MODULO 1000 — Não Fale Com Paredes (review)

MODULO 1000 — Não Fale Com Paredes album cover Album · 1970 · Proto-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Certif1ed
2010 CD re-issue with bonus tracks.

Normally I like to sit down to a nice slab of vinyl and live the album experience. Whatever the scientific evidence for greater accuracy in the digital experience, there's just something about vinyl that seems more musical - more alive.

But that's not going to happen with this one - I've no idea how much an original fetches, but the 2010 reissue already seems to be marketed around the $50 mark, and the dodgy 2000 bootleg is unthinkable obviously...

So the title translates as "Don't Talk To Walls", and the music is like Cream and Hendrix stirred into the heaviest side of US psychedelia, bounced around the Krautrock scene, colliding head on with Black Sabbath and Fifty Foot Hose, then inserted directly into the Latin sound.

"Turpe Est Sine Crine Caput" is like nothing else from that time - massively dark and heavy synth sounds, like Hawkwind mixed with Cabaret Voltaire, and some of the most awesome drum work imaginable. The main riff drives through in 5/4, producing a highly unsettled feel. We can ignore the widdly lead guitar as a product of its time - everything else about this track is decades ahead of its time.

Then comes the huge title track, the same features dominating the landscape - the brutal tritonic riffs and the monstrous drumming. We're in the more standard 4/4 here, but the barked, harmonised vocals are really sinister, and the stoner/doom feel is tangible. The lead guitar still sucks, unfortunately, but there's a really cool dark drum solo that evokes a more dangerous side of Carneval, like Black Sabbath covering Santana.

A lighter, more Floydian moment follows in Espêlho, but this is no mere take-off. Gilmour-esque slides soar above boomy acoustic guitar and beautiful, floaty keys, with harmonised voices repeating the chant "Espêlho" for 2 and a half minutes of sublimity.

This is followed by the manic minute or so of "Lem - Ed - Êcalg" - back to the strident keyboard/guitar dominated riffs and crazy drumming.

As one might expect, the menace is not let up for "Ôlho por Ôlho, Dente por Dente" (Eye for eye, tooth for tooth), which features some great links between the riff sections that bound off into crazy time signatures - a little clumsily, but hey, this is groundbreaking stuff that no-one else was doing at the time - and unlike much groundbreaking / experimental stuff, this is really, really listenable to, and striking in its early metal styling.

If you're a fan of odd time signatures, then "Metrô Mental" is a track you'll really get your teeth into as it careers off crazily, yet maintains a fantastic, headbanging momentum (or head-nodding, in some places, interspersed with wild improvisational sections influenced by "Echoes" on the "Live at Pompeii" film). Astonishing track - this must've blown the minds of audiences at the time, just like it would continue to blow the minds of modern audiences who think they've heard it all.

It's hard to know what to make of "Teclados", a keyboard fest of magical sounds with a jazzy and slightly disturbing edge that flutters around, never settling on a key base, or indulging with a cadence of a conventional nature, but there's more slow doom/stoner/time sig madness in "Salve.Se Quen Puder", and "Animália" seems to represent a lot of fun with guitars, backward tape loops and delay boxes.

In summary, then, the album is quite unique, and would be a masterpiece of its own genre were it not for those awful guitar solos.

The bonus tracks on this issue are interesting, and show a band not stuck in one particular dead-end style, but developing and playing with a style pretty much of their own creation, based on all the various musics that influenced the individual musicians.

The latin/rhythmic influence in the bonuses is very strong indeed, as is the tendency towards the more experimental and jazzy rather than the heavy - and the mix gets a bit confused in places, but nonetheless it's very enjoyable if you're in the right mind for it.

Standouts from these are "Ferrugem E Fuligem", "Curtissima" and "Waiting For Tomorrow".

A flawed gem for collectors of early metal music - and one for the stoners and heavy psych fans too. Well worth a listen by any metal fan with a taste for the more adventurous and exotic.

Rating - 4 and a half stars for the original album, 3 and a half for this version, as some of the bonus tracks are just a bit too light and unexciting.
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