Label: Pest Records / War Ogre Records
Date: January 31st, 2023
There comes a day when I’m in a dire need for some unbridled and unrestrained South American fury and in those occasions there are few places better to browse through than Peru. The vibrant yet forever underexplored scene always capable of spewing forth at least a couple of downright killers. Thus, when the Romanian brethren from Pest Records provided the scratch for my filthy death metal itch, I didn’t hesitate.
However, my thirst is left unsatisfied. Far be it, though, from blaming Disinter. Blame the prejudice. Me jumping to conclusions. But not the band. Not even slightly. I wanted the South American wrath. As it turns out, Disinter have other ideas when it comes to performing death metal. Namely, instead of Mortem, I’ve gotten a taste of Suffocation. Sort of.
Precisely speaking, Disinter did keep some of their roots intact, though as it seems, they’re using that unmistakable blend of death, thrash and primal black metal, so characteristic for Peruvian, Chilean and somewhat Brazilian scene, as an atmospheric carpet upon which they are building an overly US styled death metal. I’ve mentioned Suffocation, but I could’ve easily gone for Deicide, Immolation, mid-career Morbid Angel… Peruvians are relying on strong and catchy riffing first and foremost, leaving the technicality on the sideline, as a mean rather than an end. This way they are launching one brutal attack after another, subduing everything to the piercing power of their charge.
The one aspect of “Guerra Eterna” that actually succumbs to technical skillfulness are the guitar solos, though they are rather short and resemble short stabs with a tactical knife. Other than those, Disinter keeps things pretty straight-forward, keeping their eyes on the prize at all times.
Now, the one obvious keepsake from South America is the Spanish language. I can’t say about you, but the usage of Spanish language always makes me think of South America much more than its actual homeland. Perhaps it’s about their scene always being further explored due to the exotic factor and hence much more familiar to underground fanatics. Of course, Spaniards having what appears to be a thousand differing languages pertaining each to its own region, causing their bands to often opt for English, might have something to do with it.
In the particular case of this Peruvian quartet and their fourth full length album, among many shorter releases, it is a concept record, split into three chapters of four songs each. Well, three songs and an introduction to the chapter. And speaking of the colonizing force, “Guerra Eterna” seems to revolve around the fighting between the Incas and the conquistadores. Of course, as a death metal band Disinter didn’t simply tell the story from the history textbooks. The tale, as told on the album, includes all the dark rituals, ancient pagan gods and beliefs, brutality of war, mercilessness towards enemy survivors, as well as glorifying the victorious and the fallen comrades alike.
In that regard, Disinter shows they are capable of laying down the musical background for such stories. In particular, “El brujo de los Andes” displays a downright spectacular pagan like guitar segment which easily induces a trance-like feeling of enchantment by a high priest on top of Machu Picchu. The most brilliant moment of the record, without a doubt!
Even if the rest of the record aspires towards similar ends, it does so rather shyly. Death metal reigns supreme, while the pagan motifs mostly dwell in the atmospheric achievements of dense production-work. That might just be the only real issue with “Guerra Eterna”. The death metal side of Disinter is not too convincing, while the side that could bring them immense success in underused. Basically, as a death metal album, it is a good effort that should satisfy all the fans, doesn’t matter if they favor North or South America of perhaps the European scene. However, it falls very short of being a stellar release that needs to land in every serious collection.
What “Guerra Eterna” does do is present ideas that Disinter could exploit to infinity and to great benefit, as well as their ability to do so with relative ease. Whether they will stubbornly stick to what they’ve been doing for decades now or try out some new horizons, remains to be seen.