Album Review – Póstuma / Moralis EP (2020)

Uniting the aggressiveness of Death Metal with the beauty of poetry, this promising Brazilian outfit is ready to conquer the world of heavy music with their thrilling debut EP.

Formed in 2017 in the city of Americana, a municipality located in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, aiming at uniting the aggressiveness of Death Metal with the beauty of poetry, the up-and-coming Melodic Death Metal outfit Póstuma (the Portuguese word for “posthumous”) have just released their debut EP entitled Moralis, presenting Greek mythology and philosophy as the album’s main themes together with a questioning about honor, virtue and perhaps an ode to art and tragedy, something that has been in search of balance since the beginning of times. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Estúdio Fuzza by Ricardo Biancarelli, Moralis is recommended for fans of the aggression blasted by bands such as At The Gates, Arch Enemy, Hipocrisy and In Flames, among several others, with its lyrics exalting the pursuit of knowledge and existentialism combined with Death and Thrash Metal influences, as well as writers and philosophers, resulting in a strong and deep sound carefully crafted by frontwoman Bia da Aldea, guitarists Júlio Alves and Rodrigo Batista, bassist Diego “Bob” Carmelo and drummer Murilo Pasqualino.

Filling every single space in the air with violence and harmony, the band kicks off the EP with the Arch Enemy-inspired Prometheus, where Bia showcases all her vocal potency right from the beginning as the amazing growler she is, while Murilo sounds like a stone crusher on drums. This is what I call a fantastic  welcome card by Póstuma, followed by Minerva, where its poetically acid lyrics are roared by Bia (“Crushing an empire, just for desire / All life drained away / We just learn with pain / They make us discuss, we are numb / They manage our hate / Become misery slaves / So certain they beg for chaos / So modest they beg for chaos”) while the music sounds even more impactful than the opening tune due to the brutality blasted by her bandmates, with Júlio and Rodrigo firing venomous riffs from their guitars and, therefore, adding hints of Thrash and Black Metal to their already powerful sound. And Júlio and Rodrigo, supported by the insane bass punches by Diego, keep piercing our heads with their ass-kicking riffage and solos in the also demented Redemption, with Bia’s screams reaching a whole new level of insanity, whereas in the closing song Gaya the band’s guitar duo proves they’re never tired of slashing and shredding their stringed weapons, and together with Diego and Murilo they generate a massive and very melodic wall of sounds perfect for banging our heads in the name of classic and modern Death Metal.

Hopefully this never-ending coronavirus pandemic will not have a negative impact on the band’s plans for the future, especially because they had just released their fulminating debut EP when all this madness started, which means it’s up to us fans of heavy music to show Póstuma our support and encourage them to keep moving forward no matter what. Hence, I want to please ask you all to follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram, to stream Moralis in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and above all that, to purchase a copy of the EP from their BandCamp page. As a matter of fact, why don’t you visit their BandCamp page and take a look at the lyrics for each one of the four songs of the EP? You’ll see the band is not kidding when they say they want to unite the beauty of poetry with metal music, and when you hit play on any of the songs simply close your eyes and let their amazing Melodic Death Metal flow through your mind and your soul.

Best moments of the album: Prometheus and Minerva.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Prometheus 3:58
2. Minerva 4:42
3. Redemption 4:02
4. Gaya 4:25

Band members
Bia da Aldea – vocal
Júlio Alves – guitar
Rodrigo Batista – guitar
Diego “Bob” Carmelo – bass
Murilo Pasqualino – drums

Album Review – Jupiterian / Protosapien (2020)

Rising as a mythical creature, this Brazilian Atmospheric Sludge and Doom Metal outfit is ready to haunt our souls with the crushing, primeval music found in their brand new opus.

