Written by: The Administrator
In my inflated opinion--and I'm almost certain the Village's overworked cook would agree--stoner doom represents equivalent of comfort food on the metal culinary spectrum. There's something so essential and heartwarming about the basic blend of roux-thick riffs, omnipresent fuzz, and a plodding forward march that indicates a certain willingness to take one's time.
Fulanno, an Argentinian doom trio, are a perfect exemplar of the type of band I turn to when searching for said aural comfort food. Notably, their latest, Nadie Está a Salvo Del Mal, is their best effort yet--indeed, any album that lands at #15 on the month's illustrious Doom Charts is, generally speaking, worth yer while. With that said, this album is hampered by some minor wrinkles, but should Fulanno iron 'em out in the future, I think it's safe to say we'll have a top-tier outfit on our hands.
Fulanno start things off with a strong foot forward. Opening track "Fuego en la Cruz" is a banger through and through, featuring an occult-y ambiance, a hefty riff that takes it low n' slow without reservation, enough fuzz to drown a bear, massive drums, and a hauntingly emotive croon that strongly recalls the reedy pitch and warbling cadance of one John Osbourne. This track does, in short, everything you want a good stoner doom song to do. It feels less than innovative for, we'', all of the reasons listed above, but I'll be damned if these guys don't absolutely hit the nail on the head. We aren't here for something new, we're here for big riffs and a spooky atmosphere. Mission accomplished. Later on, in the back half, we encounter a second sonic element: the ambient instrumental. Both "Señores de la Necrópolis" and "El Libro de los Muertos" add a flair akin to Sabbath's "Orchid" or "Lugana Sunrise"--brief and bright interludes that nonetheless contribute to the eerie occult atmosphere.
For my money, though, the best track here is "Los Colmillos de Satan." Here, we see similar formula as the tracks prior, but everything seems to truly click and fall into place. A brief yet poingent introductory sample leads us into a slow build, and then it's off to the proverbial races--assuming, of course, that said race doesn't actually involve any, y'know, racing. The riffage here is slow and steady; nothing flashy, but so long as that head-bobbing groove sinks its teeth deep, what do we care? The vocals here are also of note: the Ozzy-esque tone is out in full force, albeit with a vaguely more sinister sneer. A psychedelic solo ends the affair, and the eventual fade-out lends the entire track an appropriately old-school flair. If you're looking to sample the best of what Nadie Está a Salvo Del Mar has to offer, yer lookin' right at it.
That said, there are a few moments where this album falls a bit flat, relying on repetition and self-plagiarization to bolster the runtime. "Los Elegidos," for example, lacks any element that allows it to stick in the mind, and thus largely becomes another brick in the road of fuzzy riffs. "El Desierto de los Caidos" suffers similarly, but part of this may just be the extended 8 minute plus runtime. With some trimming of the ol' fat, Nadie Está a Salvo Del Mal would inevitably be a much tighter album, thereby allowing the best riffs and vocals hooks to shine. As of now, they are a tad overshadowed by excess.
All told, however, this is a very enjoyable album, and Fulanno have improved upon their past work in every single way. If they continue on this upward trajectory, their next effort will undoubtedly be a winner through and through. If yer in the mood for some comfort food doom, Nadie Está a Salvo Del Mal comes recommended from this ink-splattered scribe.
Fulanno - Nadie Está a Salvo Del Mal was released Nov. 20th fromForbidden Place Records (CD) and Interstellar Smoke Records (Vinyl)
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!