Punto de Inflexión – Contranatura
Anger, passion and neocrust at the end of the world.
Swimming through the depths of Bandcamp, my favorite place for aural tracking, something caught my eye.
Punto de Inflexión is a band from Santiago, Chile, formed in 2014 (featuring members of a band called Insurrectos) that works within the rich realm of neocrust and its darkened textures were influenced by melodic metalcore, black metal and screamo. It is quite raw and beastly, but also euphonic and very fluent. Its genre-blending nature makes its sonic palette wide and open, so I’m always eager to check bands like that, beyond the well-known ones like Ekkaia, Ictus or Tragedy. Let’s now unpack the seven track Contranatura to see what lies beneath this new digital encounter.
“Dios no ha muerto (porque nunca existió)”, which translates to ‘God is not dead (because he never existed)’, is a song that dives straight into the metallic edge of hardcore punk, starting with a heavy blast and exploding like a solid punch to the stomach, a strong stampede that leads to a nice melodic riff and a change of flow, all glued together by a pretty tight beat. Submission, fear and freedom (in the general, abstract sense, not in the Western liberal way) related to God and the Church are the main topics of the lyrics.
Those are echoing again in “Credo” (Creed), albeit with a less paced sound and three times its duration, clearly resonating with the desperation, distress, and anguish of “Contranatura”, the third track, which has a somewhat melancholic ambience in the classical neocrust shape it takes. “Estrategia política” (Political strategy) conveys an overall similar energy and mood. As you listen, you understand that it all comes from the same place: anger at power structures and the function of systems within them as a whole. The lyrics are not focusing on a sole individual, but on what holds everything together, as well as in its putrid backbone, that always seems about to collapse only to keep going on and on relentlessly.
An overloaded mix of voices screaming, declaiming, yelling; the sound of throats being torn apart and a group of tired voices reciting with their last breaths in the terrain of despair and hopelessness slowly weave the rest of the record. But that’s not all there’s to it, as the last two tracks offer a big contrast in their lyrics and modes of expression.
While “Ansiedad” (Anxiety) is very misanthropic in nature, “La Caverna” (The Cavern) has a striking change in tone, as it incites you to search and look forward, to come out and break free; to learn and to improve yourself so you can build something from the inside, from the self to the collective, and fight that same despair we’ve been feeling so far (which is not as unstoppable and overwhelming as it seems, and as the Neoliberal mind frame makes it to appear). That’s what’s important, to redirect our passions towards a constructive sentiment, to build politics of hope. Not optimism, hope: an active force that moves us forward through actual understanding and empathy cultivated through and with imagination and the collective rise of hidden potential.
Interested in the different angles in which they approach their writing, I contacted the band (formed by Carlos, Esteban, Jaime and Cristián) and they told me that:
Not everything is discontent. We understand that we are responsible for the society that we have created; we have work, families and children. Over time we were evaluating these victories and came to the understanding that life is not just spouting hatred and rage. Enjoying what we do as friends and as a band is also liberating for us. We like the idea of transmitting something super intimate to the others. When they listen to our music, they will perceive something different depending on how they feel at the moment.
Notice I skipped the first track? Well, I did so because it is better linked with the last one and with the stronger and most important message in the EP. “Ahora tienes que gritar” (Now you have to scream) calls us to raise our voices and overcome our current state. It’s about strength, courage and resistance. It starts with feedback fading in and it ends with the feedback fading out, like a door we have yet to go through, which is signalling to us as it opens and closes. Submitting to fear while dwelling in numbness is the easy way out and everyone looking down smugly from above knows it. So what? We let our corpses slowly decay, day by day, each ticking of the clock like a piercing stab into your tired body or we try to go beyond the event horizon, beyond what our minds are capable of conceiving right now, with the tools we might gather with our own worn but cunning hands? Easier said than done, but we’ve gotta start tracing the map for new possibilities somewhere, even faintly.
“The failure of previous forms of anticapitalist political organization should not be a cause for despair, but what needs to be left behind is a certain romantic attachment to the politics of failure, to the comfortable position of a defeated marginality” said Mark Fisher in his celebrated 2009 book Capitalist Realism and more than a decade later these words still ring true.
If you want a copy of this EP or of their first one, you can contact the band through their Instagram page.