Corrupted

El Mundo Frio

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AllMusic Review by

When doom titans Sleep recorded the seminal, one-hour-long song, Dopesmoker (aka Jerusalem), they created a stone cold classic; they also created a monster. Although hardly the first album-length "song" by any stretch (artists as diverse as Jethro Tull, Mike Oldfield and Green Carnation had already tried their hands at similar projects beforehand) Dopesmoker probably introduced the concept to a ready and willing "why didn't I think of that before" doomster scene, paving the way for several subsequent attempts both worthy and, well, unworthy. So, without even trying to pronounce said verdict just yet, never mind opening the can of worms defining what exactly constitutes a big-ass song versus a bunch of different ones strung together, the "attempt" which concerns us here is Corrupted's El Mundo Frio -- a 71-minute colossus whose existence, when you stop and think about it, is really no more preposterous than that of a Japanese band that insists on writing lyrics in Spanish. Breaking it all down: El Mundo Frio starts off with about ten minutes of slowly (make that s-l-o-w-l-y) escalating bass hums, piano chimes, soft-picked guitar notes, and oh-so-gentle, unhurried percussion; bursts into ten more minutes comprising city block-leveling groan chords; proceeds into 12 minutes of funeral doom with actual vocals of the Cookie Monster variety; settles into 15 minutes of mellow keyboard patterns and plucked acoustic guitar melodies; followed by 11 more minutes of funeral death/doom metal; and finally decays into a closing 12 minutes of barely audible chimes, echoing forlornly in the agoraphobic ether. The album's long-awaited verdict at last: is it diverse? Yes; Intriguing? Sure thing; Suitable as background music? Why not; Ambitious? Most certainly; Classic? Not really. A classic wouldn't leave one wondering what the whole darn thing might sound like if it were sped up to wrap in under ten minutes, and as long as El Mundo Frio's different sections take to actually resolve themselves, this question becomes almost inevitable. Ultimately, with over a decade's work and countless releases under their belts, there's no doubt that Corrupted have a well-established (if peculiar) M.O. and really know their way around a doom/drone epic; but perhaps they'd be better served leaving the album-length concoctions alone.