Music Review: VARIOUS ARTISTS – Southern Extremities

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southern extremitiesVARIOUS ARTISTS
Southern Extremities: Brasilian Metal Compilation
Rowe Productions

Steve Rowe’s Rowe Productions label, over the years, has done much to help expose metal bands and artists from around the entire globe, through the release of the compilations that featured country and continental themes with the bands and artists chosen for them. It’s a pity that these compilations stopped after just a handful of them, as it would have been nifty to have every country and continent eventually represented on the label releases. As it stands, the last of these compilation series that Rowe Productions has released seems to be this particular one, Southern Extremities.

Focusing on the country of Brazil (which is part of the South American continent, in case you’re not up on your geography), this comp features four cuts each from three bands: Vollig Heilig (“Running Time”, “Looking For The Light”, “Don’t Stop The Music”, and “Revenge”, from their Looking For The Light release), Stauros (“Seaquake”, “The First Mile”, “Vital Blood” and “Dance Of The Seeds” from their Seaquake release), and Light Hammer (“Holy Wings”, “The Bright You’ll Know”, “Wake Up” and “Why Were You Born?”, from the Holy Wings demo). The band Vollig Heilig, I am pedantically obligated to point out, changed their name to Belica, and re-released Looking For The Light under that name a year after the original release. There, that’s something you know, now. And you can’t un-know it. Maniacal laughter.

On the plus side, Southern Extremities has the entirety of Light Hammer’s ultra-rare Holy Wings demo, albeit the tracks being out-of-sequence on here. Plus, the metal featured on here is pretty good, sticking with the general power metal style on each of the three entries on the band list. Which kind of brings me to my primary gripe about this compilation: Why just stick to power metal? With the previous compilations, there was a smorgasbord–a metaphorical cornucopia, if you will–of various metal styles, not just one. I know for a fact that Brazil (not to mention the entirety of South America in general) is one of the most fertile breeding grounds of all kinds of metal genres going — death metal, black metal, punk, hardcore, industrial…why just power metal? I feel a great opportunity to school us American metalheads on Brazilian metal beyond just Sepultura was sorely missed.

Personally, the reason I hold on to this compilation is because of the Light Hammer demo’s inclusion. As a cross-section of the Brazilian metal scene, you would do better by seeking out the Kingdom Of Metal Land compilations for a better variety.


Music Review: KRIG – Target: Human-Mission: Destroy

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KRIG - Target_ Human-Mission_ DestroyKRIG
Target: Human-Mission: Destroy

The second full-length release from these Brazilian death metal minstrels (it’s my blog, and I’ll use as much purple prose as I want) finds Krig continuing on with crafting some rather tasty death metal going.

Target: Humanity; Mission: Destroy kicks things off right with the opening cut “Mercenary Pastor”, which is heavy, has a nice groove and is a bit chaotic at points. Krig is definitely not one of those bands that feels the need to be Br00tal for brutality’s sake, and that is evident in the songs “Fatal Brutality”, “Chaos In The Air” and “You Will Be Hated” (not a cover of the Vengeance Rising song, mind), which showcases some good riffs and a nice mid-paced groove. That isn’t to say they’re afraid to bring the full-on death metal goodness and play it safe: “Fast Food” has an interesting riff and breakdown, “My Intestine Is Displayed” is a great gut-churning cut, and the closing track–“Beautiful Mutilation”–ends things with some classic blast beat death metal riffage with a bit of a progressive edge thrown in.

Overall, Target: Humanity; Mission: Destroy is a very good death metal gem from the South American continent. If by now you’re still unaware of the fertile metal community there, you’re missing out. And Krig is (was?) a shining example of that. Recommended.

Music Review: DEVILCRUSHER – Anomalia

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devilcrusher - anomalia


If you know your Brazilian death metal bands (and I know you do), then you’ll recognize the name Devilcrusher to be the one the band Berith went with originally between the years of 1992 and 1995. Since I rather enjoyed Berith’s release, when I ran across this I thought I’d give it a listen, see what they were like back in the day.

Anomalia was the only release the band did while going by Devilcrusher, a cassette-only demo that consisted of seven tracks of mostly mid-paced death metal. There’s a note on the Encyclopaedia Metallum site that stated that the demo was recorded onto Digital Audio Tape. I’ve worked with DAT recording, and I have to wonder why the quality of the production here sounded like it was recorded on a standard audio tape onto a cheap 4-Track recording device.

Production quality aside, the metal contained herein is death metal that has some interesting ideas, going more for the mid-paced variety with some touches of groove and thrash here and there, and some doomy points. The vocals, unfortunately, gets buried in the muddled production.

From what I understand, this demo was just re-released on CD and under a different name, but still under the Devilcrusher moniker. I really have no intention of checking it out. Overall, it’s a good try, but not something I’ll be playing again any time soon.

Music Review: TRINO – 666 Corporation

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1-26 - Music Review: TRINO - 666 Corporation

666 Corporation
Alerta Records

666 Corporation is Brazilian death metal group Trino’s third full-length release, and just to get to the matter of things, boy HOWDY is it near solid sab of death metal with more than a bit of hardcore attitude that shall assault your earhole senses with the subtlety of a sand blaster. I say “near solid” on account of three different brief interludes, each labeled “Intro”. Well, the first “intro” would be an actual inter, I guess, as it’s the first track, and consists of straight Gregorian Chant. Which is an awesome way to start a Death Metal album, by the way. No, I’m not being sarcastic, there. The other two are a Disembodied Voiceover of DOOM over a bed of apocalyptic ambiance, with the one that shows up right before the very last track is a scratchy shortwave radio broadcast.

