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La Muerte – Sortilegia

by François Zappa

I’m going to start this review of La Muerte‘s latest album by talking about another band: Ghost. After reading countless praises for Tobiasm Forge’s band, I gathered a bit of courage and listened to their previous album Prequelle and after a couple of tracks I had to stop it because it sounded like flabby music perfect for 40-somethings with alopecia. It wasn’t what I expected from a band that was revolutionising the rock/metal scene. And why am I talking about this? Because listening to Sortilegia I thought that this is what I expected to hear when I put on the Ghost‘s LP, a hard, sharp, breathtaking and modern album. Sortilegia, their second work after the band’s comeback in 2015, has been released on CD and vinyl by Consouling Sounds. La Muerte once again delivers the soundtrack for an apocalypse that we see closer every day.

“Sortilegia”, the first track is a warning, a “do not pass” that we do not heed, an indication that we are entering the dangerous territories of the most crazed Noise metal. Sharp guitars, a powerful metallic sound and guttural voices already warn us of what is to follow. The apocalyptic drums and the excess of speed are the protagonists of “No Fear”, another metal track. In “Kiss My Fist”, we have screeching guitars and a sound as menacing as the title track. On “Snake in My Hand”, La Muerte continues to push the limits on another  amazing track, while on the apocalyptic and dark “Brother Satan” they give us another lesson in speed.

On “Pontiac Firebird” the band gets slower and heavier, in another dark and sinister wonder. “Monster” is another monstrous track, a bit more “rock” with an easier to chant chorus. “Blood On The Moon” is closer to metal thanks to its sharp guitars and extraordinary speed.  The party continues with “Dust You Will Return” in which they continue to give us no respite. “Keep Your Secret” is intense and hard. And they slowly bring us closer to hell with “Longue Misere”. Perhaps the only metal album of 2022 that I will listen to again.

The fans of the unclassifiable Belgian band La Muerte have been in luck this year. Apart from the new album, their legendary live album Raw has been released in a double vinyl edition, which I listened to a little before to prepare this review, although in the CD version, which is the one I have at home. Although it is difficult to capture in a CD the impact of a La Muerte‘s concert, the record transmits the experience well. Raw includes some of their most emblematic songs like “Black God, White Devil” and some curious covers: Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam”, classic “Kung Fu Fighting”, Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” and the final “Wild Thing”. Killer riffs, the unmistakable voice of Marc du Marais and B-series themes, what more could you ask for?

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