19 Mar 2021 - Sebastian
Post-Rock / Doom | Release date: 19 Mar 2021
Forgive me Father, for I have sinned and did not listen to El Altar del Holocausto.
This is the first thing the priest has to hear from you, when you go to confession on Sunday. And you better repent that sin, as these four guys from Spain have always delivered amazing albums and most recently released a new EP called Trinidad, which translates to “trinity”. This is in two ways a very fitting title, as there are only three songs: ”Fe” (“faith”), ”Esperanza” (“hope”) and ”Caridad” (“charity”).
On the other hand, as you will learn soon, they also mean this in a religious way. Faith, hope and charity are the three main ideologies of Christianity. Faith is represented by a melody, that invites you in, but then shows you a dark side, but if you don’t lose your ”Fe” you will be rewarded with something beautiful. You must always keep up hope; when the times are good, it is easy to do so, but also when the times are dire and you are close to abandoning all ”Esperanza”. When people are in need, when they are in the darkest of places, they need charity or love more than everything else. Helping people is benefitting both of you and you can help them overcome the darkness. This is represented beautifully in ”Caridad”.
Who are El Altar del Holocausto (EAdH from now on) and why do they draw their inspiration from Christian imagery? Their names are a well kept secret, because the members only appear under stagenames and dressed as Holy Week penitents. There is this kind of mystery surrounding their music and their appearances fit that mystery perfectly. Their outfit represents a so-called Nazareno, who have to repent for their sins and their faces must not be seen. Their music can be seen as a kind of repentance for all the sins and, as they self describe it, should lift the spirit of the listeners.
Since their first album in 2013 they have developed a very distinct sound and refined it over the years. Now, on Trinidad, they bless us with more of their craftsmanship. The sound of EAdH can be best described as a combination of soothing Post-Rock melodies with the gut-wrenching, droning gnarliness of Doom. They lure you in with a sweet, mellow guitar-only intro and then punch you in the stomach with rumbling, thunderous drums and droning basslines, as they do on ”Fe”.
”Esperanza” starts as a very upbeat and happy song, but you will soon discover the dark secrets that lie beyond. The first half of this song is a refreshing change in their sound, but of course it does not stay that happy for all eternity and once it starts getting louder and more aggressive, the song again shows the strength of EAdH: beautiful melodies and hypnotizing drumbeats that leave you no choice but to move your head back and forth. None of their songs are overly fast or even stressful and that really helps to draw you in and to give you that kind of meditating feeling.
While ”Fe” and ”Esperanza” draw you in with their calm and soothing intro, ”Caridad” already starts with a big bang and once again shows the versatility of the Spanish quartet. It always seems like the guitars are soaring higher and higher and float above the rest. After this heavy start, there is a very mellow and calm part, that lets you reflect on all that has happened on Trinidad so far, but it also sets up the grand finale, which is loud, yet very uplifting and serves a prefect conclusion of a beautifully crafted EP.
After these three songs, you should be cleansed from the sin of not listening to El Altar del Holocausto. If you feel like you should need more repentance, EAdH have released three albums so far, so why not start with them. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with imbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.