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Cultura Tres: El mal del bien

25/10/12  ||  gk

Venezuela’s Cultura Tres are one of the more interesting sludge bands I’ve heard recently. Much like Italians Hangman’s Chair, the band does a take on the genre that owes something to Alice in Chains but with a slightly bluesy sludged up feel. The guitar playing is impressive with its spaced out lead sections and the bottom heavy riffing that borrows from Jerry Cantrell’s book of guitar playing but adds enough originality to stand out. The songwriting is always interesting and mixes the sludge doom with grunge, death metal and bursts of spaced out guitar jam sections. While the bands influences are quite clear, the manner in which they put these songs together is refreshing. Also, the clean Layne Staley style vocals are a nice touch and make for a break from the usual tortured shouting/ screaming and give the songs a pretty cool feel. The album is a bit too long though and by the time the closing cover of “Black Sabbath” rolls around I’m running out of patience. Still, for fans of the doom and sludge genres there’s enough here to make El mal del bien worth checking out.

7/10: An always interesting even if slightly overlong release.