Condenados - A Painful Journey Into Nihil
Shadow Kingdom Records
Traditional Doom
6 songs ()
Release year: 2011
Shadow Kingdom Records
Reviewed by Alex

In their constant search through doom metal underground Shadow Kingdom Records could not have chosen a better place to mine than Chile. For one reason or another, this country has become a very fertile ground for doom metal. Mar de Grises, Poema Arcanus and my late find Capilla Ardiente have explored different shades of doom recently. Condenados bring an attention-grabbing and intriguing twist of singing some of their songs in Spanish, a language especially suitable for passionate searching of the mind, but musically this band is as traditional as they come. A trio, they continuously build their songs’ foundation around naked, barbed wire riffs without much overt melodicism or superfluous symphonic/gothic influences. There is definitive, grumbling and unbending stiffness to Condenados songs. Fernando Vidal’s voice, clean throughout and pain touched, is the source of melody in A Painful Journey into Nihil, and the band does braid solos into their harsh fabric from time to time. Yet even those often remain harsh and torturous providing little relief (Welcome to My Grave).

As much as this album should appeal to the purists and the fans of Saint Vitus and early Candlemass, I completely enjoyed the moments when Condenados shook out of their stoic funk and wallow in the mire attitude and became assertive, as in the conclusion of Cargando La Cruz. The still moody, but much more convoluted due to multi-line guitars, The Shadow Within also hit the spot, as well as Centuries of Darkness, melodious if even by the virtue of its simple hooks and more interesting percussive rhythmic structure. Getting aroused by his own incantations, Fernando leads his band to another strong finish on that song. Meandering closer Final Transmutation has an unexpected, albeit short, interplay of flute and bass which captures attention.

Truly underground, Condenados are professional quality enough to deserve for their release to see the light of day. Shadow Kingdom label has an eye and ear for such acts, just ask Pennsylvanians Argus graduating on to bigger things.

Killing Songs :
Cargando La Cruz, Centuries of Darkness, The Shadow Within
Alex quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Condenados that we have reviewed:
Condenados - The Tree of Death reviewed by Andy and quoted 74 / 100
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