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Guerra Total - El Armagedon Continua

Guerra Total
El Armagedon Continua
by Erika Kuenstler at 24 February 2014, 1:34 AM

What happens when the grim, dark, coldness collides with furious, relentless, aggression? I speak, of course, of the most unholy of matrimonies, of what happens when Old School Black meets Thrash Metal. The answer, the evil hell-child that is spawned from this tempestuous affair, is something dark and reckless: GUERRA TOTAL. With their name aptly translating to “total war”, this Colombian band labels themselves as Speed Black Rock ‘n Roll Horror masters, and they have unleashed unto this world their latest offering: “El Armagedón Continúa”. The Armageddon Continues. Released through the Swedish record label I Hate, this is the latest chapter in this distinctive band’s history, and is exactly what you would expect based on their previous releases. The album title pretty much says it all in terms of what the album reflects: an uncompromising and uncompromised sound, with no attempts to make it sound pretty or to try and impress anyone. It is pure, it is raw, and it is harsh: with it, GUERRA TOTAL have declared war, and they are taking no prisoners.

Whilst much of the guitar riffs and shredding are reminiscent of the sounds found in the music of revered forefathers and pioneers of Thrash and New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, GUERRA TOTAL have outdone themselves in embracing and incorporating the rawness so prized by earlier Black Metal into their music, an impressive feat considering the cleanness of the overall recording quality. Another striking feature of this recording when compared with its contemporaries is the dynamics of the various instruments. The vocals and the guitars very much dominate and form the driving force of the album, with the bass and the drums taking the much more subdued back-seat, something especially evident in songs such as “Grande Messe des Morts”. Whilst this is interesting, it also lends the album a clinical and distantiated feeling, which does dampen the underlying passion somewhat.

Nevertheless, from riffs of pure evil comparable to BATHORY’s most malevolent creations to the most punishing shredding that would not be out of place in a BLIND GUARDIAN song, “El Armagedón Continúa” seems to have it all. This gives the overall impression that GUERRA TOTAL have taken all the definitive sounds from Thrash, Rock N’ Roll, and Black Metal, and combined it all into a coherent whole which lacks just one ingredient: their own unique contribution. Having said that, one thing that I did appreciate was the fact that several of the songs were in Spanish; so many bands switch almost completely to English in an attempt to appeal to a broader international audience, and in the process lose their own identity, so it is refreshing to see a band which sticks to its guns.

If you crave technical and brutal, this definitely is not for you, but if your ears yearn for a more nostalgic sound, if you wish to close your eyes and be transported back to the 1980’s, then I definitely recommend you give GUERRA TOTAL a listen. 

3 Star Rating

1. Gritos del Holocausto Final (Intro)
2. Nuclear Zombie Division
3. Post Apocalíptica
4. Bestial Evil Genocide
5. El Armagedón Continúa
6. Misanthropist God
7. Grande Messe des Morts
8. Satan's Army of the Apocalypse
9. El Color Que Cayó del Cielo
10. Black Speed Rock and Roll
Demonslaught - Bass, Vocals
Majestic Fire - Guitars (lead)
Jordicaz - Vocals
Death Fiend - Guitars
Sick punisher - Drums
Record Label: I Hate Records


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