It's been maybe a hot minute since I last told you about a tech death record that should be raging inside of your headphones. Well, for several months now my weapon of choice in the war against mediocrity in my ears has been 'Sangre Antigua', the debut album from Ecuador's Solipsismo. A self-described bedroom band, guitarist Daniel Ortega & vocalist Gabriel Cuesta are responsible for an album that I have spent so much time with, for sheer enjoyment's sake, that I've purposefully delayed telling you all about it. But why do such a thing, you ask. Simple, actually. I want this to be right. Loyal Abyss readers will no doubt by now have noticed one unifying thread in everything I write about: I don't do negative reviews. Not because I love everything I hear; it's just the opposite, actually. I listen to more albums than I care to mention that simply do nothing for me... so I don't mention them. What that means is that when I sit down at Metal Abyss HQ, unwrap that 5th Ho Ho of the day, and start hunting and pecking letters on the keyboard, it's because a song or album has moved me to do so. Such was the case when the gorgeous album art of 'Sangre Antigua' caught my eye and I pressed play for the first time, it's just taken me until right now to find the right words for what I heard. From the playful xylophone intro that is quickly taken over on electric guitar on '8C2,' to the apocalyptic blast beat bonanza that closes 'Premisa', to the 10,000 head nods you'll do in-between, 'Sangre Antigua' is an album that exudes a seemingly boundless energy. Released a little over a year ago, Solipsismo's debut LP, in every possible sense of the term, is a metal album. With the speed and guitar heroics of Dragonforce, the melodic sensibilities of Be'Lakor or Fallujah, the vocal viciousness of Phil Anselmo or Max Cavalera, Solipsismo's sound is absolutely infectious.
And for as impressive as those intangibles are, there's just as much done right here that one can certainly quantify. The sweeps that serve as a bridge on 'Especulando El Final' are stunning; while the tempo shift in 'Transciende' heralds a closing solo that would not sound out of place on an Aborted record. The riffs and leads, while by no means revolutionary, are presented in such a way that even us rank amateurs can hear and appreciate them. Nothing is buried and nothing is glossed over to rush onto the next great idea. There used to be a heavy metal band called Metallica who did those things pretty well, too. Despite my admitted bias towards instrumental metal, and despite the fact that half of the ten tracks here feature no vocals, it was Cuesta's voice that sold me on this band. If a screamed/growled/shouted/harsh vocal is employed to convey emotion, Cuesta's searing scream is among the most passionate I've heard in a long time. Whereas we can all name bands who feature vocalists who scream because it's their job to, Cuesta is screaming like his life depends on it. You simply can not fake authenticity; and while you can certainly find vocalists who employ more techniques than Cuesta, you'd be hard pressed to hear a voice that's more believable. In the end, it's Solipsismo's ability to convey emotion through their music that has made me the cheerleader that I am for this album. And surprisingly enough, that emotion is not anger- it's joy. These 10 tracks are very much uplifting, and I find this album to be more fun to listen to every time I press play. Though physical copies are not yet available, you can name your own price for Sangre Antigua on Solipsismo's Bandcamp page. You can also pester them on Facebook (I do, it's fun) and let them know that there's a market for not only physical copies of this LP, but also for another album. There's at least one sugar fueled pseudo-journalist who can't wait to review it. Rage on! JPR