Svdestada – Candela


Madrid quartet, Svdestada, take their name from the cold winds that traverse the Río de la Plata region of Argentina. This rush of energy is a good analogy for their music. Now on their third album and with a new drummer behind the kit, the band take their Converge and Harakiri for the Sky influences and add their own combustible elements to the mix as if putting themselves in the frame for a noise protection order from their local municipal council.

Svdestada call their music blackened crust punk, but that may be out of necessity rather than accuracy. After all, how do you market your art if you have no description for it? Your ears will zone in on the opening buzz roll of ‘Nudo’ like a hunter relying on sound to serve the benefit of sight. There’s a distinct lack of punk in this song, but the eviscerating post-metal rage and abstract guitar stylings are superior to anything in the culture of safety pins and mohawks and three-chord sequences. Instead, Svdestada find their purpose in a hurricane of obliterating noise. The vocal screams will make your toes curl up. How does drummer, Eder de la Cámara, sustain his onslaught without a pause for breath?

If there is a formula here, it’s one based on the crude equation that d-beats and frantic guitars equal chaos. Listen to the plectrums scrape under the gauge of the strings in the opening riff to ‘Cierzo’.

Six-stringer, Fernando Lamattina, shows no inclination to fret the power chords and throw rock star poses. His melodic chord phrasings reveal their imprints like carbon monoxide. There’s abundant tension here, and the purpose is to keep you waiting for a release that never comes. You expect the lungs of vocalist, Mario C. Vaises, to pack in at any moment.

Atonal guitars and frenetic drums lay the foundations for most of the tracks on this LP. Though proven to keep the excitement levels high, they can also neutralise the element of force once you grow accustomed to them. The switch to blast beats enhances the power of the dynamics in ‘Hilonegro’. Music as vicious as this cannot be accused of self-pity even if there’s an inflated sense of injustice in the “woe is me” emotions. You don’t need English lyrics to tell you that the importance of not being forgotten is the abiding emotional plea of Svdestada’s art. ‘Efímero’ is post-hardcore with a capital P. You might even notice the similarities with modern metalcore in its dynamism and desperation to capture the heroism of the underdog. The wild black metal roars widen its power like the latest album from cult Taiwanese artist, Laang.

Svalbard fans will sit up and take notice of this band, and maybe even Serena Cherry will add them to her playlist if she hears the power of ‘Amargor’. The false fry screams sound like phlegm-inducing self-abuse. Is it wise for a guitar-based band to let the drums dominate the songs with their supreme virtuosity. Clearly, Svdestada want to grab you by the collar bone and make you acknowledge the pain of existence. The constant tension offers few chances of respite. This album would be even more effective with differing tempos and a braver embrace of bipolar dynamics. It’s easier to take on the role of the eternal anti-hero rather than assuming the reins of leadership, where frontline action also demands backline planning.

Your eyes might need a second take when you see the running time of eleven minutes for closing track, ‘Candela’. The quartet bombard us from the first note, with the guitarist adding a metallic crunch to his rhythms for a more orthodox effect. You need to sit back and absorb this song as you would a secret recording of a public figure in a scandalous exchange. What does it say to you? That’s for you to imagine, but music like this wants to right the wrongs of the past for those that feel cheated by inferior enemies.

Unlike atmospheric black metal, Svdestada’s style finds an equilibrium between sorrow and rage and refuses to dwell on the former at the expense of the latter. The message is: “Do you remember when I did this for you and sacrificed my own interests to help you? And this is how you repay me…” It’s a wise decision to turn the closing track into an epic black metal gallop at the finale. Svdestada are the product of boiled blood and ugly truths.

JVB


Verdict


Release Date: 05/01/2024

Record Label: Self-released

Standout tracks: Nudo, Amargor, Efímero

Suggested Further Listening: Svalbard – When I Die, Will I Get Better? (2020), Bastions – Majestic Desolation (2022), Laang – Riluo (2023)