Cuerpos en Sombra by Spanish Ikarie seriously competes for the prize of best debut of the year, at least as far as the range of sounds I normally blog about is concerned. On the other hand, we are not dealing with novices, since in scrolling through the names of the protagonists we immediately notice some well-known characters in the Iberian scene as Pablo Egido and Paco Porcel, respectively voice and guitar of the excellent The Holeum, but actually the compositional mind behind this project is Daniel Gil, another musician gravitating in the area of Alicante who has in common with his two aforementioned companions the militancy in the first decade of the century in the blacksters Nahemah. In this work, however, there are no traces of either black metal or canonical death doom, but it’s a post metal of a truly surprising qualitative thickness that is the protagonist, thanks to the compositional balance that Gil (on guitar, with María Riaño, bass, and Dom Santoro, drums, completing the quintet) manages to express at every juncture, wisely alternating the most intimate moments with the robust outbursts entrusted to the always rough but expressive voice of Egido. The work not only has great musical content but also has the merit of conceptually encompassing themes that are anything but trivial or mannered. If Ikarie (the moniker should be taken from a Czechoslovakian science fiction film of the sixties) were born to express their concept of “cosmic existentialism“, Cuerpos en Sombra, as the title suggests, inaugurates the first part of a trilogy dealing specifically with the theme of abandonment in which those suffering from mental illnesses risk falling, ending up becoming a sort of ghost, “a body that moves in the shadows“. The album lasts three quarters of an hour, regularly alternating longer and more articulated tracks with others of shorter duration, without ever losing a common thread knotted to a dulling pain, in which the most liquid passages don’t seem to be enough to alleviate the pain that erupts when Ikarie rely on a powerful but reasoned riffing. Cult Of Luna, Amenra and company are certainly a point of reference, but it’s a reductive comparison for a work so intense and exciting, rich in content and harbinger of an inspiration that sometimes exceeds even that of these illustrious models. In the initial triptych Barrio, Remedio and Cenizas there is the best that sludge post metal can offer in these times, and from there on the listening will be a descent, without brakes, into the underworld of human desolation and loneliness.
2021 – Avantgarde Music