Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Yes, There is Good Thrash Metal in Chile
Chilean thrash metal band Mental Devastation caught my attention a few days ago and these guys have released their second studio album called The Delusional Mystery of the Self Part 1 in November 2021. Yes, that is one of the longest album titles that most of us have seen and this is said to be part of a conceptual idea and part of two part musical opus. This album is their first one in 8 years.
Initial Analysis of the Songs On Mental Devastation's Second Album
Their first album is Red Skies which I have not heard yet but for the purposes of this review, let us focus on their newest work which is stylistically very progressive in nature in spite of the speed. There is also the use of fretless bass which was used during the early 1990s (does anyone remember the album called Focus by Cynic?). You will most definitely hear that fret-less bass sound, that’s what I can say. The solos are also influenced to a certain degree by Yngwie J. Malmsteen but not entirely. The way in which this album begins should be considered a guitar player’s best dream come true. We have a song “Genesis” which is neoclassical in nature and you can instantly notice this because of the way in which this song is played. Genesis is also one of the early parts of the Bible which talks about the first human beings. The fret-less bass which accompanies it is also influenced by Steve Digiorgio. A few notes that are played resemble the band Kreator as well. There is a guitar part in the song “Ascension” which sounds like French death metal band Agressor. In a genre that has both evolved with the times and also has thrash metal bands that sound generic, Chile’s Mental Devastation are the exact opposite of this. The vocals could be improved somewhat but other than that, there is nothing really sub-standard about this album. There are three instrumental songs on this album and one of them is “Dans L’absurde” which is influenced more than likely by artists such as Yngwie Malmsteen and or the Gipsy Kings. I can notice these influences because of the style of the guitar play. It doesn’t take a student of music to recognize various patterns and influences. Chile is no longer a country that is just known for being the home country of Tom Araya. It is slowly developing into a pretty decent thrash metal producing country. Some of you may say that it is too early to make such an assertion. Listening to enough metal music from this nation, you can get a general idea of where it is going.
Meaning Behind the Title of the Album Explained
We would not be discussing the bigger picture of the album unless we tried to interpret the meaning of the album’s title. From this perspective, humans think that they know who they really are but they do not really know who they truly are. We are actually spiritual beings using this physical body for a human experience on Earth. We are deluded into thinking that we are just this physical body but we are so much more than that. Hence, the delusion comes from so many of us thinking that we know who we really are.
Overall, The Delusional Mystery of the Self Part 1 attempts to explain some of the mysteries and issues of human life. But we would not be addressing enough of the album if we did not address the 3rd instrumental song of the album which is called “Perpetual Dualities.” This one is just a heavy song with a ton of fret-less bass play mixed in with the solos. This one is the weakest of the three instrumental songs on the album but that does not mean it is bad. It also sounds like a more modern version of Rotting Christ to a degree but the melody is present here. Say hello and welcome to one of the most melodic thrash metal bands from Chile even though they are not technically a new band. The song “Time’s Echoes” lyrically addresses the illusion of time and space. It was Albert Einstein that famously referred to time as being an illusion. Nonetheless, our human potential goes beyond what we know as clock time.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2021 Ara Vahanian