Formed in 2013 in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, the unyelding Atmospheric Sludge/Doom Metal outfit Jupiterian is back in action after releasing their groundbreaking album Terraforming in 2017, which was akin to the sound of tectonic plates shifting. In the aftermath of that event, a new revelation has been unearthed, their magnum opus Protosapien. Featuring a Stygian artwork by Polish artist Mariusz Lewandowski, it slices through the ominous atmospheric murk of the band’s previous effort and in an almost primitive yet strangely evolved manner, goes for the jugular. Comprised of Von  vocals, guitars and synths, A on the guitar, R on bass and G on drums, Jupiterian rise as a mythical creature, imbibing everything that transpired and distilling it all to create something highly potent, dense and sonically immeasurable, a form of harrowing, otherworldly Sludge and Doom Metal that lumbers on erratically, carving their own path, trampling on anything that dares stand in their way, and being therefore highly recommended for admirers of the music by  Eremit, Loss, Primitive Man, Gaerea and My Dying Bride, among others.

The phantasmagorical and cinematic intro Homecoming will crawl deep inside your skin and darken your heart until the gates to the underworld are open with the imposing Mere Humans, where the reverberating bass by R and the Stygian riffs by V and A will make your head tremble while G fires sluggish, doomed beats nonstop. V’s and A’s dirty and piercing guitar lines keep bringing darkness to us all in Voidborn, accompanied by G’s damned drums and the hellish vociferations by V, being perfect for cracking your neck headbanging in solitude. Put differently, this is the epitome of primeval Sludge and Doom Metal spiced up by the obscurity of Blackened Doom, whereas in the vile Capricorn we’re treated to a ritualistic doom aria spearheaded by G’s tribal beats, with the quartet bringing forward a sharp hybrid of American Sludge Metal and classic Doom Metal. Furthermore, the bass punches by R sound absolutely metallic, taking the song’s malignancy to a whole new level. And they offer more of their raw and unearthly sounds in the heavy-as-hell Starless, showcasing a great sync between R and G with their respective bass jabs and drums while the inhumane growls by V add an extra touch of evil to the overall result. Lastly, a gargantuan roar by V ignite the one hundred percent, unfiltered Atmospheric Doom Metal feast titled Earthling Bloodline, where G pounds his drums slowly and steadily while his bandmates generate a menacing ambience with their strings from hell.

There are numerous places where you can put your dirty hands on Protosapien, such as the band’s own BandCamp page, the official Transcending Obscurity Records webstore (where you can find precious gems such as the 8-panel digipak CD with metallic effect and sandalwood fragrance or an amazing boxset including an autographed LP), the Transcending Obscurity Records webstores for the US and Europe, Apple Music, Amazon and so on. Hence, you can also support those Brazilian doomers by following them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and also by streaming all of their wicked creations on Spotify. As aforementioned, like a mythical creature Jupiterian are among us to haunt our souls and blacken our damned hearts, having in Protosapien the perfect weapon to attack us all with their crushing, antediluvian doom.

Best moments of the album: Capricorn and Earthling Bloodline.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Transcending Obscurity Records

Track listing
1. Homecoming 2:09
2. Mere Humans 5:38
3. Voidborn 6:53
4. Capricorn 7:06
5. Starless 7:13
6. Earthling Bloodline 6:40

Band members
V – vocals, guitars, synths
A – guitar
R – bass
G – drums

Album Review – Guardian Of Lightning / Cosmos Tree (2020)

Behold the mighty sound of the ultra-heavy electric bass by a Brazilian power trio who praises the gods of thunder and metal in their excellent debut opus.

Known as the the herald of a new wave of metal music, curiously labeled as “Thunder Metal”, Guardian Of Lightning are a three-piece band based in São Paulo, Brazil featuring lead bassist Iron King, his father Marco Fino on vocals and rhythm guitar, and Lord Drum on drums, with their unique sound being a fresh take on the metal genre, replacing the typical lead guitar role with that of an ultra-heavy thundering electric bass. Lead bassist Iron King (yes, that is his real name) grew up surrounded by music, inspiring him to follow in the footsteps of bass legends such as Cliff Burton, Joey DeMaio and Lemmy Kilmister and, therefore, leading him to form Guardian Of Lightning back in 2017. Produced by Eurico Tavares at Stage Record Power Audio Studio, the band’s debut opus Cosmos Tree makes it clear from the very first second that the electric bass is front and center throughout the entire album, but each individual song will also bring to you a wide variety of sounds, an undeniable sync and dynamism between the band members, and of course, the magic of our beloved Heavy Metal.

