Francisco Lopez “Untitled #104” (2001)

An old one from the trash bin.

From silence it speaks.


What happens when an internationally recognized avant-garde music composer and sound artist, who has never before nor after released anything Metal-related, decides to explore the dynamics inherent to the extra dimensions of heavy riffing and neck-babbling groove? The answer lies in this unindentified, coverless artefact from 2001 AD. Pretty intriguing, eh? Yes, it certainly is. More in its shocking content, though, than in the stale way it looks.

To describe #104’s experience in mundane terms is to miss the point entirely, but let me give it a try anyway. As a beginner’s note, which shouldn’t be taken lightly, this “album” ravages, from the inside out, most of the Metal conventions of linearity and rhythmic construction which we all know a bit too well by now. Right off the hook, it sounds like López literally uses Metal as a found sound so to speak, which he then re-builds according to a masterplan larger than the typical metallish man-band sound we’ve grown accustomed to. So on one hand you get the downtuned and massively sinuous guitar assaults of Morbid Angel and Meshuggah combined, only minus their well-defined circularity of riffs and songs. And on the other hand, you also have extreme Metal’s complex patterns of speeded up, polyrhythmic tempi, but without any regular recurring motion or semblance of BPM symmetry. As much disfigured as it seems to amount to, the head-banging ‘kick’ one gets from badass extreme Metal is still pretty much there, even if it happens in a neural network bubbling faster than the speed of light. I really appreciate López’s effort to enhance the number of Metal possibilities in production, rhythmic structure and use of chugging (un)chords, without watering down neither the original intensity nor the underground aggressiveness of the genre. This experiment could teach a thing or two to newer Metal bands who seek adventures beyond the coded nature of heavy musick.

The danger to such a dismantling approach to Metal, indeed, would have been to tap into a chaos so pure that no coherence as such could ever be assembled out of it. But López had enough substance up his sleeve, already in 2001, not only to avoid the resulting mindless confusion but, and by the same token, to also give us, Metal listeners, some sort of cryptical enigma to overmystify our collective mind with.

-Oliver Side


Release:  2001
Label:  Alien8 Recordings
Avantgenre:  Metal Musique Concrète
Duration:  43:00
Origin:  Spain
Official site:
Review online since:  03.11.2010 / 23:05:4


01 – Untitled #104

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