Proscrito
El Calvario EP

You’re going to want to cover your mouth and nose before entering the area.  7 of ‘em.  Needles and the usual paraphernalia scattered around.  Definitely a junkie den.  All in more or less the same state of decomposure.  Ironically, not from the heroin.  No, an outbreak of flesh eating bacterial staff infection.  ‘Cept for one of ‘em.  John Doe 6 took several blows to the face and head.  Seems they got trapped down there one night, 6 or 7 days ago.  Maybe one of em mentally or broke…or was just hungry than the other guy.  Ok, follow me folks.  Careful, these steps are probably 500 years old.  It ain’t no fuckin’ Disney movie down there.     –“Anuda la Soga” begins playing.

Proscrito play sludge fit for criminal sociopaths, or taking dangerous combinations of uppers and downers.  Go ahead, scan the album art of their independently released El Calvario.  A collage of stark black & white stills and photos invoke the spectrum of human evils.  Yes, a Spanish Corrupted comparison just clicked in your brain.  A crusty take on death-doom.  Dani’s death rasps (with complimentary moans from drummer Oscar)  bounce from side to side down the Moorish stone staircase, or up the abandoned warehouse stairwell.  Whichever setting suits your drug use.  Ricard’s guitar sways and lurches.  His use of bends that distort the workman-like dreading riffs work really well. Like one hand outstretched barely gripping the handrail and one fractured leg being half dragged up each step.  The 100 meters between you and the rubbish heap of a bed might as well be the english channel.  Once there, the reward of slipping into a false bliss you’ve worked the last day and half scraping and hustling for.  Now that damn door.  It must weigh 100 kilos.  And I’ll be goddamned if it’s locked this time.  If I had the strength I’d just as well bash my own brains in against that goddamned handle.  ”Ceremonia de los Penitentes” is a great soundtrack for such a pathetic slog.

El Calvario is a five song ep.   While it is sludge and played at the requisite mid to slow pace, there’s also a rocking economy to these songs.  Even at 6:00 in average length they get going with the single minded purposefulness of a dope fiend..  There’s no ambling four minute instrumental build to get you to a two minute song. Ok, opener “Via Crucis” is an instrumental but it’s indicative overall of what you are going to hear through the following 5 tracks.  Why not instead cycle through that two minutes of music three times at different tempos.   As I’ve expressed in other reviews I believe it’s just a matter of circumstance that new bands do themselves a favor by choosing brevity.  Distill down to the most potent dosage.  However condensed and rather straightforward El Calvario might be, Proscrito pepper these songs with some interesting effect laden guitar leads and solo’s.  3/4th’s into “Anuda la Soga” the song kicks up into a dragging version of the classic crust hardcore d-beat and sneaks in squirrely little solo part before easing back down to a simmer to end the song. A nice, brief change in tempo.

Production wise, the full breath sustaining, and warm tone of the drums is actually enough to make up for there being no bass.  It took me a a good 3 tracks to notice.  Credit to Moontower studio for making the most of a trio. Proscrito has a more thematic, or spiritual connection with Eyehategod as they make little use of groove or blues root.  Compared to Corrupted they have a bit more death metal in the blood but are overall kindred in style and execution.   If you prefer the hymns of urban decay peddled by those aforementioned bands then go ahead and add this Spanish variation to the collection.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mars Budziszewski
July 28th, 2017

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