22 Jan 2021 - Thorsten
Revisiting an album can be both painful and joyful, and sometimes both. With the recently re-released fifth full-length of Chilean noise-metal-outfit La Bestia de Gevaudan it’s the latter. It is joyful, because it is an album so perfect in all its entirety that it just simply blows your head off. And at the same time it is painful because this little author forgot to include it in his best-of-2019 list when it came out. Okay, maybe it’s more shame than pain, but not nice nevertheless.
Kintsukuroi is really mindblowing in its combination of Neurosis and Ministry. Of course, one should not aim too high with one’s assessment and comparisons but this band is definitely riding the razor’s edge like none other. Musically, La Bestia de Gevaudan combine mesmerizing tribal drums with stomping beats, for example in the second track “Antimateria”: here the vibraphone and its nice and slightly echoing staccato-sounds has to counter some hard-hit tombs while the bass drum gives the beat. Generally industrial sounds are something to watch on this edition of Kintsukuroi also because of the collaboration with thisquietarmy. The project by Montreal-based artist Eric Quach is credited twice on this edition, once on the regular track “IRG” and once on the bonus track “IRGv2” and of course, these tracks (one being a reworking of the other) have a very different feel than the rest of the album as they share a certain EBM sound. The other two features are also worth mentioning, one being Mike Armine of Rosetta who delivered some awesome vocals on “Mascara” and the other being Oliver Melville whose vocals can be heard on “What Will Be Beyond” maybe the best Deftones-track the Sacramento-boys have not written after White Pony. Armine once again shows why he is one of the most impressive shouters in all of post-metal.
When listening to the record it becomes very obvious how the elements from post-rock, post-metal, noise and even shoegaze are used to balance the industrial character of a lot of the songs. Furthermore, one must admit that the skills of drummer Alonso Bustamante match basically those of every other metal-drummer. Combined with the careful interwoven samples (listen to the beginning of “What Will Be Beyond” and tell me you don’t have a smirk on your face!) this record offers enough for many hours of close listening.
Very favorable is also the amount of care given to the little details, for example the little click-tones at the end of the maniac tribal instrumental “Gigante de Piedra” that are countering the fading crescendo of Diego Yañez Aguilera’s guitar. Or the beginning of the opening track “Caracal” that doesn’t give you any chance to do something else, but that screams for your attention with all of its whirlwind of drums and noise after a slow moment of building via swirling circles of programming.
Kintsukuroi is a Japanese word for a certain style pottery and of course this doesn’t fit to such a beast of a record. Nonetheless, if you think about the elegance and detail of Japanese pottery, you will probably see that the band has put as much effort into all the minuscule details as a potter from the foot of Mount Fuji.
Re-visiting this record for the new edition (which is remarkably tight even though the two bonus tracks were not originally intended) was in no way a painful experience. I couldn’t stop listening – and slapping me for forgetting to mention this miraculous record in my 2019 AOTY list. I shall never forget about these Chileans!