Argentinian Prog-Tango Metal act Bandolirium, led by bandoneon player Amijai Shalev, are set to release their self-titled debut album this Friday, May 12.
Although there were tries in the past to blend Tango and Progressive Metal together, Bandolirium’s approach to this idea goes a few steps further by including a bandoneon—a type of square concertina popular in Argentina—in their music.
About the idea to create Prog Metal music with the inclusion of the instrument, Shalev commented: “I feel it’s a natural result of the music I listen to and my personal background. Great part of being a composer is finding the unique combination that we are and the way we see our environment. Living in Buenos Aires, this combination seems obvious to me, it hasn’t been done before just because people have a tendency to keep on doing the same stuff. In Prog Metal you hear very often rhythms and melodies from different cultures, so if we want to do Argentinian Prog Metal, Tango is a great inspiration, also using the bandoneon in metal parts is interesting because the sound is similar to keyboards but you can work the dynamics of an acoustic instrument, and of course for Tango audience the metal sound is something new.”
Progressive Metal and Tango have a lot in common, the intensity and drama especially, but even specific rhythms that are used in metal are found in tango.
Bandolirium has previously released a cover of Metallica’s classic “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Shalev said: “I think that our version of ‘For whom the Bell’ tolls is an example how close tango and metal (in this case thrash) can get.”
About the creative process of the self-titled album, Amijai said: “I composed all the parts with scores at home, a very intimate process, for the drums I only wrote a reference and our drummer, Marcos Edwards, composed the real drums. While rehearsing we made the changes and corrections; there were many of them. It was a very interesting work, we learned a lot doing it.”
Bandolirium is out on May 12th.
Amijai Shalev – bandoneon
Marcos de Cristobal – guitars
Matias Brandauer – bass
Marcos Edwards – drums
The best definition for Bandolirium is instrumental Prog Tango-Metal. This project aims to express a contemporary sound rooted in the city Buenos Aires, combining tango elements with metal sound and prog music. The group was founded in Argentina in 2016 by Amijai Ben Shalev who is also the composer and arranger.