Year of release: 2018
Released by: Handful of Hate
Rating: 8,3 / 10
I know little about the Argentine metal scene (as the whole world, probably). Despite the impressive size of the country and more than 2 and a half thousand bands operating there, I can only recall CAMPO DE MAYO and some doom metal formation whose CDs I sold about 7 years ago. I don’t know what caused the relative isolation of Argentine metal from everything else, but I know that the influence of dark energy is strong there too. For this knowledge is to thank GENUFLEXIÓN.
GENUFLEXIÓN is included in the naturally existing circle of Black Metal formations along with ESPIRITISMO, GEVURAHEL and GRIMA MORSTUA. The groups have a lot in common: musicians playing in several projects simultaneosly, experience (some people participated in WINDFALL, officially the first Black Metal band in the history of Argentina), and also a very serious ideological attitude. Playing very similar stuff, all the above formations studying Satanism, occultism, magic and religion from different angles.
GENUFLEXIÓN gives priority to the spiritual aspect of Black Metal. The press release very aptly notes that the religiosity of GENUFLEXIÓN is significantly different from the western (in relation to the group - the eastern) interpretation of the genre. I cannot know how the group acts in this context in real life, but in music it is equally far from the infernal blackness of the Swedes, as well as from the fancy retro aesthetics of the southern people. “Apoteosis fallida” is practically devoid of abyssal darkness stuffiness, rot, ringing of goblets, children of censer, heat of burning braziers... in a word, everything that defines “ritual / occult” albums of modernity. Strangely enough, there is not even a nod to the classics of Black Metal, which is unbelievable for South America. The music is rather ethereal - not in the sense that it is easy and family friendly, but in the fact that it is located somewhere higher, in the areas of pure energies and thoughts. If GENUFLEXIÓN had some kind of influence, it would definitely be INQUISITION with their Astral Flights to the Invisible Horizons of the Multiverse stuff. The title track, instantly settling on the subcortex, could easily fit into the discography of the Colombian Americans. In the other songs there is also this spiritualized aura - not enough detached and monumental to call it cosmic, but still powerful.
With all this, the album can not be counted among some "atmospheric black" bullshit. “Apoteosis fallida” retains prideful melodic grandeur, without breaking into mundane human sadness, awe, rage, hysteria, and so on. Somehow it manages to be both calm and uncompromisingly extreme. This album gives you the opportunity to hearwhat is meant by the phrase “to achieve enlightenment” (or blackout, it's Black Metal after all). Unfortunately, the trance is often interrupted due to high-speed fragments although it is obvious that the slow and medium-tempo music, especially with addition of keyboards, is much better for this band. Also disappointing is the inability to get acquainted with the lyrics. GENUFLEXIÓN sing in their native language, and digipack from Handful of Hate, despite its excellent design, contains only quotes. More details can be seen in on a video. Perhaps the lyrics are just too personal to publish them in their entirety.
You can order the CD at label's Bandcamp page or at Thou Shalt Kill! Records or at PossessionSince the album was released on the same day as the last NIEZGAL, the greatness of “Stogn z Niebyćcia” slightly eclipsed it. Even I, overwhelmed by the last work of Belarusians, put “Apoteosis fallida” for a long time to postpone. But now, listening to it once again, I understand that this album is almost as great as the posthumous work of NIEZGAL. Give it a chance, and better more than one, because it does not want to reveal all its secrets to the listener immediately.