The album’s atmospheric Intro will certainly invite you to the heavy world of Guardian Of Lightning, setting the tone for the epic title-track Cosmos Tree, which reminds me of the mighty sound blasted by Grand Magus infused with the rockin’ elements from the music by Motörhead, with Lord Drum dictating the rhythm with his pounding beats while Iron King shreds his bass in great fashion.  In the superb Raise Your Sword, the Mark Tornillo-like vocals by Marco walk hand in hand with the thrilling Power Metal beats and bass punches fired by Lord Drum and Iron King, respectively, also bringing hints of 70’s Progressive Rock and Metal through their intricate and thunderous bass sounds, followed by the also epic Sound of Thunder, exactly what Iron King delivers from his rumbling bass, showcasing an accelerated pace and classic riffs and lyrics, therefore resulting in an ode to all things rock and metal tailored for fans of the music by Manowar and other bands that love to add endless epicness to their creations. And once again inviting us all to bang our heads in the name of metal, the trio masterfully smashes their instruments in Aligned With the Stars, where the riffage by Marco provides an amazing support to Iron King’s metallic bass.

Then adding elements from Blues to their core sonority, the trio brings forward the beautiful Follow Your Silver Shine, where Iron King is once again majestic with his visceral and electrifying bass jabs and solos, while his father Marco showcases a fun and vibrant vocal performance from start to finish, whereas Inside of Us presents another solid fusion of Stoner, Sludge and Southern Metal with more epic styles such as classic Heavy and Power Metal, not to mention that what Iron King does with his bass is truly impressive, making our heads tremble with awe. Lord Drum begins hitting his drums harder than usual in the also rockin’ Another Place, where it’s a pleasure to witness the sonic synchronicity of father and son crushing their strings with power and dexterity, and they keep jamming with passion until the very end. Lastly, slowing things down a bit the band offers the more serene and classic Be Like the Moon, where Iron King once again showcases all his skills armed with his bass, and albeit this song is not as creative or inspiring as its predecessors, it still provides the listener a very good reason for having a cold beer and headbanging nonstop.

After taking a few detailed listens at Cosmos Tree, you’ll see it’s easy to understand what Guardian Of Lightning mean with the expression “Thunder Metal”, because that’s exactly what you’ll get throughout the album’s over 30 minutes of music, pure and mighty thunder in the form of our good old Heavy Metal, consequently paving an interesting path ahead of Iron King and his loyal henchmen for the coming years. Hence, don’t forget to follow such promising band on Facebook and on Instagram, to listen to more of their music on Spotify, and above all, to purchase your desired version of Cosmos Tree by clicking HERE, proving to the gods of thunder and metal you deserve a place right by their side in Valhalla.

Best moments of the album: Raise Your Sword, Sound of Thunder and Follow Your Silver Shine.

Worst moments of the album: Be Like the Moon.

Released in 2020 Eclipse Records

Track listing
1. Intro 1:09
2. Cosmos Tree 5:00
3. Raise Your Sword 3:41
4. Sound of Thunder 4:17
5. Aligned With the Stars 3:29
6. Follow Your Silver Shine 3:58
7. Inside of Us 3:15
8. Another Place 4:55
9. Be Like the Moon 3:29

Band members
Marco Fino – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Iron King – lead bass guitar
Lord Drum – drums

Album Review – Creptum / VAMA (2020)

An unrelenting horde hailing from Brazil is ready to distill their raw, unfiltered Black Metal armed with their sulfurous new opus.

