Release DetailsLABEL Razorback
RELEASED ON 4/4/2005
Sinfonias del Terror Ciego
posted on 4/2005 By:
I’ve been listening to the latest album from Spanish grinders Machetazo, and I have to say that I’m not particularly impressed. Sinfonias del Terror Ciego strikes me as being boring and uninspired. The recording lacks hooks and catchy riffs, both of which are essential in the grind/thrash genre, the category that Machetazo falls under. Fellow countrymen Haemorrhage are the masters of this style, and they do it so much better. In fact, many people who despise grind in all of its forms make an exception for Haemorrhage. I don’t think they’ll be doing the same for Machetazo. First off, the production isn’t good. It sounds sloppy, and considering that the instrumentation itself is far from impeccable, the mix is quite a mess. Kick drums are muffled and sometimes buried by the guitars, which sound dull and lack bite. In short, the production coalesces into a muddy mess.
A promising movie sample sets the mood on the first track, and makes it seem as though good things are in store. The clip segues into a pretty straightforward groove riff, which is, unfortunately, about the most memorable thing here. From then on, the band runs through fourteen more tracks, none of them especially interesting. It should be noted that Sinfonias del Terror Ciego is only thirty two minutes long, including some lengthy samples. I just didn’t feel that the band put forth a consistent product. About half of the songs are two or three minute thrash pieces, while the others are short blasts of grind. The wild variation in song length doesn’t add to the record. Instead, it makes it seem uneven and disjointed. It was also rather irksome that the better tracks were the shorter ones – I was hoping that Machetazo would be able to keep up the intensity on the longer tracks, but they simply didn’t manage. It all sounds a bit uninspired and dull, especially since each song is basically one or two riffs played over and over again, and these don’t qualify as interesting or catchy anyway. Because of this, I feel that I can’t give a good songwriting score; I don’t see anything which suggests above average composition, either in terms of the song structures or the riffs themselves.
The musicianship itself struck me as rather sloppy and bereft of technicality. Other artists, such as Engorged, who are also signed to Razorback and play similar music, demonstrate a pretty high level of skill. Sinfonias, however, contains nary a solo; at least, not one that I can discern through the abysmal production. When I listen to a CD in order to review it, I sit down with a sheet of paper and take song by song notes on the album. Usually I can name a number of musical incidents which I appreciated either because of the chops necessary to play the part in question, or because of the compositional skill being displayed. For this disc, I could come up with virtually nothing to say. I can’t even cite examples of things I disliked, because my song descriptions were so similar to one another: “starts with thrashy riff, peters out.” Anyhow, I wasn’t particularly happy with the guitar work, and the drums seemed merely average. The bass playing was the only thing that stood out, and the only aspects of this record which I can truly say brought a smile to my face were the segments where the bass was more audible. Vocally, it’s the usual fare, with low, hoarse grunts and sporadic high-pitched screeches. I admire the fact that the lyrics are in the band’s native Spanish, but I don’t admire much else.
I really wanted to like this album – I love almost all Razorback stuff, and albums put out on that label are usually of high quality. It just seems that it would be a poor investment to put money or even listening time towards this effort, considering that there are much more deserving bands. I think that Machetazo need to return with tighter musicianship and more involved songwriting, not to mention better production. Until then, unless you are an absolute grind fanatic, divert your attention elsewhere.
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