Wednesday, July 18, 2018 08:11

Posts Tagged ‘Defuntos’


Monday, January 7th, 2013

Vidas Vazias… Almas Perdidas…’ is the sixth full-length from Portuguese siblings Defuntos, who have been enchanting me with their odes to death and bereavement since 2006. I’ve bought every Defuntos release to date and they are almost invariably brilliant, with just the occasional wobble. This latest album is presented in vinyl format by Bubonic, limited to 200 units, each of which is dedicated to the owner (take that, you speculating Discogs-using leeches!).

It’s nice having my name written on the fold-over, decidedly-underground paper cover. This adds something extra to the relationship between owner and record. As ever, the artwork is creepy and disturbing, complementing the music perfectly. All the lyrics are included (but this is of little benefit to me as I don’t know any Portuguese – I even had to Google-translate the album title: ‘Empty Lives… Lost Souls…’). Still, cool to have them.

Music-wise, this is not Defuntos’ best album. Though proceedings start encouragingly with a haunting intro and majestic, mournful opening track proper, I found it gradually became laboured and monotonous compared to their previous full-lengths. By comparison, ‘Vidas Vazias… Almas Perdidas…’ seems to plod along and there’s little or no variation. Does this expose a limitation in what Defuntos are trying to do? Then again, I suspect the overwhelming dullness is deliberate and that the band has set out to create their most morbid and depressing work to date. If so, they have succeeded. This is very dreary, very depressing, very downbeat.

All in all, this is another triumph for Defuntos’ unique strain of drum-and-bass, doom-infused Black Metal, even if it falls somewhat short of the quality to be found on this, this or this.



Friday, August 24th, 2012

Along with ‘Sangue Morto’, ‘A Negra Vastidão Das Nossas Almas’ has also been reissued by Bubonic in the vinyl format, which is ideally suited to the analogue sound conjured by Defuntos. I remember being slightly disappointed by this album when it originally appeared as it wasn’t quite on a par with the aforementioned debut. But it’s still better than most other releases doing the rounds and is certainly worthy of investigation.

Again, we have a nice limited release with a single-sheet folding sleeve / cover with lyrics etc. printed (in Portuguese, of course) on the inside of the fold. The music itself is truly of the underground – lo-fi, creepy black doom ‘metal’ that’s bass- and drum-heavy, complemented by eerie, sinister otherworldly chants and supplications.

Defuntos is a strange and wonderful band and this collection is as highly recommended as almost everything else they have put their name to thus far in their unheralded recording career(s). Dungeon music, cellar music, a demented journey. Blah whatever … just get it.

Evilometer: 555/666

DEFUNTOS – SANGUE MORTO LP (Bubonic Productions)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The Portuguese brotherhood of Defuntos first crossed my ears with the release of this very album on CD five years ago and they have since remained one of my all-time favourite bands. When I heard that Bubonic / Discipline was unleashing the first two albums – this and ‘A Negra Vastidão Das Nossas Almas’ in limited vinyl format I simply had to get in on the action…

For those of you who don’t already know, Defuntos play a unique breed of Black Metal that contains a strong dollop of doom contained within a fetid recipe of bass, drums and vocals. No lead guitars to be found on here and it’s all the gloomier for it. Despite the strangeness of their approach, these guys are anything but a gimmick or novelty act. They are truly superb and, for me, ‘Sangue Morto’ remains their crowning achievement. To date.

A thoroughly fantastic debut album, this is sorrowful, morose, eerie, spectral, depressing black doom that will make your blood freeze. The artwork etc. adds to the sense of despair and use of the native tongue has never been more effective. If you buy this, you will get a personalised copy complete with you name engraved on the sleeve and, trust me, you will not regret parting with your cash.

Lo-fi, rarely-produced and – frankly – shitty-sounding at times, this is surreal underground art and not to be missed.

Evilometer: 666/666


Monday, July 9th, 2012

Surely one the most-underrated Black Metal bands of all time, Defuntos have been releasing all manner of magnificence for the past five years, including five superb full-length albums, a couple of neat 7” EPs, some splits and a few demos.  ‘Restos De Uma Vida Antiga’ is a demo cassette of the quality of a non-demo recording, which was unleashed last year; I have no idea what the limitation of this is but I’m pretty certain it’s going to be quite difficult to acquire. Had to jump through a hoop or two myself, but it was worth the effort.

Cocainacopia have done a fabulous job with this special edition cassette release. The blue chrome cassette is cased within a cool box with booklet and lyrics included, not to mention some typical fading-brown Defuntos artwork centred around themes of the past and, well, death. Ancient times and death – that’s what Defuntos is all about in a nutshell.

The truly astonishing thing about the music made by these Portuguese brothers is that they only use drums, bass and vocals (and organ only on the last tune here: ‘A Desgraçada Vindoura’) – from which is conjured a genuinely dark and disturbing mood. Quite a trick. The two tracks proper on this demo are bleak and downbeat; the instrumentals that bookend them sombre and sorrowful. I would thoroughly recommend tracking down every release these guys have put their name to but ‘Restos De Uma Vida Antiga’ would be as good a place to start as any seeing as it’s such a well-presented and fine-looking piece of poignancy.

Evilometer: 666/666