Formed in the already distant year of 2001 in the city of São Paulo, Brazil under the name Nekros with the sole objective of distilling Black Metal in its rawest aspect, an obscure Black Metal entity currently known as Creptum has just unleashed upon humanity their sophomore effort entitled VAMA, the follow-up to their 2016 debut opus Of Lies, Curses and Blood and their 2017 EP Reborn in Flames. Produced by Marcos Cerutti and featuring a blood-red artwork by Brazilian designer Raphael Grizilli, VAMA will certainly please all diehard fans of the old school Black Metal blasted by renowned acts such as Marduk, Gorgoroth, Sarcófago and Dark Funeral, among others, showcasing all the talent and obscurity by the band’s renewed lineup featuring vocalist and guitarist Nebro, guitarist T. Aversvs, bassist Corvo and drummer Animus Atra, positioning such distinct horde as one of the most interesting names of the underground Brazilian scene.

Animus Atra begins hammering his drums vigorously accompanied by the Black Metal riffage by Nebro and T. Aversvs in the opening aria Earth, while Nebro barks like a rabid beast nonstop, also bringing an ominous aura from Atmospheric Black Metal, whereas sounding more enraged, heavier and more demonic, the band goes full Black Metal in Reborn in Darkness, tailored for fans of the scorching music by Marduk and Darkthrone, with Nebro and T. Aversvs once again slashing our ears with their blasphemous riffs supported by the low-tuned, menacing bass by Corvus. Then strident guitar lines permeate the air in the also venomous 156, a hard-hitting, metallic extravaganza led by the band’s infernal kitchen of Corvus and Animus Atra, living up to the legacy of classic Black Metal infused with melodic nuances, followed by The Moon Above, bringing forward cryptic words vociferated by Nebro (“I hear the pounding of drums / My bones shiver with their sound / And I feel my heart, I feel my heart racing / I feel the dirt beneath my feet, / The transmutation of black moon above me / I feel the heat of the battles / That are now happening within”) while his bandmates keep the ambience as dense, ominous and electrifying as possible.

The title-track VAMA is another Stygian composition where the entire band adds hints of Doom Metal to their already sulfurous Black Metal, with Animus Atra alternating between vicious blast beats and sluggish, phantasmagorical passages, sounding utterly detailed and captivating from start to finish; and the acoustic instrumental tune Kundaliní gives us a few moments of introspection and peace before all hell breaks loose in Revolution Within, a disruptive onrush of Black Metal sounds spearheaded by Animus Atra and his demented drums, with Nebro growling deeply and rabidly while Corvo is unstoppable with her wicked bass punches. Creptum don’t stop darkening the skies and our souls with their imposing and epic Black Metal sonority in Devouring Mother, sounding as if Immortal and Mayhem had a bastard son while the gruesome gnarls by Nebro penetrate deep inside your psyche, until the closing tune On My Skin brings to our ears a few brief moments of serenity before the quartet crushes our skulls one last time with their heavy-as-hell sound, presenting a neck-breaking rhythm led by Animus Atra’s classic beats.

This fantastic display of South American Black Metal can be appreciated in full on Spotify, but of course if you want to show your true support and admiration for this Brazilian horde you should definitely purchase VAMA from their own BandCamp page, from the Drakker Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore, from Apple Music or from Amazon. In addition, don’t forget to follow Creptum on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for news, tour dates and more of their incendiary music, consequently proving you’re a true disciple of the underworld. VAMA is not just another album of Black Metal, but a bold statement by a band that is fully dedicated to such obscure subgenre of heavy music, and above that, to show Brazil can also be an excellent source of the most extreme type of music you can think of.

Best moments of the album: Reborn in Darkness, VAMA and Devouring Mother.

Worst moments of the album: Earth.

Released in 2020 Drakkar Productions

Track listing
1. Earth 4:48
2. Reborn in Darkness 5:00
3. 156 4:52
4. The Moon Above 3:35
5. VAMA 5:59
6. Kundaliní 3:39
7. Revolution Within 3:35
8. Devouring Mother 4:48
9. On My Skin 4:31

Band members
Nebro – vocals, guitar
T. Aversvs – guitar, bass
Corvo – bass
Animus Atra – drums

Guest musician
Tanatos – additional vocals
Deimous Nefus – guitar

Album Review – Goat Necropsy / Bloody and Fresh EP (2020)

Pure gore, violence and blood in less than eight minutes of music, carefully blasted by a new Brazilian duo through their putrid debut EP of Death Metal and Grindcore.

