Gangrena - "Gangrena" Album 2019 [7.5/10]

Gangrena's second -and eponymous- full length has an interesting style with characteristics reminiscent of the European black metal we’ve heard over the last decade. Two versions have been issued by Nebula Forest Productions, a regular jewel case released in January 2019 and a promo one that comes in a cardboard slip handed out free of charge to those attending the gig at Búho’s Bar in El Salvador on March 30, 2019 and limited to 50 copies.

A very good vocal style interlaced with a great instrumental performance along 9 tracks. One guitar in the hands of Muerto -also vocalist- and bass creates the consistent wall of sound that dominates from the start, with fast riffs following a chromatic scale that highlights violence and darkness, drumming accentuates the feeling with a standard BM blasting sound.

"Muerto" and "Lilith" deliver short lasting rhythmic interludes. Title track, "Gangrena", sounds a lot like black and roll after the intro of cymbals and bass, the sonic discharge pays homage to the pioneers who defined the dirty and rough sound we know and appreciate. "The Ritual" seems to me quite slow, this makes it the weakest link in the chain, a faster section rescues it in the end.

The second half of the album, tracks 5 to 8, is the part I liked the most. With rhythmic intros, passages of fast riffs and moments on which the speed metal or black and roll add interesting variants, the particular sound the band creates in this album is better exemplified by the last few tracks.

The "bonus" is an unnecessary 7 minutes long ode to chaos, an amalgam of sounds that hardly show any melodic or technical consistency, sounds like pure destruction as if they had mixed parts of the previous tracks in a shapeless embryo.

Even though this might be a pretty standard album, I ended with a good feeling about it. I recommend it if you like simple black metal or the mix of black/speed or black and roll, you will surely find it appealing.