Album Review – Orthostat / Monolith Of Time (2019)

A heavy-as-hell album ranging from slow and doom-ish parts to infernal blast beats, proving once again the underground Death Metal scene in Brazil is a lot more interesting than you might think.

Forged in the year of 2015 in the fires of Jaraguá Do Sul, a city located in the north of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, Death Metal squad Orthostat is unleashing upon humanity their debut full-length opus, entitled Monolith Of Time, a heavy-as-hell album ranging from slow and doom-ish parts to infernal blast beats, and a natural follow-up to their 2016 demo Into the Orthostat. Comprised of David Lago on vocals and guitars, Rudolph Hille also on the guitar and Eduardo Rochinski on bass (all supported by session drummer Thiago Nogueira), Orthostat are sending a solid statement to all fans of old school Death Metal with their new album, proving once again Brazil is and will always be an excellent source of underground metal music no matter which part of the country you visit.

Recorded by David Lago at HellFrost Studio, in Brazil, produced and engineered by David Lago and Thiago Nogueira, and Mixed and Mastered by Thiago Nogueira, Monolith Of Time will provide your ears a feast of pulverizing and highly technical sounds, with its lyrics dealing with themes related to ancient civilizations, their culture and their wars, all enfolded by a cryptic artwork by illustrator and storyteller Carlos Bercini. In other words, Orthostat offer in Monolith Of Time everything a metalhead can ask for in an album of Death Metal, and after hitting play you better get ready to have your skull crushed by this talented and ruthless horde of Brazilian musicians.

In the opening track, entitled Ambaxtoi, ominous sounds grow in intensity while desperate background vociferations make the whole atmosphere dense, disturbing and grim in great fashion, but after two and a half minutes the music morphs into sheer Death Metal for our total delectation. After such powerful start we’re treated to Qetesh, a lesson in gruesome and vile Death Metal by Orthostat where Thiago crushes his drums manically while David and Rudolph make sure our skin burns with their scorching riffs, not to mention the song’s uncanny lyrics (“Oh, Qetesh, deity of intercourse / Stream thy heat on us / Bring the human instinct forth / The breeding mild / The species thrive / Surviving the wild”); followed by Eridu, another classic and putrid Death Metal extravaganza spearheaded by the pulverizing riffs by the band’s guitar duo, with David taking his growling to deeper and deeper lands while Eduardo doesn’t stop smashing his bass chords violently. And it seems that their sonic havoc has no time to end, with all band member firing absolute fury and aggression in Incitatus, showcasing a very classic sonority the likes of Cannibal Corpse and Six Feet Under where not only the instrumental pieces are extremely well executed, but the vocals by David are also as visceral as they can be.

Then we have over six minutes of brutal sounds in Baetylus, with its lyricis perfectly representing what can be called “dark poetry” (“A large flint / Coned shaped obelisk / Wears the wool / Garbed deity / Pour the oil / Make the pebble shine / Hefty boulder / Stone divine”), and with the music ending with a sick guitar solo as the icing on the cake. If you’re a fan of the more straightforward sound by Cannibal Corpse, but with huge dosages of complexity added to the sound of each instrument, you’ll love The Will of Ningirsu, offering the listener nonstop action by the entire band with highlights to David, Rudolph and Eduardo’s razor-edged strings. Full of breaks and variations, Tezcatlipoca is a headbanging tune where your skull will be shattered by the unrelenting drums by Thomas, presenting over nine minutes of scorching riffs, pulverizing beats and rumbling bass lines. Furthermore, after a phantasmagorical break halfway through it, the band’s steamroller of Death Metal returns in full force to destroy your senses, working as their “coup de grâce”. And the song that carries the name of the band, Orthostat, closes the album by bringing forward a fusion of Death and Doom Metal recommended for fans of truly dark music, evolving into another sonic demolition boosted by the demonic guitar riffs and solos by Eduardo and Rudolph.

