Album Title: 
La Gran Victoria Del Mal
Release Date: 
Friday, October 20, 2023
Review Type: 

The Canary Islands (Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, La Palma etc.) are usually associated with hot bitches, sorry, hot beaches, happy-hour-cocktail-binge-drinking-sh*t, and mass tourism. Okay, this has somewhat of an exaggeration, for there are some calm traditional villages out there, as well as truly beautiful national nature parks / wildlife, and above all, a guy called Ronald Rodriguez.

Under the healthy moniker Ebola, Ronald is active in e.g. Stormvold, Muert or the young project Altar De Defunción, yet his most productive outfit for sure must be Cryfemal (which means something like ‘scream of sickness’). Via this long-running project, Ebola recorded nine full-lengths (this review deals with the ninth), as well as some EP’s and splits. He’s almost always the sole performer, though for drumming duties (and live efforts, evidently) he worked / works with same-minded musicians, such as Bornyhake or Javier ‘Guayota’ Palmero. The latter used to be a live-member for Cryfemal, and is part of the Muert line-up too. Yet now he can be seen as the permanently recruited drummer for Cryfemal somehow.

Anyway, Ebola and Guayota did record this ninth album together (it’s Guayota’s first official studio result for Cryfemal). It got mixed at the almost legendary Moontower Studio with Javi Félez himself, and the mastering was done at the Beastcave Studio. La Gran Victoria Del Mal clocks half an hour and is divided into eight individual pieces. And it does mercilessly go on (and further) in the vein of 2020’s Eterna Oscuridad, this project’s debut for Belgian label Immortal Frost Productions.

Continuing the tradition of the primal, raw and uncompromising former release(s), La Gran Victoria Del Mal (which means ‘the great victory of evil’) brings forth a frenzy, barbaric and intolerant wall of timeless Black Metal. It’s quite a fast experience; most of the time balancing in between up-tempo and energetically fast, with more than just a couple of (sometimes unexpected) accelerations, once in a while trespassing the sweetness of pyroclastic blasts. It’s intense and overpowering, lacking any intention of giving in. Even the few slower passages burst of energy and volition.

Guayota’s contribution is of undeniable importance. He tortures his drum-skins, rapes his cymbals, and molests any percussion-based attribute near him. The better part, it’s like rumbling, lightning-injected authority going on, yet still he is capable to (ab)use his whole drumkit as a full-fledged leading instrument. It works nicely symbiotic with the strings and voices of Señor Ebola. When it comes to the latter, the vocal parts, I need to add descriptions like ‘guttural’, ‘raspy’ and ‘crude’ to start with. This guy’s throat is sick; mainly quite high-pitched, as if one’s brain gets slowly penetrated by a heated icepick, with hints of puking-your-lungs-out growls. When it comes to the lead and rhythm guitars (six- and four-stringed), one must take notice of the fine equilibrium in between a harmonious melodicism and a roaring force of psychotic mania.

Production-wise, this album comes once more with a necrotic sound. It had a balanced decency; not too clean, yet surely professionally edited; like being polished with smoldering acid and burning tar. The subtle primitivism behind the production has an old-styled, even punkish vibe, strengthening the morbid atmosphere that surrounds the whole album. it goes well with the well-composed textures; textures that balance in between apocalyptic chaos and technically skilled structures.

There isn’t a vinyl edition (not yet, probably), but besides a digital version, one might chase after the compact-disc. The latter comes with an eight-page booklet. Once again, artwork / layout have been created by Kozeljnik / WrathDesign, an extremely close relative to Immortal Frost Productions.