Nothing says speed metal with a blackened, thrashing edge like Costa Rica, yeah? No? Whatever. Culto Negro is a rather recently founded band, whose CD EP on Symbol of Domination, a sublabel of Satanath Records, dropped in September of 2016. Abismal Speed Metal is pretty upfront with what it is about, what with the black and white, drawn cover featuring a devil emerging from the ground on a graveyard from a suspicious looking, occult symbol on the ground.
During one period in the 90s this style was sometimes called “old school black metal”. Then, it was represented by such bands as Norway’s Aura Noir. To speak of speed metal with strong black metal and thrash influences probably makes more sense. Culto Negro combines much of the music of thrashier, older bands with the sense of authenticity and extremism characteristic of the second wave black metal fanatics.
Among the many bands listed as influences on the release page on Satanath’s website we find Absu, which is an excellent point. Much like Absu, one of this reviewer’s absolutely favorite bands in any category, some of the stupidity which always, rightly or wrongly, can be associated with “old school” thrash and speed metal isn’t here. This is more real, in some very difficult to define way.
The vocals must be highlighted for at least two reasons. First of all they are in Spanish, which somehow meshes very well with the rabid hysteria and aggression that drip from them like spilled guaro. Somewhere, there is a feeling that this would not be even half as good with different vocals. As things stand, they are an almost constant feature of the music, so it’s difficult to imagine it without them. That statement connects to the second point – the lyrics are long and developed, much like Absu’s, and their themes seem original and interesting. Unfortunately, the Spanish skills at Archaic Triad aren’t sufficient to make much sense of them, but a quote from the aforementioned page provides a clue. If they are as the music, they are “based on the occult, witchery, drugs, street, violence and the most PURE HATRED to everything established by the system.”
The all but unreadable logo serves to take this EP over the finish line. When you’re done knife fighting your way through Limón, your body covered in protective seals copied in blood from ancient tomes, you’d do well to invest a bunch of your hard-stolen cash in this little gem of ABISMAL SPEED METAL!