This precious gem of old school Death Metal from the Brazilian underground scene can be better appreciated in full on YouTube and on Spotify, but if you want to show your true support to Orthostat don’t forget to grab your copy of Monolith Of Time from their own BandCamp page, as well as from iTunes or from Amazon. In a nutshell, if you love pure, old school Death Metal, you must give Orthostat’s debut album a listen without a shadow of a doubt. And do you want to know why? Because they crush, as simple (and as Death Metal) as that.

Best moments of the album: Qetesh, Incitatus and The Will of Ningirsu.

Worst moments of the album: Eridu.

Released in 2019 Sangue Frio Records

Track listing
1. Ambaxtoi 7:12
2. Qetesh 5:13
3. Eridu 4:38
4. Incitatus 5:04
5. Baetylus 6:18
6. The Will of Ningirsu 4:50
7. Tezcatlipoca 9:17
8. Orthostat 6:09

Band members
David Lago – vocals, guitars
Rudolph Hille – guitars
Eduardo Rochinski – bass

Guest musician
Thiago Nogueira – drums (session)

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Interview – Hateful Warfare

Take a shot at this fun interview with Hateful Warfare to have a very good depiction of the everyday life, experiences and dreams of a true underground Death Metal band from Brazil.

Hateful WarfareThe Headbanging Moose: As you’re a brand new Death Metal act, I guess we need to start by presenting you to our readers. In other words, who are Hateful Warfare? Can you please share with us some details on how the band got together, why and how you chose the name “Hateful Warfare”, where each band member comes from, and what your main goals are for the future?

Hateful Warfare: The band is comprised of Andrei (bass/vocals), Norba (guitar) and Denis (drums), a traditional Death Metal power trio. The band is a reformation of another project we had in the past, which didn’t end up working well and so the three of us decided to remain together and focus our common ideas on our songwriting and composing. The name of the band came in a moment of anger (laughs), as we were searching for a name that was impactful and that at the same time matched with our personalities on stage. Our goals for the future are recording our first full-length album, shooting a video clip, and then going on a tour of the album across Brazil.

THM: The band might be new, but there has already been a significant change to your music when one of the guitarists left and Hateful Warfare became a power trio. How has that influenced your music and the dynamism among the three band members left? What are the positive outcomes of this important change?

HW: His time with the band was short mainly due to his geographic location/distance to the rest of the band, which was a huge hassle for our rehearsals. It was decided that we would go on as a power trio, and our dynamism only tends to grow because when you’re a power trio you have more freedom in terms of composition, improvisation, harmony, acquaintanceship, among other positive points. In addition to that, Andrei and Norba are father and son, which already helps a lot. We are all comfortable in what we’ve been doing so far and this is very significant for a band to move on.

THM: I had the pleasure of reviewing your short but extremely heavy debut EP, entitled Scenarios Of Execution. If I had to describe the album in just a few words, I would say it’s old school Death Metal exactly the way it’s supposed to be. How was the songwriting and composition period of the album? How long did it take to finalize everything, and what were the highlights of the entire process to you?

HW: Thank you for your kind words, this is very gratifying for us.  The creative process was very demanding, rehearsing two or three times a week, always composing riffs and with focus on creating something new everyday. We all thought about something during the week, wrote something, created the riffs, recorded at home and then presented that during the rehearsal in order to always capitalize on something. The recording was done at the Audio Goblin studio with the local producer and musician Fábio Gorresen (Flesh Grinder/Zombie Cookbook). It took one month to finalize the recording, mixing and mastering, and after that we released a few physical copies of the EP. We believe that the impact of the EP has been very positive, making us even more excited to record our full-length album as soon as possible.

THM: I would like to know more details about my favorite songs of the EP, starting with the excellent Welcome to my Nightmare. As mentioned in our review for the EP, the vocals sound inspired by the early days of the iconic Max Cavalera. Is he one of your main influences in music? How do you prepare your voice for the thunderous Death Metal by Hateful Warfare? In addition, although the riffs are extremely dirty, the overall result of the song is very melodic. How did you manage to reach that amazing level of balance between brutality and harmony?

Hateful Warfare02HW: There is no secret, it’s just a matter of keeping the throat always moist and sing with hatred (laughs). Regarding you mentioning the song being dirty and melodic, I believe that actually comes from our influences, as this song was inspired by classic Death Metal the likes of Scream Bloody Gore (Death)  to the Thrash Metal from the album Extreme Aggression (Kreator). There’s always aggressiveness followed by something harmonious that matches perfectly with the style.

THM:  My other favorite tune, Bloody Night, brings lots of awesome elements from different subgenres of extreme music, such as Black and Doom Metal. Was that something you planned on doing, or did it come up naturally during the writing process? How does the audience react to songs that are not purely Death Metal like this one?

HW: It was something natural, we don’t write our music trying to remain 100% loyal to Death Metal. We have an infinitude of influences inside each of our heads and that was what best suited the music, lyrics thrown to the imaginary with an aggressive theme and several variations in the instrumental, stressing the heaviness and the speed at different times.

THM:  Brazil might not be considered the most metal country in the world, but there’s still a good share of incredible bands spread across the country, not to mention how crazy most Brazilian headbangers are. In your opinion, how is the current Heavy Metal scene in Brazil? Do you feel that there are enough bands, venues and concerts down there to keep the fire of metal burning bright for many years to come? What are the main issues for a heavy band in Brazil?

HW: There are excellent new bands rising month after month, incredible places spread throughout Brazil, high-skilled musicians and the utmost quality. The only disturbing things are the high costs to maintain a band, equipment with extremely high taxes, and if you do not have a studio yourself you have to pay a lot of money to rehearse every single week. What drives metal in Brazil is the underground, we have to be headbangers faithful to the art, because making a living from metal in Brazil is still a dream for all of us, some can do it but that’s just a minority.

THM: What are top 5 albums that influenced the band members the most, and how much do those albums still inspire you to craft your music? What about non-metal bands and artists, are there any you enjoy that also impact the way you write your music?

HW: The top 5 albums that are the most present in the playlists of each one of us are Piece of Mind (Iron Maiden), Leprosy (Death), Severed Survival (Autopsy), Hell Awaits (Slayer) and Arise (Sepultura). Our writing process involves the whole context of what’s going on through our heads. At the moment I don’t have any specific albums to mention, but I would like to stress out that the lyrics for the song Addiction to Kill were written based on the story of the TV series Dexter.

THM: What would be the “dream tour” for Hateful Warfare? I mean, which bands would you feel honored to play with, and what are the cities, venues or festivals you would love to visit together with those bands?

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Album Review – Hateful Warfare / Scenarios Of Execution EP (2015)

HW: There is an infinity of bands who we dream of playing together, such as Destruction, Gruesome, Cancer, Kreator, Obscura, Obituary, Sodom, Vader and so on (laughs). With every passing year high-quality festivals are born in several countries, but like any headbanger it would be a dream come true to step on the stage at Wacken Open Air, Hellfest, Monsters of Rock, Obscene Extreme, among others.

THM: In regards to your current tour dates, how are the concerts to promote Scenarios Of Execution going? Do you have any funny stories to share with us, or talk about something that went horribly wrong with the band? And do you have any plans for an international tour here in North America, in Europe or anywhere else?

HW: The shows have been taking place only in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, and they have been very positive so far for us. We have several good stories happening every night, the funniest being our first show. We were tuning the instruments to hit the stage and the intro was already going to start playing, when we lost sight of our drummer. We sought him all over the venue and no sign of him. We spent about 10 minutes looking for him and when we finally found him he was outside talking to some friends, while we were getting absolutely mad after him for a while (laughs).

THM: Muito obrigado pela entrevista! Please feel free to send a final message to all readers of The Headbanging Moose and to all fans of old school Death Metal all over the word.

HW: First of all, thanks for the compliments on our work, and also to the space provided for the interview. To all fans of old school Death Metal, always seek for novelties in the genre, there is a lot of good stuff emerging but that’s not getting recognized as it should. This genre has a lot to be unraveled yet, and that this Death Metal vein never runs out of blood!

