Vol II. Dios Sol – CD – releases July 16, 2017 // DD – released February 7, 2017
Forbidden Place Records – USA // South American Sludge Records – R.O.T.W.
Reviewed by Santiago “Chags” Gutierrez
The first notes of ‘Cuicodelia’ may seem like an homage to Electric Wizard, however, if you keep listening, you will start to unravel what makes Arteaga stand out from most Electric Wizard clones. To their advantage, Arteaga put their South American (Chile, to be precise) stamp all over this release. Yes, this album has the trademark stoner/doom/sludge touches. The drawn-out riffs, the thick rhythms, the slow trampling drums are certainly all there. However, the crepuscular vocals (sung in their native tongue) is what sets them apart, used almost as a fourth instrument to enhance the overall mystical horror vibe of the record.
While their first EP, Vol I. Agradable, “added sludge and stoner riffs, desperate voices and constant beats” to the established sound of their debut demo, Vol II. Dios Sol “dragged guitars down a little bit more, they expanded their horizon turning themselves to the darkness of 20th Century Italian Giallo and Grindhouse dirt, genres that influence both their lyrics and aesthetic.”
‘Cuicodelia’ and ‘Chapultepec’ open the album with pure, straight up sludgy/stoner grooves, at times recalling a mid-90’s desert sessions sound. Both songs have accompanying videos on YouTube worth checking out that capture the previously mentioned Giallo and grindhouse aesthetic with elements of mystery, slasher, exploitation, and supernatural horror. ‘Daga’ and ‘Ruta’ follow up with a slightly different take on the genre. At times having a late 80’s early 90’s alternative/punk sound not unlike you would find with certain bands on a label such as Alternative Tentacles or Touch and Go. Final track, ‘Dios Sol’, briefly follows a similar style before shifting gears into a long droned out acid-fest. Expertly using crawling atmospheres and crafty grooves within the canvas of the 20+ minute song.
Francisco Gonzalez (bass/vocals), Sebastian Morales Munita (guitar), and Domingo Lovera Parmo (drums) have gradually begun to refine their sound with each release. If this LP is anything to go by, I’m sure they will come back even stronger with their next effort. Vol II. Dios Sol is out now on Forbidden Place Records – USA and South American Sludge Records – Rest of the World. You can also find it on their Bandcamp page. Give it a listen and take the trip!!