Siaskel - Haruwen Airen - (8/10)
Published on October 14, 2016
Chilean horde Siaskel has been around for quite some time, yet their primitively gripping form of black/death metal has gone largely unnoticed by the outside world. The band recently released their second full length album, Haruwen Airen. It initially dropped as an independent digital release through the band’s Bandcamp page, but was quickly picked by Graceless Recordings for a cassette release and now will be seeing a CD release through Signal Rex.
Anyone who listened to the band’s debut, Jatenentolpen Thejin, should immediately recognize the band’s discordant structures, blistering instrumentation and occasional tribal infusion. That being said, the band’s latest offering offers a bit more breathing room and a much more controlled approach. Despite the band being well rooted in the humid and sweltering sounds of South American black/death metal, the production is remarkable clear, offering a crisp and bright insight into the malformed riffing and spastic percussion; all with a remarkably fat low end. It’s still a rather grotesque slab of contorted death metal mixed with unholy black metal, it’s just that the instrumentation is pronounced instead of lurking underneath fifty levels of murk and distortion.
Haruwen Airen deftly merges between hard hitting black/death metal with blasting percussion and chaotic, Morbid Angel influenced riffing and fiery tremolo riffing that sounds rooted in the heart of the second wave. An occasional burst of first wave swagger or nimble guitar leads adds a multifaceted approach to their sound, yet nothing sounds forced or rushed. Those sweeping trem runs offer a dash of breathing space in an otherwise suffocation assault of twisted South American black/death metal.
These guys have stepped up from their debut and brought an engaging album that pretty much destroys everything in its path. From the bulldozer rhythms during “Hais” to the frosted sweeping trems of “Mai-ich”, Siaskel covers a lot of ground. Yet, despite the frenetic approach the band is able to bend the nuances and stylings into a destructively cohesive sound. Twisted South American death metal with more than a few nods to the peak of the second wave, Siaskel have crafted a solid album that deserves a lot more attention that it’s gotten.