.
This album shines with a special strength in its two first songs, 'Los Callados' (The Silent Ones) and 'Catalizador' (Catalyst), that are a showcase of every element that will be developed along the way: two bombs of significant destructive power that nevertheless always manage to maintain the delicate balance always nurtured by the band, never falling for the excesses that are known to prey on this genre: the abyss of chaos and despair is a continuous, almost inviting, presence, but the other influences that permeate the album, specially those derived from a more measured and intellectual post-metal stance, prevent the madness that many times stems from confronting such an abyss. Wouldn't it be joyous to see this band detonate this two artifacts live?
A stronger hardcore vein bursts into 'Huesos' (Bones), a merciless memento mori that condemns without restrictions so many attitudes and norms that enrage us every day.
Chaos, unleashed with this third Pandora's box, segues into 'De Bruma' (Of Mist), a number that, besides furious, is technical and dizzying. The repetitive rhythm base, that would end up broken, is used by Kantz as a canvas to draw a stumbling trip through a burning forest that gets us one step closer to those abysses I mentioned before. 'Por muy lejos que intentemos ir' (No matter how far we try to go) is basically storytelling over a musical base that, while keeping us from taking the step needed to fall, also keep us staring into the darkness. At last, 'Modo Vuelo' (Flight Mode) manages to alleviate our spirit with beautiful harmonies and intricate riffs that show, between swerves, that passion and determination are also feelings well known by the band.
The album is closed by a singular suite of two different songs that functions as a final ornament for such a masterfully structured album: 'El sin sueño' (The Dreamless), that I'll better leave for everyone to discover, from its solemn beginning to its unsettling end.
Musicians that every lover of this genres should follow closely
I must reiterate the surprise that finding such a post-hardcore/metal album today causes to me. It's hard to partake in such a genre while also assimilating experimental influences from prog rock and metal without falling into the excess and vacuity that permeates the efforts of, for an example, Dance Gavin Dance. However, it's also subjectively possible for me to point out some flaws of an album that I nevertheless recommend everyone to listen. The main flaw is that it is one demanding album: the listener should be on the right state of mind to enjoy it completely. I know that in other stages of my life, when post-hardcore was the main course in my artistic meals, I would have enjoyed this album far more than I can today.
To sum it all up: a notable album from some musicians that, from now on, every lover of this relatively new genres should follow closely. I can see clearly that the future has reserved an important role to play for this band in Spanish underground music scene, and that the complexity and fineness of their compositions will do nothing but increase.
Text: Dimas F. Otero
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