Nagasaki – Invierno
Punk and metal meet in this abrasive, distorted and vibrating release!
Valparaíso is the nearest region to the capital city of Chile, Santiago. They both, along Concepción, are the most populated cities in the country. One of the most agitated places in there is Quilpué, from where a lot of punk, electronic and experimental projects appear. Nagasaki, a droning punk and hardcore outfit with a taste for metal, also come from that area. In 2018, they recorded their second album, Invierno, and it was released this year. On this record, the band has included more doom and sludge influences, without forgetting their punk and crust roots.
And here’s a bit of history. The band started in 2011 after the disbandment of the group A voi pitra, and used different names before Nagasaki, like Ensangre. They’ve recorded their first self-titled album, but stopped for a while in 2015, only to come back with a new formation.
On their sophomore effort Invierno, they follow-up with a more atmospheric, but raw, vibe, with longer tracks in length. The tension is built up in the structure of the tracks, like in the first one, “Harakiri”, that starts with a fast beat and explosive instrumentation that abruptly turns into a dark-toned and slow paced melodic phrase with a melancholic melody, also shared with the second track, akin to the sound of Spanish neo-crust bands (Ekkaia, Madame Germen, etc.).
Despite the calmness it projects into the listener, it is very thin, like it could break in any moment, barely holding as the songs progress. Like something is always waiting to appear in an outburst.
The change of rhythms, the type of sounds, delays, clean and distorted guitars, feelings and feedbacks, droning bass, pulsating, constant and agitated drums, show how the band wanted to something different to their debut. Maybe it was the change in the formation or the almost 5 years between the two releases. Whatever it was, it helped a lot. This is a great development for the group. The sound is more tight, fresh and effective.
Despite all of this, they still have the classic crust and hardcore punk sound in songs like “Tormentas” (also the shortest one in the album) and “Raíces”. Is not a change that feels off or weird, it works naturally in the contest of Nagasaki’s history.
There’s no doubt that this trio can play and knows what they’re doing, but one of the things that I didn’t like was the sound quality. The drums feel a bit separated from the rest of the instruments and the volumes are a bit unbalanced sometimes. I think the overall sound could’ve been stronger and wider. It certainly would’ve boosted the energy of the album. The vocals, that don’t appear much, are great, tho. Subtle, like a detail in-between everything.
On this release, the band was a trio: Sandro Carvajal (drums and vocals), who also mixed the album, Bryan Mura (bass and vocals), Felipe Vásquez (guitar).