Entrevista a Horcas

horcas tour

La banda de trash metal Horcas se presenta este viernes en BJ Sala. Mantuve la siguiente comunicación por e-mail con los argentinos, quienes resaltaron la alegría de un nuevo encuentro con el público uruguayo y adelantaron que van a estrenar un tema nuevo que aún no se grabó en el estudio.

Al ser una banda tan longeva, ¿sienten  una “obligación” o un “deber” (o como sea más certero llamarlo)hacia las generaciones más jóvenes de oyentes? ¿Sienten que a  través de su música tienen que acercarlas a un periodo que a nivel musical y artístico puede ser considerado mucho más íntegro?

Horcas es una banda que abarca varias generaciones. Vemos que los padres traen a sus chicos a los shows, así que tenemos la obligación de darle lo mismo que a sus padres: todas las ganas y el poder de una banda de metal.

Estamos siempre arriba no solo de lo musical sino también del show artístico (luces, escenografía, etc), queremos dar siempre lo mejor e invertir a veces de nuestro bolsillo para que eso pase y dar un show para ser un ejemplo de una banda de metal en Latinoamérica.

El nombre de la banda surgió basado en la reflexión de que “estamos todos con la soga al cuello”. Si Horcas comenzara hoy, o si alguno de ustedes iniciara una banda paralela ¿qué nombre sería el más acorde para describir el mundo en el cual vivimos?

Mirá, el nombre “Horcas” a pesar de los años sigue estando vigente en la vida cotidiana hay muchos que siguen mereciendo la horca como en aquellos tiempos que Osvaldo le puso “Horcas”.

A la banda le es difícil definir un nombre pero serían varios: “perseverancia”, “aguante” y “respeto” creo que estaría por ahí. Continue reading

Flanger (Uruguayan Artist)

flanger rock uruguay

You need more than Chuck Norris to save the world. You need people with courage, determination and a lot of heart. People who know the meaning of the words “sacrifice”, “honor” and “integrity”. People who would die for their ideals, and more.
While we keep looking for them, I’d like you to become acquainted with this new Uruguayan band. They’re called “Flanger”, and they’re a quartet which plays hard rock & roll. And they manage to do that in spite of their tender ages!
Don’t believe it? Well, this is the guys at their best:

Their influences obviously go from this:

To this:

The band is made up of Nicolás Pastorini, Fernando Pastorino, Martín Neme and Luis Canobra. I can’t remember who plays what right now – let’s just assume they’re all multi-instrumentalists who give Eddie Cochran a run for his money, right?

Nicolás Pastorini sings and plays the rhythm guitar, Fernando Pastorino is the lead guitar player, Luis Canobra is on bass and Martín “Tincho” Neme beats the skins. They’re all remarkable musicians, yet their lyrics still have a long way to go. Continue reading

“Canción de Cuna” by Nameless (Video)

Nameless Betto Martin

Nameless is a Uruguayan metal band that is about to release its third album, “7 Caminos” [7 Pathways]. Nameless is also one of the three bands that will be opening for Lacuna Coil on the 28th of February, when the seminal Italian band plays in Uruguay for the first time. The other two are Catarsis and Cínica.

By all accounts, it’s going to be a memorable month for the band. And just to set the ball rolling in the best of ways, they have issued an acoustic bonus video to go with their new album.

The song is called “Canción de Cuna” [Lullaby], and it’s an acoustic composition that signals a whole change of pace for the band.

Singer Betto had this to say abut the song on her Facebook profile:

“Lullaby” is a very personal song for us.

We weren’t going to include the song on the album at all, but we grew really fond of its “unplugged” or “raw” version, since it gave the CD a completely different emotional aura.

The photos you can see at the end are true, and they are really ours… each one of them tells a very specific story…  

In my case, it goes along the lines of “we all have that special someone who has taught us how to tie our laces, how to ride a bike, or who has even scolded us for our own good.
This is a song for all of them. Because we all have had that one person who once sang us a lullaby…”

My photo is the third one. I’m on the arms of my dad, who now has got Alzheimer. I miss our conversations more than anything in the world.

