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Bala - Maleza review


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Band: Bala
Album: Maleza
Release date: May 2021

01. Agitar
02. Hoy No
03. X
04. Mi Orden
05. Cien Obstáculos
06. Quieres Entrar
07. Rituais
08. Bessie
09. Una Selva

Sometimes going a little over the top can be a good thing.

In the case of Bala, it's a pretty enjoyable thing at that. Maleza is the third full length from this Spanish duo, a brief but effective serving of some rather punchy sludgecore. A very "less is more" type release, a rhythmic, riff - heavy sound dominates, underscored by a deliciously crunchy sense of production. It's nothing overly complex, but in a lot of ways it doesn't really need to be. The grooves here got major cojones, and are certainly enough to stand on their own. "Cien Obstaculos" and "Rituais" have become definite favorites of mine, the latter being almost dance-inducing.

Wicked grooves are a must for sludgecore, but the presence of a charismatic vocalist makes it even better, and a large part of what really seals the deal with Bala is the fact that they definitely have this base covered. While I'm not 100% sure on the vocals here (delivered in Spanish), they very much sound like they're coming from a woman, and if so, boy does she go in with them. Yelling, chanting, and even a few hiss-like shrieks rear their heads on Maleza, helping to form a pleasantly diverse complement to the more simplistic instrumentation. "Quieres Entrar" is probably the best example, with how the vocals transition from a more restrained, whisper-like approach into frantic wails.

Within the context of sludgecore, Bala aren't quite as abrasive as, say, Indian or Fistula, but in some ways this is actually a good thing, as it makes their music a bit less punishing and easier to latch onto. The combination of tight riffage with the empowered, wide-ranged vocals gives the whole package a sense of gravity, immediacy, and all-around memorability that you don't always hear out of this particular style. The most important thing about Maleza is that, in listening to it, I can easily picture myself seeing Bala live and raging around as they belt out their quick little bangers, and if that's not a sign of a job well done, nothing is.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written on 03.11.2021 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 32 users
04.11.2021 - 20:53
Yeah, this one is a pretty cool balance of raw energy and groove
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?

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