Deathwalking utilize some unusual tools and ideas to make an interesting death metal album.
Some of the album feels a bit tedious and falls flat at times.
Deathwalking play straightforward death metal, and I’m glad of that fact. It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to any death metal, and due to my general disdain for tech-death, it’s bands like Deathwalking that capture my attention and hold it for longer than thirty seconds. As you may have guessed, there’s little in the way of technicality here, and on “Infectados”, Deathwalking prefer to steamroll the listener with honest, working-man’s riffage, rather than hyper-technical noodling. From the opening moments of “Cae”, it’s clear that Deathwalking have brought forth a death metal wrecking ball.
What separates Deathwalking from the multitude of ordinary death metallers is their use of synth backdrops and calm, ambient interludes between tracks. Generally, when keyboards are brought into the death metal equation, they tend to go the standard melo-death route, with Bodom-esque synth lines that twist around the riffs, busying up the music and contributing to the forward momentum of the music. Deathwalking eschew that formula in favor of a nearly completely opposite approach. Their synths are layered in the background of every track, providing a pulsing, sinister ambience to the record as a whole, especially when the touches of piano and electronics surface (see: “Fragua”). None of these electronic leanings divert from the record, and they’re unobtrusive enough that they accent the songs without overpowering them. On the whole, it’s a solid approach, and one that eschews technical skill for originality – which is completely okay, since the end result is pretty neat, especially since the death metal foundations of the record remain ferocious and heavy enough to offset the ambience.
However, during the middle segment, the record stagnates, though not in an entirely unpleasant way. The band goes through their standard motions of serious, straight faced death metal. While the electronic flourishes never grow outright annoying or offensive, they do sometimes slow the pace of the music to the point where it wallows and becomes tedious. The intermediary sequence of “Esquecer”, “Regresion”, and “No Bosque”, seems rather flat, and while competently executed, the songs don’t really add up to anything spectacular. It’s at the start of this section that the novelty of the ambient electronics wears off. The chief complaint I have with the record is that it could easily be described as “front-loaded”. The first few tracks hold the promise of a constantly fluctuating record, one that might offer more neat flourishes like those in the first few tracks. However, those flourishes simply repeat instead of evolving, and while sometimes repetition is good, the songs take on a cookie-cutter feel, despite the initial premise being quite engaging.
That’s not to say that “Infectados” is a bad record. The ideas put forth in the music are actually pretty sweet, and the chugging is as solid as you might imagine from accomplished metal musicians. The way they utilize electronics is unique, and on future records let’s hope that they continue pushing the envelope. As it stands, however, “Infectados” stands as a worthwhile, if somewhat stale listen.