Tuesday 17 June 2014

G.E.N – “No Ink for a Selk Portrait - Album Review

G.E.N – “No Ink for a Selk Portrait – Tracklisting

1. Monologue of an Isolated Man Part I
2. Shadow of Light
3. Dead Tears
4. Catarsis
5. Monologue of an Isolated Man Part II
6. Farewell
7. Manifesto
8. Epilogo de un Retiardo


G.E.N. is a Chilean band formed in 2011 in Santiago, where his main purpose is to develop a modern and particular metal music concept, influenced by genres such as Death/doom, post doom and gothic. A particular feature is an existentialist lyric proposal and a dramatic theater concept in their live performances.

In December 2012, G.E.N. edited their first EP called "Manifesto", recorded,mixed and mastered at VNA Pro Studio, Santiago Chile. This material was published in January 2013 in digital format, distributed in USA by Digmetalworld Records.

In January 2014, the band finished the edition of their new LP album called "No Ink For A Self Portrait", recorded, mixed and mastered at 15 Hz Studio, Santiago Chile. Nowadays, G.E.N is working on the launch of the new material and also signed their first contract with the mexican label Sun Empire Productions for the publishing and distribution of "No Ink For A Self Portrait"

Band Members

Andrés Munster (Vox)
Javier Niemann (Lead Guitar)
Cristobal Emparan (Rythm Guitar)
Ignacio Urqueta (Bass)
Tomas Quiroz (Drums)


Today, for no one is unknown the boom that is taking up the Doom Metal and its subgenres worldwide, this rebirth that comes from the hand of such major releases like the new album by the masters Black Sabbath and their acclaimed album "13". It´s a phenomenon of which Chile is no stranger, it is known that our beloved national scene has an international reputation particularly around this genre, as a result of the significant musical contributions from bands like: Poema Arcanvs, Mar de Grises, with certain nuances Uaral and the ever increasing new generation with bands like Aura Hiemis, Mourners Lament, Lapsus Dei, Opus VII, A Sad Bada, Endymion, Afterworld and several others.

In this select group and with only 3 years of existence, highlights the great work of the Post Doom / Gothic Metal Chilean band, G.E.N which we heard in first instance with its EP "Manifesto" which was released in digital format and distributed in the "States" through Digmetalworld Records. On this occasion, exclusively, we are pleased to share with you his tremendous debut album entitled "No Ink for a Self Portrait", release which its part of the diverse catalogue of Sun Empire Productions (Mexico) and consists of 8 songs that take and immerse us in a world of intense emotions with heartfelt lyrics that speak of pain of loss and the systematic alienation to which we are exposed today, where the music moves through acoustic passages of almost ethereal subtlety, which in turn are a faithful representation of the melancholic picture of G.E.N and are part of a sound language where duality between melodic and rhythmic intensity coexist in equal terms, part of the great merits of the band.

The album begins with the excellent "Monologue of an Isolated Man Part I" theme that demonstrates the very good management of the dynamics by G.E.N, with a progressive increase in the intensity of the track expressiveness, melodic string lines well connected, Post Rock scented, a successful percussive work that begins with a well-chosen set of snare-drum rolls for a premeditated change of intensity to wander sublime moments of sadness and provocative reflection, this adds to the versatile and solid vocal work of Andrés Munster, that reminds me in a good manner, the pleasing clean voice style, and phrasing of Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride, which is an influence that the band admits, and that is evident throughout the album, with the great exception that G.E.N to me has a more Gothic (dark) and atmospheric essence comparatively to the English masters. Continuing with this great start, "Shadow of Light" appears with a more Doom / Death character, basically by the increased presence of choppy guitar riffs, interspersed with bridges or transitions of clean guitars.

All this supported by the excellent rhythmic base of Thomas Quiroz (drums) and Ignacio Urqueta (bass), along the prevailing melancholic elements both vocally and musically, allowing you to connect naturally with the "emotional force" of the band. With the suggestive title of "Dead Tears" the third track shows how well done this album is, expressive and rock solid on the structural, evokes in my opinion to other influences that the band recognizes, which is the band Katatonia (old), particularly in the "Brave Murder Day" era. Thus we reach the middle of this outstanding work, to meet with one of the best track of this album, entitled "Catharsis" and I think the name might not be another, given the effect of their successful dramatic development that occurs from Calm subtle guitar chords, to fire starting drum time progressions with interesting patterns with double pedals, toms and snare drums, all accompanied by harmonies and melodies that radiates a certain anger and contained sorrow, in vocal terms this track consolidates Andres Munster style and dramatic intensity.

"Monologue of an Isolated Man Part II", another of my favorite tracks; appears as a natural continuation of the first part, with a funeral mood and Munster voice as a guiding light, in a rhythmic tempo that exudes profound sadness and agony, this atmosphere melts as a single core with the remarkable string work of Javier Niemann (Lead Guitar) and Cristobal Emparan (Rhythm Guitar), having the good taste to deal with the intensity required for each track, having a measured and effective use of effects that seek to complement the sonic proposal of G.E.N, which is efficiently achieved in a wide stylistic spectrum. "Farewell", "Manifesto" and "Epílogo de un Retirado" are the final triad and offerings of this great album, all of which preserve a common element in the proposal of the band, which is the constant interplay of dynamic, tempo and intensity changes, strength in the individual instrumental performances, coupled with the dramatic and interpretative stamp which Andrés Munster imprints vocally, I unequivocally believe that "No Ink for a Self Portrait" is certainly eligible to be classified as one of the best releases of the genre nationwide this year, and has enough quality to be positioned in advanced ranks in the competitive international doom scene. Finally, for all those who enjoy and support the real underground, please take the time to check this out, you won´t be disappointed.

Written by Raúl Valenzuela