There’s a new dynamic (and vicious) duo hailing form the city of São Paulo, Brazil that not only knows how to apply all aspects of the DIY approach to their music, but they also do it in the goriest and most violent way possible, resulting in an avalanche of demented sounds that will leave completely disoriented after its less than eight minutes are over. I’m talking about the ruthless Death Metal/Grindcore act Goat Necropsy, who are ready to butcher us all with their berserk debut EP entitled Bloody and Fresh. Except for the photo session conducted by Brazilian artist Jessica Mar (Reverbera Music Media), everything else was done by vocalist Vic Ferreira and guitarist and bassist W. Johann (from bands such as Krow, Nervochaos and Victorizer), including all the music and lyrics, the drum programming, the artwork and the overall production, mixing and mastering of the album, and let’s say those two insane metallers nailed it from start to finish, delivering a more-than-fine debut effort that lives up to the traditions of our beloved Goregrind the likes of Carcass, Exhumed, Cattle Decapitation, Napalm Death and Aborted, among several others.

As soon as you hit play and the opening track Chopping Organs begins, you’ll be asking yourself “how can only two guys generate such demolishing and disturbing sonority?” It’s truly pulverizing in its entirety, with Vic sounding infernal with his inhumane roars and gnarls darkly vociferating the song’s visceral words (“Creeping / The butcher arrives / Wretched, mindless / Disturbing death / This grinding machine / Will open your guts / My merciless knife / Reddish shines”), while W. Johann extracts sheer savagery from his riffs. Then continuing their path of devastation and gore, razor-edged riffs and menacing bass lines permeate the air in The Collector, where the gruesome screeches by Vic will disturb your peace of mind in great Goregrind fashion, also sounding very detailed taking into account it’s only two minutes long; and it’s time to go utterly mental to the sound of Anal Vomit, a frantic and demonic display of Death Metal and Grindcore perfect for smashing your skull into the circle pit. Furthermore, Vic and W. Johann once again bring chaos and blood to our ears through their respective screams and riffage, which is also the case in the bestial Devoured by the Hounds, showcasing devilish, psychological lyrics barked by Vic and the awesome Cannibal Corpse-inspired riffs by W. Johann. In addition, we must all admit they did an amazing job with the drum programming throughout the entire EP, sounding very organic and extremely aggressive.

In case you don’t believe when I say Goat Necropsy might be one of the most violent Extreme Metal unities hailing from Brazil, simply dedicate nothing more, nothing less than eight minutes of your spare time to take a full listen at Bloody and Fresh on YouTube or on Spotify, and after being annihilated by such demented duo go check what they’re up to on Facebook and on Instagram, and above all that, purchase your copy of their debut endeavor from their BandCamp page or from Apple Music, showing the world you have what it takes to face sheer gore and dementia in the form of extreme music. Vic and W. Johann surely have a great future ahead of them as Goat Necropsy, proving through their austere compositions that less is always more (brutal, of course).

Best moments of the album: The Collector and Devoured by the Hounds.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Chopping Organs 1:26
2. The Collector 2:30
3. Anal Vomit 1:18
4. Devoured by the Hounds 2:15

Band members
Vic Ferreira – vocals, drum programming
W. Johann – guitars, bass, drum programming

Album Review – Vulcano / Eye In Hell (2020)

A hellish and incendiary fusion of Thrash, Death and Black Metal blasted by an obstinate veteran squad from Brazil that loves extreme music above all things.