All of that aside, there are still eleven tracks of extreme death metal goodness, featuring some intensely raw blastbeats and grinding guitars, with the standard growl vocals, with a handful of tracks including some blackened vocals for effect. There’s a nice groove to the track “Do Crucifixo ao Prostí­bulo”, and “Fratricí­dio” does flirt a bit with hardcore, but overall 666 Corporation is an intense and satisfying death metal listen that shall please the brutal grinder in all of us.

Music Review: DISTARNISH – …And I Died For You

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1-22 - Music Review: DISTARNISH - ...And I Died For You

…And I Died For You

Distarnish was a Brazilian band that was together from 2001 through 2009, and released only one seven-track EP in 2003. Which is kind of a bummer, as after listening to the EP–…And I Died For You–I was kind of hoping for more output to search for.

The main reason is that the metal contained in …And I Died For You is some old fashioned thrash-based death metal, the likes of which is comparable to early Death, Break The Curse-era Mortification, and Deracination. The production is a bit less than studio quality, but compared to a lot of independent recordings I’ve heard, this is still decent quality. The drums are a bit thin at times, but overall it’s very good thrashy death metal with a raw edge and a bite.

The first track is a 40-second instrumental intro, followed by six actual full songs. There are some good thrash and death riffs going on here; they mainly are in the thrash/death style, save for the final track, “…And I Died For You”, which is more doom flavored. On both “A Touch From The Heaven” and “…And I Died For You”, there’s something of a Big Disembodied Voice doing spoken word things at the end of the songs; otherwise, the vocals utilized are straight-up death growls.

Overall, while …And I Died For You lacks a bit of depth in the production area, it is still a good, decent EP of thrash-based death metal, and showed some promise. What could have developed, had they released more. We’ll never know. If you run into this one, though, check it out for some good, old-fashioned death metal goodness.

Music Review: SOUL HUNTER – Scanning Horizons

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soul hunter - scanning horizons

Scanning Horizons

Another in a growing list of metal bands who hail from the country of Brazil, Soul Hunter is a heavy power metal band that really does put the “power” into the style. Although, with the album art up there, you could be forgiven for initially thinking this was going to be another bunch of prog metal wankery. No, fortunately, Scanning Horizons is anything but that; as a matter of fact, it’s power metal. And no, it’s not the kind of power metal that wants to be a bunch of Yngwie Malmsteen riffs and high-pitched falsetto vocals singing about dragons and various other fantasy stuff.

What we got with Scanning Horizons is an example of power metal that remains firmly within the Heavy Metal part of the genre, hitting us hard with some very heavy and faster style rhythms and riffs that hook you under the skin and yank you around, leaving you bloody and begging for more of the same, sir. That’s not to say that there isn’t any blistering solo work; oh, it’s there, all right. It’s just not the over-dominant factor in the music that’s pummeling you into a happy bit of hamburger meat from this album. The vocals are clean, but they’re not the operatic falsetto that typtifies much of the Power Metal genre. They’re more complementary than anything; though, there are times where it sounds like the vocalist wants to hit the high notes, and certainly there are times where doing so would have really pushed things over the edge nicely, but methinks that kind of range was unobtainable.

Really, Soul Hunter’s style of power metal is more Manowar than Malmsteen. Or, if you want more of a Christian comparison, then let’s go with Sacred Warrior if they decided to actually get really, really heavy. Overall, fantastic slab of eight heavy power metal tracks (the first track being an 11-minute intro) is what Scanning Horizons is. No ballads, no fluffiness, just melt thy face off awesome.

Music Review: DISAFFECTION – Begin The Revolution

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disaffection - begin the revolution

Begin The Revolution
Bombworks Records

Back in 2007, Brazilian thrash metal band Disaffection released a 4-song demo entitled Begin The Revolution. It was, without a doubt, a blistering collection of some tasty thrash metal I’ve heard some out of the country that gave us Sepultura. Well, after I discovered the 4-song version of Begin The Revolution, I then discovered that Bombworks Records released a full-length from Disaffection in 2010, also entitled Begin The Revolution, and lo and behold, all four of the songs on the EP were represented here. And with the exception of having different cover art, and several more songs in the mix, nothing much is different.

Anyway, to put it bluntly, Begin The Revolution is an incredible thrash metal release that begs comparisons to modern thrash metal revivalists Gamma Bomb and Municipal Waste. From the aptly titled opening track “Metal Kombat” through to the brief outro “The End Of The Beginning” this full-length of Begin The Revolution is a thrash metal fanatic’s dream. The riffs are blisteringly awesome, the leads are great, the rhythms are heavy, the vocals have a subtle sense of humor amalgamated within; once the final track is over, you’ve left in the loud silence that follows breathing hard with a manic grin on your face and a massive bangover.

It’s a bit of a surprise that Disaffection hasn’t caught on more than they did. We need more good, quality Thrash Metal. In the meantime, do I recommend acquiring a copy of the full-length of Begin The Revolution and cranking it beyond levels your stereo was never made to achieve? Boy howdy. Go do so post-haste.

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