Los Males del Mundo formed in Argentina as a collaboration between Cristian Yans (ex-Eroica) and Dany Tee (Acathexis, Downfall of Nur), with Nikita Kamprad from Der Weg Einer Freiheit joining later as a guest bassist and producer. Chances are good if you’ve been following black metal releases over the past five years or so you’ve come across the bands Tee and Kamprad have been involved with, and with their debut full-length Descent Towards Death Los Males Del Mundo deserves to have this same level of notoriety. Spread across five tracks, this album takes a melodic approach to black metal that allows dark and ominous layers to get under your skin while still pummeling with harsher riffs.
There’s been a common tone to some of the atmospheric/melodic black metal bands from South American countries like Argentina and Chile, with the material often channeling a much darker and haunting atmosphere with lyrics that take a look into the darkest parts of human emotion and desires. Los Males del Mundo captures this early on in Descent Towards Death, as the twelve-minute opener “Falling Into Nothing” takes listeners on a rollercoaster of somber melodies and abrasive blasting. It starts off with much softer yet ominous instrumentation where bursts of distortion hover over cleaner melodies, ultimately unleashing a wall of dense layers where the riffs feel like waves in the ocean that are capable of pulling you under to the depths below. Los Males del Mundo achieves this constant sense of dread and raw emotion through subtle shifts between mid-tempo passages and blasting ones, giving natural lulls to the whirlwind that just barely allow you to catch your breath. At times it reminds me of Selbst’s Relatos de angustia from last year, as there’s a similar dark, angry tone that has a very human touch to the material, though this band is pulling from a slightly different set of musical influences. Admittedly I did find that that the way these songs ebb and flow made some of the shorter ones blur together slightly, with the beginning and ending tracks that stretch to ten minutes or longer providing the most variety and some of the most stunning moments. How Los Males del Mundo utilize these shorter stretches in between the longer ones could really go a long way in making their music even more impactful in the future, though they’ve established a very strong base throughout Descent Towards Death.
If you’ve listened to Acathexis or Downfall of Nur, you’ll notice familiar high-pitched screams and shrieks courtesy of Dany Tee that seem to rip through the layers of sound with spine chilling levels of intensity. What continues to impress me about Tee is how easily he’s able to move from lower pitched growls and grittier vocalization over to those ear piercing shrieks without any awkward transitions or loss of energy, and this really helps to enhance the most chaotic and aggressive sections Los Males del Mundo has to offer. It also helps that the vocals are prominent in the mix, coming through in a way that allows them to consistently stand out rather than being buried in the density of the instrumentals.
Chile and Argentina in particular have produced some incredible black metal over the years, with many of the bands taking a more emotive and psychologically influenced approach to the genre that feels just as aggressive as the more traditional variants. Los Males del Mundo is another promising addition, and they’ve woven together somber melodies and pummeling aggressive passages in a way that proves to be very enticing. While there is still some room to further differentiate the shorter tracks, there’s still a lot of depth to this debut that make it worth checking out. Descent Towards Death is available from Northern Silence Productions.
-Review by Chris Dahlberg
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