Forged in the distant year of 1981 under the name Astaroth in the fires of Santos, a coastal city in southern Brazil’s São Paulo state, Black, Death and Thrash Metal veterans Vulcano are back in action with a brand new album titled Eye In Hell. Produced by the band’s own guitarist Zhema Rodero together with Ivan Pelliciotti at O Beco Estúdio in Curitiba, Brazil and featuring a classic artwork by Italian artist Roberto Toderico (Paganizer, Pestilence, Sodom, Tygers Of Pan Tang), the album is a bold statement by this five-piece act comprised of vocalist Luiz Carlos Louzada, guitarists Zhema Rodero and Gerson Fajardo, bassist Carlos Diaz and drummer Bruno Conrado, proving why not only they were one of the first influences for their countrymen Sepultura, but also why they attained together with other fellow Brazilian bands like Sarcófago and Mutilator a worldwide cult legend status among some of the most extreme practitioners in heavy music, Norway’s feared Black Metal inner circle of the early 90’s.

And the band begins smashing our heads mercilessly in Bride of Satan with their old school Thrash Metal infused with Death Metal elements, with Bruno sounding insane on drums while Zhema and Gerson give a lecture in shredding. I must say this tune is a fantastic welcome card by Vulcano, and there’s still a lot more to come in the form of an avalanche of scorching riffs and crushing beats in Cursed Babylon, spearheaded by Luiz Carlos and his aggressive roars, and ending in a frantic and violent Slayer-inspired manner for our total delectation. There’s no time to breathe as they fire another bestial tune entitled Evil Empire, where Carlos’ rumbling bass and Bruno’s blast beats bring groove and rage to the musicality. In other words, it’s pure old school extreme music spiced up by the crisp riffs and solos by the band’s guitar duo; and blending the most furious elements from Thrash and Death Metal the band offers us all the wicked Struggling Beside Satan, where Luiz sounds even more demented on vocals while the rest of the band hammers their instruments with sheer brutality from start to finish.

Following the same Bay Area Thrash pattern as its predecessors, Sinister Road is a fantastic option for slamming into the circle pit like a maniac or for some sick headbanging, with Zhema and Gerson being on absolute fire with their stringed axes, whereas in Devil Bloody Banquet the band once again shows they’re never tired of delivering fast and furious metal to the masses. Not only all band members are ruthless with their respective instruments, but if you’re a fan of the early days of Slayer and Exodus you must listen to this excellent composition. Then Bruno doesn’t stop pounding his drums not even for a single second in Sirens of Destruction, another demolishing creation by Vulcano with highlights to the amazing sync between the guitar riffs and Carlos’ groovy bass punches, followed by Dealer of My Curse, a brutal and very melodic hybrid between old school Thrash Metal and contemporary Groove Metal where the amazing riffage by both Zhema and Gerson makes sure the energy level doesn’t go down at all, keeping their music absolutely far from being obsolete or flat.

Rev up your engines as Vulcano are about to kill in the berserk Mysteries of the Black Book, a demolishing aria of thrash where Luiz leads the horde with his rabid roars, not to mention the insanity flowing from their riffs and demented drumming, while Inferno sounds and feels like their personal tribute to all things Thrash Metal, with Carlos and Bruno making the earth tremble with their rumbling weapons. Put differently, don’t waste a single second and go crush your skull into the pit together with the Vulcano boys. In Cybernetic Beast the band gives another lesson in shredding and brutality, showcasing the band’s guitarists’ dexterity while maintaining their core violence intact, followed by When the Days Falls, the second to last song in the album, leaning towards classic Black Metal and sounding heavier than its predecessors (albeit not as fiery nor  as exciting), with Luiz bursting his lungs screaming. Lastly, closing the album the band offers our avid ears the title-track Eye in Hell, pulverizing our senses while Luiz sounds infernal on vocals. Furthermore, it’s interesting how they managed to add elements from Doom, Stoner and Southern Metal to their classic sound, and the final result is not only awesome but also extremely sharp and vile.

There’s an infinite number of locations where you can purchase Eye In Hell in different formats, including TargetShop (CD and vinyl), Nuclear Blast (CD and vinyl), Season of Mist (CD and vinyl), Record Shop X (CD and vinyl), Apple Music and Amazon, and don’t forget to give the band a shout on Facebook and to stream their flammable music on Spotify. One might be asking how a band like Vulcano has managed to survive for so many decades in the underground scene, against all odds, never giving up nor selling out, and the answer to that is quite simple. They love Thrash, Death and Black Metal from the bottom of their hearts, with their new album Eye In Hell perfectly depicting all that passion, obstinance and electricity, and that’s all we always ask for in heavy music.