Below you’ll find the poster for the band’s upcoming gig in support of Lacuna Coil, along with the clip for the song “Partir” [Parting Away], which was featured on the band’s second album, and which is my favorite song of theirs.

Nameless Lacuna Coil

This is the band’s Facebook profile, and this is its webpage.

Cínica Issues Its First Album, “Transparente”

Cinica transparente

Uruguayan metal band Cínica was the first national artist to be featured on MusicKO, back when they were recording their eponymous EP.

And it’s a great pleasure to break the news they’ve just released their first album (“Transparente”), and that they’ve got a promotional video to go with it.

The video is for the song “Panacea”, one of the tracks that were actually included on the band’s earlier EP. All these cuts are featured on “Transparente”, newly remixed and remastered, along with seven other original compositions.

Cínica’s current line-up comprises Vico Campbell on vocals, Marcelo Simonetti on guitar and backing vocals, Gonzalo Simonetti on bass and Manuel Kastanas on drums.

Marcelo Fontanini (from Snake), Mariana Acosta (the former singer for Dr. Rocka) and Fabián Furtado (from Rey Toro) all have guest spots on the album.

“Transparente” will soon be available for digital purchase, and when that happens I’ll make sure to update this post. In any case, note that if you drop by the band’s website (www.cinica.net) you’ll be able to buy a physical copy using PayPal.

Cinica transparente banda

Cínica Releases Its Self-Titled Debut EP

Cínica’s Debut Is A Five-Song EP You Can Download For Free On Their Site

Cínica’s Debut Is A Five-Song EP You Can Download For Free On Their Site

Cínica was the first Uruguayan unsigned artist that I featured on MusicKO, way back in April.

Well, the band has just released its self-titled (and self-funded) debut EP. It has five songs: “Panacea”, “Conciencia” (my personal favorite), “Piso Frío”, “Velo Gris” and an acoustic take on “Panacea” (which closes the disc).

You can get the whole EP for free on their website.

A great way for them to send off the year!


Therion Is Coming To Uruguay

Therion Is Coming To Uruguay For The Very First Time This Year

Therion Is Coming To Uruguay For The Very First Time This Year

2010 will most likely go down as one of the most remarkable years ever for Uruguayan metalheads. International acts like Epica and Dark Tranquility visited the country and gave us everything they had. And now, another first-class artist is coming to town: Therion.

The Swedish band founded in 1987 by Christofer Johnsson is making their Uruguayan debut on the first week of October. Everybody is expectant to see them deploy their late-day operatic metal offerings along with songs representing their earliest phases.

Just to whet your appetite, these are two of their most popular songs.

Cínica (Uruguayan Unsigned Artist) – Part 2: The Music

(Read Cínica’s profile in the first part of this review)

Cinica 3

In art as in life, sometimes execution and ideals can occupy adjacent squares. That is rare, but it does happen sometimes. Think of Jeff Buckley, or Soul Asylum. When it happens, the music creates a mold of its own. And the musician ends up in a position that was perfectly defined by Cat Stevens in the song “Sitting”: “Sitting on my own not by myself, everybody’s here with me / I don’t need to touch your face to know, and I don’t need to use my eyes to see”. All senses but one are rendered superfluous because the power of sound conveys all there is to convey. It is the biggest form of communion between an artist and his public.

Yet, that is not the norm. In the same way that one has to renounce to some (or many) dreams in order to succeed in life, any performer that wants to make it has to sacrifice that ability to stand alone in the most crowded of places (yet always present and seemingly reachable to everybody) and gain a kind of immediacy that in the end disconnects him from those who cared about him, and that he cared about.

