Solipnosis - Sintesis Silenciosa (Virupi)

Thrash isn't typically associated with experimental metal, but when it's properly kinked, its swashbuckling pace and bare-chested braggadocio can put a theatrical spin on otherwise deadpan avant garde. Crossing the hazy border into first wave black metal (BM) adds even more melodramatic flavor. Bands like Negative Plane, Malokarpatan, and Jordablod have transformed vintage sounds into something chic and retrofuturist, blazing left-hand paths while paying homage to torchbearers like Venom and Mortuary Drape. But the Global North isn't the only place where artists are rediscovering the old ways, and Chile's rising underground is the prime example. The slender South American country exports budding metal talent as if its economy depended on it—and across a variety of subgenres too. No matter how diverse, though, there's a common theme that unites almost all modern Chilean bands: an almost monastic reverence for classic heavy metal.

Add Solipnosis, a one-man project from Los Ríos, to the list of Chileans taking cues from metal's slipshod prehistory. Sintesis Silenciosa takes thrash-inflected BM as a loose template, then scribbles outside the lines with bughouse occultism, mathy tempo shifts, and scorching flamenco heat. It's clear that proto-war metallers Mystifier are a salient influence, and the EP is riddled with the Bolivian vanguard's outré operatics and vaudeville schmaltz. The vocals on “Descender en Alas de Quimera” sound like the ravings of a feudal warlord delivering bombast from a burning balcony, switching between garrotted shrieks and hysterical clean singing. When the smoke clears, “Capaz de una Obra Mayor'' bursts into the hacienda like the Kool-Aid man on a Scarface-esque coke binge, ratty chords corkscrewing like a fistful of bottle rockets in every direction. What's more, unlike the railroad chug of the old-school paragons he worships, Solipnosis moves at the quantum speed of Spirit Possession and (fellow countrymen) Demoniac's sleeker vessels. This breakneck urgency takes nothing from Centavri's catawampus riffs, but the real sleight is how scrupulously thrash and BM archetypes are warped and pretzeled into new shapes. With plenty of hue and cry, Solipnosis reconceptualizes these styles with neo-romantic sophistication, strumming peacocky arpeggios and grinning with a black rose between his teeth.