Chilean town of Valparaíso was heavily affected by Pinochet’s 17 year military dictatorship—well, actually the whole country of Chile was, as it saw firsthand the birth of neoliberalism in an abominable way—being a port city, military and marine were deployed all over the place.
All the pain and torture, physical and psychological, of those years left a permanent wound on the place and in the people that lived and grew in it. A lot of those responsible for the tortures are now roaming freely, or have already died peacefully. Not only that, but all governments that came after only kept treating people as if they were nothing but pawns, or a spec of dust clinging into the precious things they wanted to control.
Due to all that, anger lingers in people’s hearts to this day. We can still see holes of the gunshots on the concrete walls, we can still hear the echoes of mothers and fathers crying, and we still live in a system that favors profit over people. It’s only natural that a lot of artistic expressions throughout the country continue to reflect that exactly same feeling.
Being one of the largest metropolitan area in the country, Valparaíso is currently a great place to find punk and metal bands, with a great number of squat houses and places to play. And great food, too. Álvaro Peña, the so-called first Chilean punk-rocker also comes from there. And in the underground scene, being as vivid as ever, we have a lot of new things to hear.
Teogonía is one of the many of those current bands. Starting in 2009, a few weeks ago they have crafted their newest EP, finally recorded, mixed and mastered last year.
On their Facebook page, Teogonía describe themselves as “Metalpunk for the punx, not for fucking fascists and capitalist bullshit!!”, strongly stating where they come from and where they want to go. Not only in words, but as they also participated in the previously reviewed benefit compilation Here they are killing us and played a lot of benefit shows for the victims of repression in Chile. All of this due to the protests that started on October 18th, 2019. They can be also found on the Noise for Standing Rock benefit compilation by the The Dark Skies Above Us Collective, among other things.
Their music mixes the intense and distorted energy of crust punk with the piercing sound of metal, where brutality reigns and their darkest passions are fully unleashed. They also try to pay homage to bands they love—like Disfear, Darkthrone, and Extreme Noise Terror. Not just in the sound, but also in the lyrics sung both in Spanish and English. Here they deal with themes like war, the human condition, questioning god, and discussing anarchism and organization.
This EP starts things off with a sample from The Monster Club (1977) that depicts humans as a true monster—worthy of being a member of the club—due to the heinous way they treat the planet, themselves and other living beings. In it, Vincent Price—in the role of a vampire—asks for a song and “Warthrone”, the first track, kicks in with a heavy riff and a strong, wide and hard hitting sound. The gritty vocals echo throughout the song within a pulsating wall of distortion, and then a solo guitar makes an apparition, above the rattling drums near the end.
Penetrating, razor-edged, the lead guitar opens the second track, “Enemigo Absoluto” where the metal influences show off strongly enough. “The Art of Revolt” follows with a nice crust sound but also gives way to black metal appearing here and there. A guitar only interlude works as a bridge between this and what comes next, the rabid and dense “These Choirs Are the Truth”, and the fast and screeching “Las Ratas en las Paredes,” both with a great death metal vibe and a pleasant work in the vocals.
Not mind-blowing, but certainly a very enjoyable EP. It’s always nice to hear a mix of varieties of punk and metal, as they mix very consistently due to their common history and rawness. More so when both genres can align politically as well when we know they have a huge problem with the far-right movements.
Tapes will be available soon. You can contact them at: [email protected]