Siete Lagunas – I & II [Compilation] (2018) REVIEW

The grand Altiplano Cundiboyacense plateau in the most ancient eastern Colombian Andes dates back thirteen thousand years as a cradle for the oldest and tragically forgotten advanced culture in the Americas, the Muisca. A proud and intelligent confederation of tribes who thrived well beyond a population of half a million people would fall into disarray as Spanish conquistadors usurped rule in the mid-1500’s and in turn brutally slaughtered and enslaved thousands for greed of gold. The region retains mention among generations of imperialist plunderers as the origin of the myth of El Dorado, the city of gold, but to the duo of musicians involved in Siete Lagunas the land holds the spirits of their ‘pre-Colombian’ culture and their music is invoked to transmit voices long silenced by genocidal greed. Composed by two key members of Bogota death/doom metal band Cóndor, Siete Lagunas offer two short and raw experimental trips that come free of inhibition.

Each demo on this compilation offers five tracks that amount to one intentioned spirit invocation each with the first recorded in May 2017 and the second in February 2018. The music appears loosely composed and recorded with the humble quality of earlier Cóndor releases but the performances are frenetic and emotional in their intent compared to their other project. Antonio Espinosa Holguín‘s wailing and frantic drumming come as a man possessed and generally convey agony and unintelligible insanity. The guitar work from Francisco Fernández López follow suit and the fact that all of these pieces often fit together is more of a testament to their own strange musical chemistry and less to the technical merits on display. The intent seems to be primitive and visceral, almost a bleeding of the unjust oppression of ancestors, a releasing of ancient baggage. The second demo is slightly more formed and prone to use of experimental noise and much of it appears less improvised than the first demo, especially on “Un Cadáver Junto al Río”.

This compilation is hard to recommend because its appeal is limited to an audience intrigued by experimental and lo-fi black metal with rehearsal grade performances. It will most certainly not be for most people. I found the conceptual side of the music generally more interesting than the guitar work although I do think the strange vocal performance helps to make the off-kilter anti-compositions appear even more surrealistic. The average listener will find these short demos challenging enough for their abrasive, unhinged qualities and I am not entirely convinced of the value of repeat listening beyond familiarity. That said some provenance and theme in mind make for a stirring experience if you are willing to get on board with the rough aspects of Siete Lagunas sound. For preview I would suggest “Los Bosques De Arcadia” and “El Rugir de la Segunda Laguna” to quickly get the bigger picture of the two demos.

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Artist Siete Lagunas
Type Compilation
Released July 11, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on La Caverna Records’ Bandcamp! Siete Lagunas on Metal-Archives
Genre Black Metal,
Experimental Noise

Muerta está toda humana verdad. 2.75/5.0

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