Underground Sounds: Temaukel – Spirit of Wintek

Label: Self released
Band: Temaukel
Origin: Chile

There’s part of history you’ll never hear of, things you’ll never read about. It’s because they’ve become footnotes in a history so dense with violence and misery that we’ve simply forgotten it. Temaukel was there before time. Temaukel is the supreme deity of the Selk’nam people, creator of earth and the eastern sky, also named Wintek.

The Selk’nam, though heavily reduced, still reside in their native
Tierra del Fuego on the southern tip of Chile. The few that are left, as a result of the civilised people that arrived there. Violent and hungry entrepeneurs launched an extermination campaign against the indigenous people, almost driving them to extinction. The band is the project of Krenn and this is the first release from the Chilean musician.

The album opens with a thunderous drum rhythm, which helsp in evoking a fiery, tribal spirit. It sounds like some heavy blackened death with bombastic elements. The continuous blast beats create a sort of calm on which the interwoven synths come out to play and enchant the listener. The fierce growled vocals complement the forward pushing music, always edging on the listener. It’s important to point out that the music is a vehicle for something deeper. I believe that the emotion in the music makes this album especially relevant, the frustration of repressed history and denial of past errors.  This is tangible in the presentation, while the studio work really helps in preserving the quality of the sound.

There’s a clear melodic structure that the sound forms, which makes it easy to listen to and follow. The lyrics are in English and are as important as the rest of the sound, even with the guttural, transformed delivery that is offered on ‘Howenh’.  The lyrics are saturated with spirituality and its almost tangible in the delivery. It’s a fierce, swooping sound that Temaukel delivers, which reminds me at time of Behemoth and maybe of the death and roll  of Satyricon. 

The band also doesn’t shy a way from some folk music on ‘Fires of Karukinka’, which is a long, wavery folky ballad. The final song ‘Tierra Del Viento’ follows in that same path, evoking a melancholic wish for the coast and the sea. The contrast and connectin between these songs and the previous part is bewildering, but a great listen. For a time gone and a past buried under time. A great record that should get the attention it deserves.

 

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