Comprised almost entirely of the spare matter and excess intensity one would assume gets gutted from the over-polished metallic thunder of your average heavy rock album, there’s a certain efficiency to the clamoring of Federico Balducci & Francisco Javier Sanfuentes’ new offering in El Velo de Lo Irrepresentable that is perhaps as sexy an attribute as the record’s tonal command of the audience is.
Progressive metal balladry is washed in the white noise of a post-punk sensibility in “2+1,” while the flesh of the guitars is ripped from the bones of rhythm altogether in the guttural drone anthem that is “Detras Del Muro.” The crunch of a thrashing riff is replaced by the classical kiss of the fragile harmonies in “Muro VI (People Will Judge Me),” much as the string arrangement supporting the spoken word in “Muro II (I Don’t Deserve It or I’m Not Worthy)” was designed specifically to breach our vulnerabilities with a cutting melodic disposition more emotional than lyrics could ever be on their own. Unsubtle angst and unrelenting power are equal ingredients in a recipe for telling impossible impassioned stories here, and while El Velo de Lo Irrepresentable was crafted mostly for ambient lovers, it doesn’t take a Ph.D. in experimental audiology to recognize the depth of its presence – nor the potent nature of its narrative – in a single sitting.
Mixing “Muro IV (I Don’t Want to Embarrass Myself)” couldn’t have been the easiest task, but its detailed cosmetics are preserved in such a fashion that it makes me wonder just how much of the production premise was created ahead of the composition itself. There’s a fine line between producing and performing that is constantly blurred in the better parts of El Velo de Lo Irrepresentable, allowing for us to assume that magic behind and in front of the glass is responsible for the charisma of tracks like the rock-centric “Muro III (I’m Not Good Enough)” and Ghost-influenced “Muro VII (I’m Not Organized).”
The prog influences are especially evident in the fluidity of songs like “Muro I (The Goal Feels Impossible)” and “Muro VIII (“I’m Not Qualified),” but still present in more cerebral content like “2+2” as well. The structure of this LP undeniably makes it impossible for a legit music freak like myself to play any portion of the album in fragments, but instead calls for a complete session devoted to hearing every song in the chronological order they’re offered to us here.
El Velo de Lo Irrepresentable just might be one of the most intriguing concept pieces I’ve heard in the year so far, and though there’s still plenty of time for the competition to submit something stimulating to compete with Federico Balducci and Francisco Javier Sanfuentes, I doubt many will have the chops to produce something as devastatingly decadent and full-bodied as this work is. The chemistry these two have got is just too grand to go unexploited in a follow-up to El Velo de Lo Irrepresentable, but if this does wind up being the last time they share the studio for the foreseeable future, I think the impact they’ve made here will be enough to make it a memorable occurrence for anyone who experiences the LP.
by Bethany Page