It is obvious that metal is not restricted to one language alone. But not all the languages get their respected attention, due to some narrow-minded people restricting their musical taste to a language that they are familiar with. It hurts to say, but I was one among the narrow-minded people until I found some Icelandic black metal bands. From there my knowledge widened as I got a spoon each of Russian, Latin and German metal music.
Now here I am to share an Argentinian thrash/groove metal band, Granada, who sing in Spanish. Ever since their formation in the year 2008 the band has released albums having immense brutality and complexity. The band played their first show alongside death metal virtuosos The Black Dahlia Murder which in my opinion is fortunate. Playing thrash metal with a tinge of groove and hardcore characteristics, these Argentinians released their latest album, Sincronizado (the Spanish word for “synchronized”) earlier in 2017.
Life is a cycle where we are born and die synchronized with nature, but it is as if we were constantly struggling to break that bond. Consumerism and greed blinds us and transforms us into our worst enemies.
Let us find out whether we could do synchronised headbanging to their songs.
Songs have immense adrenaline and aggressiveness; their musical essence is somewhat similar to that of old school thrash metal acts as their instrumentation showcases thick guitar riffs intertwined with thunderous drumming. However, the band does have a different approach for the vocals. Hardcore-esque vocal works which ranges from high scream false chord to death metal-esque growls. Apart from the vocals and instrumentation, it’s the production that is essential to identify whether or not the band is good at what they are doing.
It’s very much safe to say that Granada have perfect production. Not so polished/not so raw production is rather rare to find nowadays as most of the bands prefer to take up polished production since they are easier to work with and obviously sounds better, but in reality it destroys the versatility of the song. For instance if the band took up clean production for drums, the drummer won’t be able to utilise his skins to produce variant samples as the computer restricts the music to a single tone.
The album is very versatile as we have a lots of different experiences altogether. From the raw aggressiveness of the title track, “Sincronizado”, to memorable guitar passages in the instrumental track “Mas Alla de la Muerte”, the album has everything to take thrash/groove metal by storm.
The most interesting song on this album is “Solve Et Coagula”, as the song has splendid sound and a hidden meaning to portray. When it comes to the sound, it is pretty much their original thrashy and groovy hardcore instead having some complex and perplexing time signatures at transitions. However, the song sounds perfect as the midway solo adds an extra point. Moving onto the “hidden meaning”, here is what the band said about this track:
“Solve’ or ‘solutio’ refers to the breaking down of elements and ‘Coagula’ refers to their coming together. In the process of transmuting base metal into gold or arriving at the philosopher’s stone, this contained both literal and hidden meaning. ‘Solve et Coagula’ expresses transmutation from base.
Overall the album turned out to be better than I expected as I had some doubts whether or not they would achieve their amalgamation properly, since I have seen a lot of bands fail whilst experimenting with the harsh hardcore genre and thrash. However, the album does require some attention on executing the transitions since some of them are perplexing and sounds out of place (not a huge complaint).
Granada might end up being one among the prolific number of metal acts to emerge out of Argentina. Be sure to keep your eyes on them.