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Abatuar – Mortandad

by Matt Bozenda at 25 October 2020, 2:40 PM

Keeping kayfabe is the concept in professional wrestling of maintaining the facade of one’s gimmick. Randy Savage kept the faith, as by all accounts, the man you saw cutting fiery promos was pretty much the same man who shopped at a grocery store and put gas in his car. But then there was George “The Animal” Steele, whose barbaric in-ring persona contrasted starkly to that of Bill Myers, mild-mannered high school shop teacher and football coach. Just as every wrestler makes a choice as to what degree they separate their personal and professional lives, so it goes in many similar ways for heavy metal. There are metalheads out there in sweater vests giving botany lectures, just as surely as there are metalheads out there in corpse paint watching television static alone in a dark room. Is one more or less metal than the other?

Whatever one’s belief on the subject of metal kayfabe, you have to reserve a certain bit of admiration for the ones who do take it all very seriously. Such musicians have a tendency to truly leave it all out there, keeping nothing in reserve. In this case, a Panamanian metal militant known only as ‘Cadáver’ is the mastermind behind Death Metal/Grindcore "Mortandad", the second full-length album by ABATUAR. The follow-up to 2017’s "Perversiones De Muerta Putrefacta" follows along the same meat-grinder orthodoxy that brought the project to the present day, and even with the edges still thoroughly roughed out, it demonstrates a clear forward movement for the band’s songwriting.

The Spanish skills of this critic are… well, they’re non-existent, really, so the international language of heavy metal is all we have to go on here. The translated track titles should also give an idea of the content. The opening track, "Ritual Nigromante Por Medio De Profanación De Cámaras Funerarias", or, roughly, “Necromancer Ritual Through Desecration Of Burial Chambers”, is a well-rounded tune even while coming in at just a hair under three minutes, with growling that could be mistaken for backmasking and the ability to get the shoulders involved in the headbanging.

The next track is nearly a minute shorter. "La Muerte Ha Llegado Todos Lo Pueden Ver Ataré Tus Manos Hasta Que No Puedas Defenderte", or "Death Has Come, Everyone Can See It, Bind Your Hands Until You Can’t Defend Yourself", has such an explosive cadence and sneaks in a vintage wailing solo that it stands well enough on its own.

At four and a quarter minutes, "Perversa Psicopatía De Infantes Homicidas Que Juegan Con Sangre Y Vísceras", disturbingly translated as "Perverse Pyscopathy Of Homicidal Infants Who Play In Blood And Viscera", is the second longest track on the album. Being presumably about the activities of the evil and womb-bound, the instruments create an atmosphere of sonic terror and chaotic uncertainty that makes it stand out as the album highlight. This is the formula for the remainder until the final track, "Rituales Necrófagos En La Selva Maldita" or "Ghoul Rituals In The Cursed Jungle", which is the actual longest track, but the first eighty seconds are the terrifying sound of what must be human sacrifice, while the last minute relies heavily on the sound of indigenous percussion.

Overall, "Mortandad" doesn’t dig new ground, but it does dig old ground and leaves the corpses out for everyone to see, which is definitely something. The conservative approach to the genre is done with real finesse, and provides a vintage feel combined with the unique modernity of each track.

ABATUAR doesn’t at any time claim to be for the faint-hearted and "Mortandad" reflects that. It’s also an improvement from previous efforts, which certainly puts the pressure on the ever-important third album. Whoever he chooses for the supporting cast, Cadáver seems serious enough about it and has the talent to make a real breakthrough. That breakthrough, however, feels like it will also maintain a niche appeal, a certain audience that was here for it anyways, rather than a broader appeal. Then again, who’s to say that wasn’t the point all along?

Musicianship: 7
Songwriting: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Ritual Nigromante Por Medio De Profanación De Cámaras Funerarias
2. La Muerte Ha Llegado Todos Lo Pueden Ver Ataré Tus Manos Hasta Que No Puedas Defenderte
3. Sanguinaria Ejecución De Individuos Despreciables
4. Perversa Psicopatía De Infantes Homicidas Que Juegan Con Sangre Y Vísceras
5. Solo Los Que Han Matado Entenderán Esta Sensación No Puedo Esperar A Estrangular De Nuevo
6. Rameras Desfiguradas Y Enterradas Vivas En Antro De Tortura Y Depravación Demoniaca
7. Trastorno Esquizoide De Trisomía Sexual XYY Con Impulsos Asesinos Y Necrófilos
8. Estrangulamiento De Prostitutas Callejeras Como Medio De Liberación De La Ira Y Lujuria
9. Exterminio Humano Por Hambruna E Inanición Sistemática En Regiones Sublevadas
10. Rituales Necrófagos En La Selva Maldita
Cadáver – Vocals, drums
Yigo Manzo – Guitars
Aníbal Sucre – Bass, leads
Record Label: Dunkelheit Produktionen


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