Review: “Candela” by Svdestada

After two albums that saw them blurring the lines between Crust Punk, Post-Hardcore and Black Metal, 2024 finds Spanish quintet Svdestada joined by new drummer Eder de la Camara (Stalemate, Nightshot) in the studio for the first time. A musician who has been part of the band since 2022 when original member Peter Lopez (ex-Lvx in Tenebris) exited stage left, that represents the first line up change for a band who began life in Madrid in 2017. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Iván Ferro (Throne Of Blood, Barbarian Prophecies, Aathma) at Kollapse Studio, the outfit’s third album “Candela” promises to take us even deeper into their musical amalgamation as the group channel eclectic influences, while refusing to abandon their signature speed or raw edged sound. Seven cuts for seven deadly sins are on offer, each one embracing the darker side of life and musing on subjects of abandonment, nostalgia and solitude…

For those not in the know the band are rounded out by former This Thing Called Life pairing Jorge Urosa on bass and Fernando Lamattina on guitars with former Khmer screamer Mario C. Vaises front and centre. As with the aforementioned previous burnt offerings in 2018’s “Yo soy el mar” (or “I am the sea“) and 2020’s “Azabache” (or “Black Amber“) all the tracks are in Spanish, so like the finest of foreign films we’ve translated the track titles into English to help smooth the ride of the review. There can be no mistaking the unbridled power of the Black Metal drumming style which is embossed on opening cut “Nudo” (or “Knot“) like a soldiers boot print in fresh mud, Eder de la Camara making an instant impression as a restless, relentless performer. That helps carry the scorching emotive unclean vocals from Vaises, his throat the heaviest and most destructive piece of the bands puzzle with the cleaner toned guitars giving everything a unique weight and balance. A cut with a supreme frenetic energy, “Cierzo” (or “North Wind“) feels like Hakari For the Sky so pumped up on steroids that the skin around the muscles has begun to split. The venomous vocal performance is nothing short of pure catharsis and while you might usually associate the Crust Punk injected style to reflect in shorter songs, this three and a half minute slice of vengeance is the perfect length.

Despite the pace and energy in these tracks, they carry a depth, weight and texture that is astounding. Cuts like “Amargor” (or “Bitterness“) having some really interesting nuances as well as lead riffs that chill to the bone, something accomplished with dedication to craft and quality of musicianship. The Black Metal atmospherics on this one, particularly towards the end make it nothing short of majestic. There is more weight in the guitar tone by the time “Efímero” (or “Ephemeral“) rears its ugly head, a cut that has influences from 2003 era American Metalcore and sounds immense. Iván Ferro deservers a lot of credit for his work behind the boards on this record, especially for allowing Urosa’s bass to bleed out into the mix as the band build back from a heavier part through a more melodic one to the crescendo. That is masterfully done and showcases the instrument as another rhythm guitar and not simply something that is taken for granted in modern Metal. The whirlwind of percussive battery reaches critical mass by the time “Hilonegro” (or “Black Thread“) reaches its bitter end, the emotive power of his tornado of souls pulling in the heart strings as it plays out even in a foreign language. It’s like waves crashing upon the shore during a stormy night, natures might awe inspiring and not something that abates as “Sinvivir” (or “Without Surviving“) rushes up to greet the discerning listener. The difference here is the vocal layering which at first might not be noticeable but grows in stature with each repeated listen, the band using it to push the screamed vocal lines unnaturally close together as Vaises’s performance takes on banshee like qualities.

Another lethal dose of Spanish hatred, “Candela” (or “Candle“) continues to sprint to the finish line like a dungeon whippet despite being a near twelve minute magnum opus. It’s as if Svdestada only know one speed and they’re going to be damned if they’re going to do anything else now. Not that that is a bad thing by any stretch because the lack of a cut at a slower tempo is actually refreshing in this context. Each song has so much to offer and is such a head rush that you barely even have time to notice. Those 2003 era American Metalcore styled riffs rise to the surface once more around the five minute mark adding a rich sombre nature to the beast before cleverly executed false ending that gives us an encore of three minutes and the result is nothing short of sublime [8.5/10]

Track Listing

1. Nudo
2. Cierzo
3. Amargor
4. Efímero
5. Hilonegro
6. Sinvivir
7. Candela (ft. Manuel María on Zanfona)

Candela” by Svdestada is out 5th February 2024 via Long Legs Long Arms Records and Shove Records and is available over at bandcamp.

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