Links
Hateful Warfare Facebook | YouTube
Sangue Frio Produções Facebook | Website

Album Review – Battalion / Tyrant of Evil EP (2015)

The battlefield of true Heavy Metal is calling our names through the tunes of war by this talented old school Brazilian squad.

Rating5

Tyrant of evilIf you’re a diehard fan of the impactful Heavy/Speed Metal from the 80’s, when bands like Running Wild, Exciter, Grave Digger and Iron Angel redefined the underworld of metal with their blend of aggressiveness and harmony, I suggest you turn your attention to the city of Itajaí, located in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, around 100km from the state capital Florianópolis, because what Heavy Metal power trio Battalion are capable of doing with their musical weapons will fulfill your deepest needs for fast and furious battle chants.

Formed in the year of 2005, Battalion released as their official debut a highly-acclaimed self-titled demo in 2007, which opened many doors for the band not only in Brazil but everywhere in the world where good old school metal music still lives, followed by an EP in 2012 and a full-length album in 2013 both named Empire of Dead. Now in 2015, in order to keep kicking the asses of the unfaithful at full force, those Brazilian warriors launched a special EP entitled Tyrant of Evil, containing two new steadfast compositions as well as the five original combat songs from their 2007 demo.

As if they wanted to send their loyal metal soldiers to war, Battalion offer the listener the overpowering title-track Tyrant of Evil, with its exciting old school riffs making it feel like Grave Digger decided to play Metallica’s classic “Whiplash”.  In other words, it’s a straightforward tune tailored for connoisseurs of Speed and Thrash Metal from the 80’s, with highlights to guitarist Álvaro Santana Junior for not only knowing how to craft gripping riffs, but for also being pretty solid with his guitar solos. The second fresh song from the EP, Hell Razor, showcases a strong European influence boosted by hints of American Thrash Metal, with lead singer/bassist Marcelo Fagundes revving up the band’s engine with his awesome bass lines while the song’s riffs excoriate your skin mercilessly. In addition, based on his killer performance, it looks like drummer Fabiano Barbosa loves to play at the speed of light from the bottom of his heart.

1500After that amazing start, Battalion take us back in time to the year of 2007, starting with their “tribute” to German legends Grave Digger entitled Battalion of Metal. Raise your swords and let’s go to battle with Battalion, as I’m pretty sure their fans go crazy when they play this tune live. The next tune, Valley of the Dead, presents riffs a la Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, and it’s important to mention it doesn’t sound like a demo so cohesive it is. Another interesting detail in their music is that most of the time the vocals in the old songs are a lot more inclined to Thrash Metal than to traditional Heavy Metal, which also happens in Fighting for the Glory, another battle anthem with an epic vibe. Fabiano doesn’t let the energy level go down with his rhythmic beats, letting Marcelo lead the band in their fight for glory with his warrior vocals and old school attitude.

You’ll be headbanging nonstop to the excellent Final Battle in less than five seconds so rapturous it is. This is by far my favorite from the old demo songs mainly due to its great riffs and chorus, the type the world learned to scream together with tons of bands while raising their fists in the 80’s, an era when we can say Heavy Metal became “mainstream”. And the last tune, Soldiers from the Shadows, takes you to the battlefield for one last fight. This great display of their passion for old school metal music is perfect for some air guitar and obviously for headbanging, closing the EP at the same speed it started.

You can get your copy of Tyrant of Evil (and of the band’s previous releases, as well as albums from many other amazing metal bands) at the Kill Again Records website, sign up for the band’s metallic army at their official Facebook page, and get more information on the band and their upcoming concerts at the Sangue Frio Produções website. The battlefield of true Heavy Metal is calling our names, and it’s through the tunes of war by this talented old school Brazilian squad.

Best moments of the album: Tyrant of Evil.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Kill Again Records

Track listing
1. Tyrant of Evil 2:59
2. Hell Razor 3:42
3. Battalion of Metal 4:43
4. Valley of the Dead 4:06
5. Fighting for the Glory 4:29
6. Final Battle 3:48
7. Soldiers from the Shadows 3:27

Band members
Marcelo Fagundes – vocals, bass
Álvaro Santana Junior – guitars
Fabiano Barbosa – drums

Album Review – Hateful Warfare / Scenarios Of Execution EP (2015)

It’s time to be executed in a heartless and gruesome way through the music by this vicious Death Metal band from Brazil.

