Review: Rotem – Nacao Valente E Imortal

Hailing from Portugal in a digital format, this is the latest in the black progressive metal one man band genre! It gargles well within this genre and I think you’d need to see a live show to appreciate it more. At first glance, this is only another deathcore/grind’em up piece but it swells with progressive pride. Digging deep into their rich history, he speaks of important historical events with a hardcore attitude.

A Portuguesa is a railing, Maiden like musical rendition of their national anthem that introduces us quickly to the playing of the band. Viriato is a sluggish, cranky piece that I don’t like at all personally but the rest of the record is very well engineered and produced.

The 11 plus minute opus Sagas de Portugal is good then so-so for me, as the musical overlays are kind of slow at first. It is suddenly then good again, mixes classical overtones, orchestras and other stuff in a new and unusual way. The pseudo-rap and guttural hopscotch from about 5:55 to 6:21 was neat and innovative.

If Terramoto 1755 on Nov 1, All Saint’s Day could have had a soundtrack, this would have been it. The actual 8-9 Richter scale quake, causing tsunamis and the like, destroyed most of Lisbon. Maybe they are trying to do that with a wall of sound and guitars and might quickly succeed; a powerful piece that brings some historical overtones with it.

Terribly impressed with the rest of the record! The finest elements of many genres pieced skillfully together by one person makes this an easy, willing listen. The more I heard it and found its deep underbelly of prog roots, the more I liked it. The barrage of lyrical virtuoso and hard metal playing instantly captivates and resonates and you have to be amazed at the skills of Rotem.

A classy historical play that does a great homage to his country, this would be interesting to see in concert, and would hopefully break down the stoic barrier of the classic lineup, but not replace it. The skill and grace of this composer is not to be taken lightly. I akin Rotem’s skilled underpinnings of such solo innovators such as Jean Michele Jarre of electronica fame and Aldo Nova, a classic rock 80’s solo composer.

A novel, biting piece! 8/10

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