Saying Hetero Skeleton's music is on the loud side is a bit like saying that the Pope is kinda Catholic -- accurate as far as it goes but hardly descriptive (the band's own MySpace page claims rather that they are the sound of "God farting"). The Finnish quintet's debut on Load Records, following a series of home releases and splits with bands like Fat Worm of Error, begins with a murky voice saying something in Spanish, appropriately, before descending into high-speed chaotic thrash that assumes thrash metal and post-Zorn jazz were the foundations of rock & roll, but far too stodgy and slow. Divided into two sections ("La Oracion del Muerte" and "El Serpente Del Amor") over nine parts, En la Sombra del Pàjaro Velludo is mood music for crankheads in straitjackets. The stuttering, abbreviated blasts of skronk sax and blistering drums are part of a tradition as such now, but in Hetero Skeleton's hands they not only sound fresh but vicious in a "club you over the head" sense, while the pauses and calm at points are opportunities to catch one's breath before finally dying. As with many such releases, it's often in the variety rather than the sound straight up where everything connects, as can be heard on the start to the sixth part. More distorted vocals lead to a demi-tribal drumbeat, twinned with an increasingly intense overlay of screaming brass instruments and white noise. As the drums turn into a blur and the saxes start squealing off into open-ended riffs before resolving into a brusque box-your-ears wash of noise that fades into a heartbeat rhythm, about the only remaining reaction is wondering what will last longest -- one's eardrums or the patience of your nearest neighbor.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett