M-16 – Canciones Escritas En El Exilio

M-16
Canciones Escritas En El Exilio

The original members of M-16 immigrated to New York City in 1996 to escape “the confining Dominican rock scene.” Apparently, they released an EP somewhere between then and now, but I’ve never heard it. When one reads the press kit, it sounds like M-16 are some type of death metal band. All the literature and images seem desperate to cultivate an image of brutality. I don’t really see why they bother. True, M-16 play metal. But the songs are of high enough quality that all this excess emphasis on aggression just takes away from the record.
See, Canciones Escritas En El Exilio isn’t really all that destructive. While the riffs are massive and thrashing, they’re also incredibly catchy. Too often in metal, bands seem determined to blow through as many guitar acrobatics as they can. M-16 slows the whole procedure down. Instead of flamboyant solos (which I loathe), guitarist Omar focuses on the melody. For example, during a break on “Ferbero,” he uses a slide in a simple but effective way that enhances the entire track. First single “La Sange Que Corre En Mis Venas” rocks hards. The band locks into a tight groove and drives the riff into your skull. Other songs like “Sentimientos Rotos” and “Lloviendo” follow this motif. However, M-16 does break formula occasionally. “Raza” speeds up and incorporates some cool melodic bass tinkling, and “Oracoin a la Sernidad” features a surprisingly spacey guitar progression reminiscent of Hum. Hell, the band even turns in an impressively faithful rendition of “Strange Days” by the Doors.
Still, M-16 obviously understands that live shows provide bands their primary bread and butter. So, in order to get the kids off their asses and into the clubs, M-16 include two live tracks recorded at everyone’s favorite, CBGB’s. “Ripped” starts with grinding bass pick slides, pounding guitar, and powerful drums, showing once again that M-16 knows how to incorporate individuality into a remarkably placid scene. Both “Ripped” and “Lloviendo” showcase the band’s gritty live talent extremely well. I can picture the kids headbanging with ease. So, if you like metal, you really should check this band out. And even if you don’t, this might be the band to change your mind.