Hola, and in today’s Spanish lesson we explore the phrase “Es hora de moler bastardos.’ Well if the Internet translation tool has not let me down, as frankly I am shite at foreign languages it should translate to ‘It’s time to grind, bastards’ as that is what these gents from Barcelona are all about with lashings of death along the way. Their name means something along the lines of a bastardisation of a snake and a bear, a combination you certainly wouldn’t want creeping or slithering up to you in the woods and this album the group’s second, is a pretty damn vicious affair. Apparently we are told that it’s for fans of everything from Pig Destroyer, Cattle Decapitation through to The Body, Nails, Full Of Hell and Integrity, a pretty good mix. We can probably discount a few of these due to the length of the songs (9 in 40 mins) but it certainly doesn’t lack in the intensity stakes.
Released by a slew of different labels on various formats (I’ve plumped as suggested by Metal Archives) the band immediately cast a cold atmosphere over things with some sinister and brooding effects before battering away with huge bruising drums and sinister guitar melody. Yep this is deathly, black and tarry stuff, fast but hefty and controlled too. Vocals are rough and gruff and slow lumbering movements are put into the music allowing you to really bow your head down and be brutalized by them. There’s a bit of an Entombed like flavour to the guitars and this certainly rolls in a more than rotten way and also begins to get some further dimension vocally by a second throat-singer adding some higher and cleaner parts to the mix. Track titles like the vocals I assume are in Catalan and provide clues to the narrative around the songs if you want to delve in further, for me the music walks the talk pretty damn well on its own though. I like many different aspects along the way here though including some slower muscular parts where the second track slows, chunders away and although not giving out a beat-down per se certainly knocks you into submission. When at full force the band pretty much flatten everything in their path and powerfully bruise away but with plenty of melody around the tumult.
There’s a bit of an experimental streak too which sees them punctuating things with sonic contortions and noise around the tracks, it fits in perfectly and adds to the atmosphere around everything giving it an air of futility and bleakness. Squealing guitars bleed out on songs like ‘Caça furtive’ which gorily grinds away in true style complete with some nice shrill vocal squawks accompanying the guttural low end growls. The longest track ‘La falç de Saturn’ is a huge ominous rumbling beast, cloaked in darkness at beginning and boiling like lava into Neurosian like heft and weathered growls. There is that Cattle Decap feeling here atmospherically too and it’s incredibly interesting and far from formulaic like a lot of this music can be. It seems like the band have plenty of different ideas here and are far from thuggish bruisers simply battering away and letting the brutality do all the talking; that said when they do they can manage that pretty admirably too. At just over 2 minutes the next number does just that and no doubt will have heads cracking together in a seething pit full of ugly live. Weathering the storm and making it through to the ‘El Buit’ we are rewarded by being flung in the emptiness that is a horrifying electronic soundscape of noise. Naturally it bears fruit and flourishes into a violent bloody climax leaving you feeling like you have been dragged through a hedge backwards. Ósserp have pretty much smashed it here and even if I’m never going to speak their lingo fluently they have definitely taught me a thing or two here with this lesson in violence.
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)