Siaskel: Jatenentolpen Thejin

You know, usually you see a logo that looks like a combination of sticks and sinews and you figure “oh, here we go, one of these bands,” but now and then behind the logo is a name that deserves reading, and a proper font.  Siaskel has an interesting approach in concept, and usually that kind of thing ends right there, but surprisingly it somehow plays out in the actual music.  Is it possible for such a thing to occur?  Yes, or at least in this case.  Coming from Chile, these guys cover their rather classic presentation of brutal, blackened death metal with Spanish and the, believe it or not, Ona language, whose last true speaker apparently died at some point in the 1970s.  Resurrecting a dead language to create blistering, raw death metal with layered vocals that draw it all together in some sort of magical way?  Well, for once, that sounds like a good idea, and it actually works.  It’s worth stating this might be some sort of rare, chance occurrence where everything in creation aligned perfectly, every star, planet, galaxy, and flea, but it cannot be denied the end result was worth the listen.  Let us consider this random event of the fates as we check out the mouthful that is Jatenentolpen Thejin.


Really wish we know what in the Hell that title meant, but apparently we are not worthy enough of a promo sheet to explain it.  Can’t you guys let all that European imperialism go already and stop being so nationalistic?  Jeez.  This one is surprising.  Siaskel, on this release at least, keep that in mind, have just the right amount of lo-fi.  A war-like intro introduces the album, and then the artillery begins careening upon your head.  The drums are relentless, as you’d expect, the guitars fly across the South American continent, reigning death via the ancient ways all over everything, and the bass keeps up the pulse.  As such, it’s actually a generally typical, though consistent, release.  You won’t find any surprises at all, you won’t find any real experimentation, nor will you find anything to cause you to turn this into a piece for placement upon the mantel to strike up conversation.  It’s brutal death metal, with some black elements, and that’s about what you expect to get out of it.  As far as conversation goes, it’s the chatter before the big speech, really.


But let’s go back a second, what’s the deal because the score below seems better than the above?  Musically speaking, Jatenentolpen Thejin is no better than a 3.5.  Doesn’t deserve lower, but it does nothing to push itself further.  However, as you wonder at the score, there’s something else to it, something that works but is not readily explainable in totality.  Whatever that is, forget it, we’ll leave it at that.  One element, however, is explainable, and it’s the vocals.  Siaskel have got these vocals down son.  Seriously, this is some of the best delivery in the history of death metal.  It’s surprising, too, because there’s nothing really unique about it.  There are lows, highs, more of a black metal rasp at times, and it’s layered throughout.  So what is it?  Frankly, we’re not sure how to explain it, but somehow the vocals draw this one all together for the perfect combination.  The music, it’s there, it’s doing its thing as it needs to, but that lyric delivery, damn, it’s sick, it’s spiraling anger, the way it swarms around, almost off-kilter with the rest of the music, and then comes together like a big clot inside of your brain is rather breathtaking at times.  Whatever they did right on this one, they better keep doing, unless they try to push themselves further in the future.  Awesome independent release, but pay careful attention to what we said above.


Siaskel Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Siaskel: Jatenentolpen Thejin
4 / 5