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Album Review: Invehertex – Hacia el Vortice

Fans should be thankful for bands like Chilean black metal artisans Invehertex for albums like Hacia el Vortice, a black metal monument from a black metal force that is just awakening. Hacia el Vortice is clearly one of the best debut black metal albums in recent history, along with the UK’s Wode and the self-titled album the latter band has released this year. Largely, black metal from South America tends to be overlooked by many labels and fans. Relegated to sporadic releases on underground labels, bands from this geographical region are not known for raw, icy black metal like we hear on Hacia el Vortice. The fill-ins sound De Mysteriis-like, and most of the riffs play at blistering tempos, all captured like it was Norway circa 1991. Clearly, hell must be smiling on this three-piece from the Chilean underground.

A surprising release for its quality and craftsmanship, Hacia el Vortice features at least two tracks that run for the length of twenty plus minutes. Drummer El Destello Olvidado’s arms must be made of steel, as the blasts often last minutes at a time at breakneck speeds. Interspersed within the album are two minute ambient tracks that feature some disturbing vocals and chants. Two of the tracks run for a humane eight to ten minutes in length respectively, while title track and highlight piece “Hacia el Vortice” runs for twenty-five minutes and features rung notes and throaty vocal roars and screeches.

Mainstream metal fans will read this review and take it that I mean to compare the band to black metal progenitors like Mayhem or Emperor, but both of these aforementioned bands feature a different style. Presumably, Invehertex plays more epic numbers, with riffs that either tintinnabulates with the sounds of icicles, or slices with a razor’s sharpness on tremolo-picked strings. In fact, Mayhem and Emperor play distinctly catchier material. They write more standard-fare songs that black metal in its heyday featured more frequently. Invehertex, on the other hand, hardly rasps words to the tune of a stanza-bridge-chorus-stanza song structure. They sound like vocal attenuations- accentuating the music more than singing actual lyrics.

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Invehertex

 

 

“Hacia el Vortice,” the title-track, doesn’t stay with slow ringing notes and icy strums forever, and this is also true of their other twenty minute track, “Aurora Magna.” Both tracks often play at tempos too thrilling to be utilized as sedentary music to ease the workday. As mentioned, the drumming is particularly impressive here, the fill-ins often performed to take leave off blastbeats, lasting only seconds at a time while the blasts literally run for minutes.

The production values are complicit with the style. Suitably raw, with only the steel strings, tom-toms and vocals being audible, its a predictably appropriate decision by the band to utilize necro production in homage to originators of the craft.

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If black metal was truly what it’s been described to be – ritual music for the horned one, of course – Hacia el Vortice does comply with that belief. Black metal artisans playing trve black metal art, Invehertex intrigue with Hacia el Vortice, a debut album mirroring giants of the scene, a stunning release from a band with affiliations to underground entities Cenotafio and Odrum. They comprise a collective bent on endearing an old style with fans who have yet to relive circa second wave black metal in its most epic forms, or fans of circa second wave black metal that think they’ve heard it all. Mind you, this is not symphonic black metal, and neither is this predictably punk-influenced a’la Carpathian Forest. This is epic holocaustic black metal art that is expansive of the simple form, and is further proof that black metal bands today are not always inferior to the style’s earlier practitioners. In fact, they prove that the contrary is still sometimes trve.

 

 

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Written By

Provocateur/Connoiseur of all things dark and grisly. Published author and freelance editor addicted to underground metal of the highest order! Al Necro lives and writes in Manila, Philippines. Abandon hope, all ye who read Al Necro!

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