El fallo de Jericho

Hace unos dias terminé de ver el último capítulo de la que se dice la última temporada de esta serie de cosas nucelares.

Por un lado, creo que soy el único que se quedó satisfecho con el final de la primera y me habría quedado muy tranquilo si la serie hubiera acabado en ese punto: las cosas parecen arreglarse y se ha formado un nuevo gobierno, pero ya es demasiado tarde para el pequeño pueblecito de Jericho, que se encuentra en guerra con un pueblo vecino.

Una serie centrada, mayormente, en la vida post-bomba de un pueblo en medio de la inmensa nada de los EEUU: el gobierno local tratando de mantener la paz y el orden a la vez que hace la vista gorda a los trapicheos necesarios para mantenerse abastecidos, rivalidades con los pueblos vecinos y en definitiva el reajuste a una forma de vida más a la antigua. El tema conspiranoico de las bombas no deja de ser una subtrama -importante, pero subtrama- centrada en el personaje de Hawkins, que también participa en las demás, y en la que ningún otro habitante del pueblo se ve involucrado hasta el final.

Entonces llega la segunda temporada y el foco de la serie cambia completamente: el nuevo gobierno central se instala en forma de unidad del ejército y se apoya en dos empresas, una gran ‘consultora’ y una de ‘seguridad privada’ -ambas malvadas y corruptas, por supuesto-, se restablecen los servicios básicos y el tema de las bombas pasa a ser el único.

No me extraña que haya tenido poco éxito. El mensaje de la serie cambia completamente, y la fulminante cancelación hace que todo tenga que apresurarse hasta un final feliz que no resulta para nada satisfactorio. Los malos odiosos mueren y el país -o lo que queda de el- está a salvo una vez más.

Dark Suns – “Grave Human Genuine”

Dark Suns - “Grave Human Genuine”You can find a Spanish version of this review in Friedhof Magazine, an extreme metal magazine. It’s thanks to them that I got it, and they are kind enough to let me republish this on my personal site.

Dark Suns – “Grave Human Genuine”
Prophecy Productions

Progressive Dark Metal
7/10
Release: 22/Feb/2008 Germany, 25/Feb/2008 Rest of the world.

The worst you could say about Dark Suns is this. The first and possibly wrong impression that hits on the first listening of “Grave Human Genuine” is that Dark Suns want to be the german Opeth. That could do as a review and I’d be done.
But I feel the neet to add that this album will be very enjoyable for those of the progressive metal crowd that like it deep and dark. Elaborate, beautiful melodies that don’t sound baroque. Bass and drums much more than correct, on their rightful place as support for an ample cast: from skillfully executed metal riffs to atmospheric piano segments. Maybe my ear is not educated enough to appreciate the complexity of the progressions, and rythm shifts of some of the tracks, but they are there, no doubt. Clear voices make a debut, their previous albums featuring quite rougher vocals.
“Grave Human Genuine” is, from the p.o.v. of someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy this genre, an interesting piece. Eight tracks (plus bonus!) that don’t sound tiring even for a second of their 58 minutes of excellent production. Well balanced, it starts pounding with “Stampede”, the track that makes you think someone’s serigraphed Dark Suns on a Opeth compact. Then it relaxes for a bit and works up again through the end of “The Chameleon Defect”, the most frenzied moment of the album. It lets some steam out then, so you can enjoy the vocal work on “Free of you” and “Papillon”, which closes the job.

Nucleus Torn – “Knell”

You can find a Spanish version of this review in Friedhof Magazine, an extreme metal magazine. It’s thanks to them that I got it, and they are kind enough to let me republish this on my personal site.

Nucleus Torn – “Knell”
Prophecy Productions
Progressive / Dark Ambient
8/10

The first time I listened to “Knell” with the prospect of reviewing it, a few weeks ago, I felt like the world was crumbling over me. “Knell” is a complex piece of work, an amalgam of classical bits, progressive segments and nearly silent intermissions that makes the task of telling something about it that doesn’t sound fragmented and a little incoherent just short of impossible.

It’s one of those records that you can’t grok the first time you hear it. In fact, first hearings are quite boring, like a school lesson from an uninterested teacher who keeps going on and on in a monotone voice. It’s a complex, enigmatic, evoking album, which can, and must be listened to on so many levels. Dark, minimalist, upsetting and many other adjectives could also define it. Depressing and inspiring, relaxing and stimulating at the same time. It’s an album which is as best suited to listen when you go to bed, as to listen when you’re trying to start your creativity for working.

Only as you go through repeated listenings, with all the attention it’s worth, you can appreciate the presence of each and every instrument, the very purpose of its intervention. Piano, bouzouki and female voice on the soothing, intimate and whispering calm-before-the-storm moments; male voice, guitar and percussion on the all-out storm ones, strident, interspersed with quasi-silent segments during which each and every echo of previous sounds is left to die -for minutes- while sinister conversations between violin and cello take place.

Too many words that can’t hope to describe an album which encompasses both the deepness of classical music and the energy of the most avant-garde progressive metal. If you can excuse the pun, you can’t judge such an experimental work just by reading a few paragraphs: you need to experiment it. Go through every layer, slowly digesting it until you extract your own conclusion. The only sure thing you can expect is that you won’t be indifferent.