I am under the direct impression that many Uruguayan bands do not break into the big time internationally because not many of them are ready to make these sacrifices, compromises or whatever you want to call them. We are a small country, and the sense of unity is very strong – far, far more than some like to admit. There are unwritten rules and lines to toe that actually cross our geographical borders. Any Uruguayan artist crosses a single one of these, and the rest of us look askance on him for evermore.

It is difficult not to think about that when running through the songs any Uruguayan band records for its debut, and wonder whether or not they will reach the end of the process with the same frame of mind they had started out. In the case of Cínica, its first EP (to be self-funded and self-released by the band) will have four original compositions, and one of these (“Panacea”) is also going to be featured in an acoustic version. The remaining songs are “Salvación” [Salvation], “Conciencia” [Conscience] and “Velo Frío” [Cold Veil]. The music is colored with the melodic canvass of a band like Dream Theater, and intermittent brushes of Pink Floyd are used to decorate the remaining spaces.

On the whole, the playing is as tight as that of any band that has been around for some time (Cínica first got together in 2008) I was particularly pleased with the work of the lead guitarist and the drummer (Marcelo Simonetti and Manuel Kastanas respectively, the two founding members of the band). The guitar is suitably stinging and the way the drums are pounded makes me think of a heart that is flayed but that refuses to stop, accelerating when the lyrics require it (listen to the chorus of “Salvación” [Salvation] for a clear example). The combo is rounded up by singer Victoria Campbell and Marcelo’s brother Gonzalo in bass. Victoria’s vocals are focused, and Gonzalo gallops along to the beats set by Manuel pleasurably enough. Marcelo also sings backup, and the first lines of “Conciencia” [Conscience] are actually sung by him.

Both “Salvación” and “Conciencia” are studies on the perils of submissive acceptance in which the catharsis is brought by the instruments, but my personal favorite from these sessions is “Panacea”, maybe on the strength of the intimidating vocals. The sound also seems even more fleshed out than in the other cuts, with the song bearing the most refined introduction from the whole set.   Continue reading

Cínica (Uruguayan Unsigned Artist) – Part 1: Profile & Interview

It fills me with immense joy to officially inaugurate the section of MusicKO devoted to Uruguayan artists that are yet to find a record company.
The first band to be featured is Cínica, from my hometown of Montevideo.
This is the first part of the article, here you can read some basic band information and the answers to the questions I put their way. And you can read my opinion regarding their music in part 2. Of course, you can listen to it here.

An enormous “thank you” to Marcelo, Victoria, Gonzalo and Manuel for their time and enthusiasm.


Band Information

Name: Cínica

Genre: Alternative Metal

Band Members:

Victoria Campbell – Vocals
Marcelo Simonetti – Guitars/ Backing Vocals
Gonzalo Simonetti – Bass Guitar
Manuel Kastanas – Drums

Been Together Since: June 2008

Some Questions

How would you capture the essence of your band in words?

If we’re talking specifically about the band, we could say that we have a great chemistry that is evident if you ever see us onstage. That chemistry is also felt when it comes to writing and giving shape to new songs. We all come from different styles, and in our opinion that is a plus when playing and composing. The resulting music has a mix of various flavors, but always with metal and hard rock at its root.

Are you trying to make a “new” artistic statement as far as Uruguayan music goes? Or will you just let history play its role?

The band started as two friends who met and played for fun, and it developed from that. It got more and more serious, and it eventually grew into a full band. We’ll try to play the music we like and reach out to the most people we can. We know our music has things in common with other bands but we like to think the combo is pretty unique in this country. So time will tell.

How does your music fit in global terms, IE what perception will a person who is located at the opposite end of the world have of it?

In spite of the language (we agreed from the very beginning that the lyrics would be in Spanish) our music could be heard all over the world. We don’t add (yet) elements that have exclusively Uruguayan roots like Candombe or Tango to our music. Most of our lyrics are also about universal issues – IE, issues that anyone could relate to. Continue reading