Chilean label Australis Records has been doing a very welcome job of late, aimed at bringing to light as many bands as possible that crowd the underground undergrowth of the South American nation that possesses the most active scene in extreme metal. The genre covered in this 4 Ways To Die is doom, firmly rooted in a country that has been the birthplace of seminal acts such as Poema Arcanus and Mar de Grises, established ones such as Procession or on the rise such as Mourning Sun and Lapsus Dei, with the proposal bringing together four bands capable of offering the genre in its various nuances. So we start with two tracks by A Sad Bada, with It’s Just My Blood, a short unreleased track based on a stinging and very heavy sludge, and You Must Know, a single released in 2017 and here re-proposed in its twelve minutes within which a post metal soul always appropriately soiled by muddy riffs becomes preponderant. Infame appear much rougher and less predisposed to pseudo-melodic openings, in fact Putrido Reflejo and Planicies de Locura are literally ingested and then vomited by this duo from Antofagasta that offers the best in the second of the two tracks, by virtue of a more enveloping and slowed down sound. Of Goethya nothing is known except that the proposed track is an incompromissory trance of over a quarter of an hour whose title (Bilis Negra Sofocante) leaves little to the imagination, although there is no shortage of moments of discontinuity from a sound that oscillates between death and doom but that in the central phase of the track gives incisive and reiterated lead guitar passages. The best known of the quartet of bands included in 4 Ways To Die, however, are Aura Hiemis, in light of fifteen years of activity that have yielded four full lengths and the fact that leader V. was for a time part of the aforementioned Mar De Grises; what is offered here is a more classic and organic death doom, decidedly better produced and in general more polished than the tracks heard previously Visceral Laments Pt II is a remarkable track in terms of intensity, variety and vocal interpretation, and the same can also be said for Broken Roots; in short, the level is raised considerably perhaps also because the nuances of the genre lend themselves more to a more organic and well-focused sound. That said, 4 Ways To Die proves to be a reliable cross-section of the health of a scene that is confirmed to be in great ferment and full of bands with probably as yet unexpressed potential.

2019 – Australis Records