coprofago - unorthodox creative criteria

.:: With technical death metal making gains in the States as of late, and bands from Sweden and Poland being some of the biggest international beneficiaries, it becomes hard to figure out how Coprofago have been ignored during this upsurge.

Then again, the painstaking compositions and awe-inspiring engineering/mixing job (done by names most have never heard of) that comprise Unorthodox Creative Criteria contain some spectacular ventures into jazzy interludes and ambient soundscapes, which could definitely be called fusion. And even the most ardent and erudite fans of metal and hardcore have historically been slow to understand, let alone appreciate, fusion bands. Furthermore, many works from the most well-known masters of progressive metal/jazz fusion have been out of print for far too long, which has spelled the improbability of re-discovery by younger, more open-minded metal fans.

Although Chile's interestingly-named Coprofago initially burst out of the gate with a standard-fare death metal sound in the mid-nineties, it was 1999's Images of Despair and 2000's Genesis that provided a window into the fast-growing musicianship of its members. If there are indeed multiple peaks to a mountain, Coprofago have finally hit one with Unorthodox Creative Criteria, their fourth and finest album, which is easily up to par with modern death metal fusion created on domestic shores.

"Streams" is one of the many examples on Unorthodox Creative Criteria where the band ventures into creating a sensuous soundscape by using almost a looped beat and prog-metal guitars, while "Isolated Through Multiplicity" sees experimental guitar and keyboard/organ arrangements that bring to mind Disco Volante-era Mr. Bungle.

There aren't many bands like Coprofago. It takes a sense of culture, professional musical ability, and most of all ballsy creativity to create an album like Unorthodox Creative Criteria. There are tracks that bulldoze like Meshuggah's finest work, and others that massage the eardrum with ambient sounds and jazz elements.

Having finally gained distribution in North America thanks to Canada's answer to Willowtip, Galy Records, there is no excuse for fans of classic fusion death metal or modern experimental metal to ignore this. --Reviewer: Michael Gluck

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