Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
I like stoner doom. Fuzzy, mile-wide riffs, dense rhythms, crushing drums… surely you know what I’m talking about. Of course, the vocals matter, too, but in some cases, the native tongue those vocals are in doesn’t.
See, that’s the situation here with the five-song ‘Vol. II Dios Sol‘ offering from Santiago, Chile’s Arteaga (out now from Forbidden Place Records). It’s utterly fantastic music with vocals, or should I say lyrics, that are foreign to me. It matters not in the larger scheme of things.
The power trio at the heart of Arteaga – Francisco Gonzalez, Sebastián Morales Munita, and Domingo Lovera Parmo – knock it out of the park with their first at-bat. But then, the title does refer to Vol. II, so perhaps this is not their first rodeo as the saying goes.
Start with the fuzzened intro of “Cuicodelia“, it soon melts away and reveals some wailing guitars that whine with feedback-rife effects. A pummeling bass/drum rhythm section hits hard enough to drive spikes, while a hazy-ish vocal accompanies it all.
It’s a hellacious start as the cuts “Chapultepec“, a bluesy, bottom-heavy cut, and “Daga” then follows. The latter is an interesting number that breaks out of the mold a bit and takes on an entirely different musical styling altogether.
That detour into different musical territory remains the plan with “Ruta“, a really uptempo track that pulls out all the stops. It rides along some rolling riffs, while what sounds like gang vocals navigate the verses. Oh, and it hosts a fantastic guitar solo, too – pure string-generated fire!
It is the final track that is the most mind-blowing of them all, the 20:15 long semi title track, “Dios Sol“. At first, it is a furious roll out of swinging, tight-knit jamming, but things abruptly careen into some heavier headiness. Things dissolve down into some isolated bass lines before imploding into a soupy stew of stoner psychedelia. All you can do is hang on the best you can for the next fifteen minutes or so.
I like stoner doom. If you do too, then chances are you will like Arteaga‘s ‘Vol. II Dios Sol‘ regardless of the language you speak. After all, music is the universal dialect that we should all be fluent in by now.