Chile isn’t the most common origin of folk metal groups, so I was very interested in seeing what this new band with this weird name has to offer. Traucoholik were formed in 2010 and they come from the port city of Coquimbo. In 2012 they released the 4-track demo “Voyages of Myths and Hate” giving their fans a first taste of their music. In 2013 they released digitally their debut full-length album “Kalku” and on February 2014 the album was self-released in CD edition.
Traucoholik play folk extreme metal with a quite personal sound. Unusual traditional instruments like charango, kazoo, trutruka and tarca are combined with acoustic guitars, synths and Hammond melodion, adding a unique local folk atmosphere in their music. Their electric guitars have mostly a rhythmic role, with a somehow raw sound and not of very melodic nature, a common characteristic of many South American bands. On the contrary, their folk acoustic instruments and synths are much more melodic, so there is actually a very interesting and fragile balance in their sound. They use mostly screaming vocals, with several “drunk” choirs and few clean vocals, while there are also some acoustic instrumental passages that work very good in the album, like the enchanting 8-minute title track “Kalku“. Their production still needs a lot of improvement, since in my opinion this raw and unedited sound limits the band’s expressiveness. Traucoholik are inspired by fantasy themes, folk legends, Chilean mythology and drinks, something that is reflected both in their music and lyrics, since the mood of their compositions changes often between dark, twisted, aggressive, melancholic, folksy and happy. Sometimes I think I even listen to some elements of progressive and avant-garde metal in their songs! There are 9 tracks in “Kalku“, 3 of them instrumental and the total album duration is 44 minutes. Their lyrics are in Chilean, except for “Trauco (Demon’s Seed)” in English, all included in the CD booklet.
Overall I found “Kalku” a very enjoyable album, with a fresh and interesting folk atmosphere. I really hope Traucoholik improve their production in the future and offer us something much more complete and professional, since they seem to have all it takes. Folk metal fans who like to discover new bands from around the world should definitely check them. ”Kalku” is self-released in a standard jewel-case edition CD, with 12-page booklet. The great cover artwork is a drawing by the band’s singer Perro Asmatiko! You can visit the band’s official profiles below and find more details about them.