Rating5

11329653_839212942837134_1148590419_nFounded in the beginning of 2015 in the city of Joinville, located in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, Death/Thrash Metal band Hateful Warfare are set to crush your souls and show you how good Brazilian extreme music is with their debut EP entitled Scenarios Of Execution. Discussing controversial themes such as religion and war through their lyrics, this talented power trio knows how to mix harmony and aggressiveness to make their message sharper and more scathing, characteristics that always add significant value to Extreme Metal.

Not only Scenarios Of Execution represents total devastation in a little less than 25 minutes of music, but the band’s cohesiveness becomes even more outstanding if we keep in mind the band members have been together in this project for less than one year. Perhaps their main influences, which range from old school Death and Thrash Metal the likes of Kreator, Exodus and Death, to the traditional Heavy Metal by Iron Maiden, to the Punk Rock/Hardcore attitude by Misfits, to the fierce sonority crafted by their fellow countrymen Sepultura, Krisiun, Korzus and Ratos de Porão, is what makes the music found in Scenarios Of Execution sound so strong, and therefore a delight for fans of the genre.

An eerie and devilish voice in the diabolical intro Ready for Disaster introduces the listener to the band’s nightmare-ish and raw musicality in Welcome to My Nightmare, which starts in an epic and imposing way before all hell breaks loose and the band begins firing their nonstop metallic aggression mercilessly. In addition, the vocals by lead singer/bassist Andrei sound truly inspired by the early days of Max Cavalera with an extra touch of despair added; and how can their riffs be so dirty, dark and melodic at the same time?

Put the words “infernal” and “war” together and you’ll obviously get a feast of blast beats, tons of shredding and violent growls, which is exactly what you’ll find in the excellent Infernal War. Drummer Denis showcases his technique by adding some interesting breaks amidst his sick beats, and kudos to guitarist Norba for another excellent job done on guitar, enhancing the song’s ferocity. Blending the acid music by icons such as Exodus, Slayer and Dark Angel, Slaves of Christ offers four minutes of brutality and blasphemy the way only good old Death Metal can: it’s simply perfect for a destructive circle pit, and you gotta love how Andrei screams the chorus with so much anger and hate. Moreover, although they’re (still) an underground band, you’ll notice how professional they sound in this song, keeping up with the music by well-established names in the global metal scene.

1500 (2)Following that blasphemous tune, prepare your neck for another headbanging massacre, this time inspired by Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel, named Addiction to Kill. Its riffs and drums will undoubtedly put you to “dance” and slam into the pit together with Hateful Warfare, but save your energies because the havoc is not over yet, as the heavy and technical tune Bloody Night will provide you some catchy riffs and a thunderous atmosphere, also flirting with raw Black Metal and Doom Metal to give it an even darker taste, keeping you electrified from start to finish. And lastly, making sure they smash everyone that crosses their path, Hateful Warfare close this visceral EP with another old school song named Fuel for Infernal Disgrace, discharging riffs that are even heavier than before, therefore guiding the musicality to a higher level of carnage. An awesome ending that leaves the listener eager for more of their hellish music, if you ask me.

Hateful Warfare are waiting to pulverize you on their Facebook page and YouTube channel, or if you prefer you can find all details about the band, their debut EP and their concerts at the official Sangue Frio Produções website. If you want to be “executed” in a heartless and gruesome way through the music by a vicious Death Metal band, these Brazilian guys definitely have what it takes to satisfy your inner desire for brutality.

Best moments of the album: Welcome to My Nightmare and Bloody Night.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1.Ready for Disaster (Intro) 1:43
2.Welcome to My Nightmare 3:34
3.Infernal War 4:23
4.Slaves of Christ 4:07
5.Addiction to Kill 3:42
6.Bloody Night 3:21
7.Fuel for Infernal Disgrace 3:55

Band members
Andrei – vocals, bass
Norba – guitars
Denis – drums