Tuesday 15 August 2023


Instrumental rock based music is somewhat of an acquired taste but one that once acquired pays huge dividends, especially in this thing we call the "underground" where a band without vocals is something to be embraced rather than shunned. One band that have almost become legendary for their instrumental jams, although they have toyed with vocals in the past, are Puerto Rico's Iglesia Atomica a band who have been doing their "thang" since as far back as 1990 and have built up an extensive back catalogue of releases too numerous to go into here .Over the years the bands line up has taken a few twists and turns but one constant has been Agustín Criollo, the guitarist/bassist/keyboardist has been the bands driving force since day one and has become somewhat of a respected elder statesmen within the Latin underground scene. The band's current line up of Criollo (guitars/keyboards/samples); Joel Doal Garcis (bass) and Danny Maymi (drums/percussion) have just released their latest album "Los demenios andan suelos" on Bandcamp and like all their releases its one you'll want to own.

Title track "Los demonios andan sueltos" comes out of the traps like one of those extended jams that 70's bands would regularly take off on while their singer was getting jiggy with a groupie side stage, hard rock style riffage and searing lead work backed by basement level low growling bass and incredibly busy drumming. It's not all swirling guitars and hard rock grooves with Iglesia Atomica though, this band have not built the reputation on just riffs, solos and punchy rhythms as you will discover when this song suddenly dips its toes into drone-like lysergic waters and then comes out the other side on a psych-doom groove that would put Ufomammut to shame. For next track "Aquelarre" "(featuring guest guitarist Diego Cartulin on the songs solo) Iglesia Atomica get a little bluesy but not in any conventional way, this is blues mixed with a little rice'n'beans flavoured dub and ambient heavy psych that, in places, even wanders into Ozric Tentacles(ish) trippy spacious prog territories. "Supercabrón" sees Iglesia Atomica diving deeper into the blues but also deeper into the more experimental and cosmic side of their sound, Criollo taking full advantage of both his guitar pedals and keyboards to bring a multitude of colours and textures into play on a song that routinely shifts between ambient experimentation and dissonant heaviness, his efforts perfectly supported by Garcis' booming bass and  Maymi's solid tight drumming. "Requiem para un planeta" is listed as a bonus track on the bands Bandcamp page, whether this will eventually make an appearance on any proposed vinyl version of this album Desert Psychlist does not know but it is one worth having either way, a stunning opus that is a mixture of experimental heavy drone, Hawkwind-esque space rock and torch-like blues backed by a unusually restrained but highly effective rhythm section. 

Spaced out cosmic blues, psychedelic proto-metal, acid laced dub and a whole lot more can be found inhabiting the grooves of  "Los demonios andan sueltos", it maybe music bereft of a vocalist but that doesn't stop it singing.
Check it out .... 

© 2023 Frazer Jones

1 comment:

  1. Please check out my recently-born blog about obscure Italian metal bands of the 80s/90s.