At times it’s difficult not to think of some movements in metal as regional. From the origins of Doom and Doom/Death from northern England, the Melodic Death from Sweden, and of course the genesis of Black Metal in Norway. With that then I couldn’t help but think of other South American bands of brutality when listening to Chile’s THORNAFIRE. While venturing their own take on the ribald nature of Death Metal, it is also easy to conjure thoughts of KRISIUN and early SEPULTURA in some aspects; brutality splayed open for all to hear with a morbid atmosphere backing it up with simple guitar notes in counterpoint. Ultimately this is slashing and cutting music for those who want their auditory sense raped and laid to die.
Mixing in tinges here and there of Black Metal riffing, “Vorex Deconstrucción” veers slightly from the aforementioned approach of the rough hewn art of hammering you over the head repeatedly, though not so much as to deny its own violent nature. In that vein then one can also hear quite a bit of BEHEMOTH creeping in on the proceedings, in fact perhaps the band they most resemble. With Alexis Muñox similarly attacking with vocals that jut and thrust, as much a weapon of aural bludgeon in much the same way Nergal does with the mentioned Polish masters. Shifting tempos isn’t their MO, but enough of it exists to give the record some needed breathing space; a careen into mid-aced Death tempo here and a flirt with Thrash speed there. Still, a full frontal attack is the bands primary objective with no let up, and that isn’t exactly the worst state to be found in is it? While conjuring moments of MORBID ANGEL at times, THORNAFIRE push sliding Death riffs along with slower double-bass pumping drums for most of the albums duration. Around the periphery of some of the tracks are nifty little short note chords at a higher pitch that underlie the continuous deep, brash attack of the chugging guitar. Like their SA brethren KRISIUN, THORNAFIRE are a trio who are as fully flushed out as any quartet or quintet for that matter. Sure, harmonies are absent but in the realm of Death Metal that isn’t a terribly rare occurrence no matter the number of guitars involved.
Sang exclusively in Spanish, for the shockingly ignorant like myself it means virtually nothing can be gleaned from the lyrics, even though Muñox is pretty clear in his enunciation, even though done through a harsh delivery. Along with this are a few moments when female voices pepper songs again in Spanish. But as is my long standing take on lyrics and themes, I couldn’t give a shit what bands sing about for the most part, so it is no loss for me. What matters is music, and in that frame THORNAFIRE do a pretty stable job of spewing forth a violent and caustic force of Death Metal. Though not head turning, “Vorex Deconstrucción” is an entry into the encyclopaedia of Metal that should have heads and fist swaying with some decent amount of fury.
(Online November 2, 2009)