Review: Matalobos – Arte Macabro (Mexico, 2016)

One year ago, in this very period I reviewed Matalobos’ debut demo. And if you’d like to know more about that, there you go. Otherwise let’s just jump right into their first full-length fatigue, delivered on their behalf by the Mexican label, Concreto Records.

Arte Macabro comes for me as a preview, since right at this moment –when I’m writing- the album has not been released yet. So getting this cool chance is pretty damn great, not just because of the preview-thing itself, but because the album is actually a killer one!
I already spoke my mind out about the potential these muchachos hold. In fact their debut EP ended up in my 5-top albums of 2015, but I know now my intuitions have also been confirmed. Matalobos have been able to double yet overtake the coolness of their debut.
What they offer is a tasty cocktail of melodic doom/death metal, which is definitely in the vein of bands such as Swallow The Sun, Novembre and, call me crazy, but I hear a touch of Opeth as well.

The album, taken as a whole is nothing too complex and/or innovative, but that does not mean it’s not good. Actually is definitely enjoyable and “usable” from the very first play. But it’s after a few spins that Arte Macabro starts to disclose its most interesting shades. Medium-paced blast beats, acoustic guitar inserts and badass melo-death riffs are some of the sweet things you’re going to find inside this record.
For example, the tune Solitary Confinement has all of them along a super-catchy melody. Probably it’s the heavy track I enjoyed the most together with Macabre. (which you can check right now)

If you’ve been careful enough you should have noticed I wrote “heavy track”. I did that because there’s also a soft number. Shiver is a slow acoustic ballad indeed. But it’s not that simple-cheesy one. It has growls in it. Actually it has only growls as vocals. Which is definitely terrific!
The thing is: acoustic guitar, violin, lead clean-electric guitar and growl singing. Everything’s tuned into a deeply melancholic song which really gives me shivers. Oh boy, what more could have I asked for?
Nothing, basically. But they played the magic trick. Why not toss in an outro guitar solo that screams Santana (yeah, you heard it right) all over the place!?
That left me totally floored.

Whether the album is certainly good, that tune elevates Arte Macabro to a majestic level.
However, for all you hardcore metalheads who dislike “ballads”, you guys still have 5 others shockingly good tunes to bang your heads to.
Matalobos all passed with flying colours!

Label: Concreto Records
Websites: Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp
Release Date:
Reviewed by Teo

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About Matteo "Teo" Gruppi 120 Articles
TSL co-founder, co-owner, editor, CEO, reviewer, interviewer and writer. Basically I do a lot of stuff and I can’t get anything done well. I was born in 1991 and started loving music since 1981. Got my very first band in high school and now I play as a lonely dumbass in 3 projects: Chiral, Il Vuoto and |||. I listen to every kind of music as long as it is good and intense. Favourite genres include: everything as long as it’s good! (but also folk, black metal, 70-80’s rock and post-rock).

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