Best moments of the album: Struggling Beside Satan, Sinister Road, Mysteries of the Black Book and Inferno.

Worst moments of the album: When the Days Falls.

Released in 2020 Mighty Music

Track listing
1. Bride of Satan 3:25
2. Cursed Babylon 2:57
3. Evil Empire 3:15
4. Struggling Beside Satan 2:56
5. Sinister Road 3:14
6. Devil Bloody Banquet 2:53
7. Sirens of Destruction 3:35
8. Dealer of My Curse 3:50
9. Mysteries of the Black Book 2:45
10. Inferno 3:14
11. Cybernetic Beast 3:29
12. When the Days Falls 2:59
13. Eye in Hell 4:07

Band members
Luiz Carlos Louzada – vocals
Zhema Rodero – guitar
Gerson Fajardo – guitar
Carlos Diaz – bass
Bruno Conrado – drums

Metal Chick of the Month – Thais Amaral

Soldado não para!

If you’re a fan of the Crossover Thrash played by bands like Sepultura and Lamb of God, but at the same time highly influenced by Alternative and New Metal the likes of Korn, Jinjer and Deftones, get ready to be absolutely stunned by our metal chick of the month of November, who’s more than ready to rock like there’s no tomorrow together with her bandmates from a Brazilian band that goes by the stylish name of Endigna. Owner of a potent and versatile voice, she can deliver first-class clean vocals as well as demonic roars to our avid ears, both in Brazilian Portuguese and in English, leaving us all disoriented after her sonic attack is said and done. I’m talking about Thais Amaral, also known as Thais Endigna or even Babby Drunk, not only the frontwoman for Endigna but also a woman that brings a very welcome (and aggressive) feminine touch to a scene dominated by men.

Born and raised in Taboão da Serra, a municipality in the state of São Paulo in Brazil and part of the Metropolitan Region of the city of São Paulo, Thais started her life in music when she was around 8 or 9 years old because of the religious direction of her own family. As part of a gospel family, she got used to seeing people around her singing and playing different musical instruments; however, she only got interested in singing, never in playing an instrument, which led her to be part of the children’s choir at her church, moving on to the teenage group and to the youth group, later forming an all-female quintet where they used to sing a slightly different musical style more inclined to Soul and R&B. Although she decided to leave the church only when she was 16, she used to listen to a lot of rock music from the 90’s since she was around 12, which ended up having a huge influence on her desire to have her own band. That dream kind of came true when she was about to turn 18 years old, in 2003, when she formed a band named Goma 84, which unfortunately lasted for only two years until it was dissolved due to the different musical directions each member wanted to take. Through the years, apart from popular singing, Thais has also been enrolled in a course at IC&T – Instituto de Canto e Tecnologia in São Paulo, Brazil specialized in Heavy Metal vocal techniques, taught by Brazilian vocalist Thiago Bianchi (Shaman, Noturnall).

It was in 2007 that Thais formed her current band Endigna together with drummer (and also her husband) Tiago Sorrentino, aiming at showing a more aggressive side of rock and metal with lyrics in Portuguese, dealing with different introspective and rebellious topics. Highly influenced by renowned acts like Sepultura, Pantera, Lamb of God and Korn, as well as some very interesting names of the Brazilian scene such as Nação Zumbi and Raimundos, the band comprised of our metal lady Thais Amaral (or in this case Babby Drunk) on vocals, Tom Ayres on the guitar, Bruno Mota on bass and Tiago Sorrentino on drums released their debut EP entitled Soldado Não Para (which would translate as “a soldier doesn’t stop” or “a soldier never stops” from Portuguese) in 2014, and despite all the changes in their lineup through the years the band has solidified their name in the Brazilian underground scene, having already played in several cities across the country. At first, when the band was created, Thais and her bandmates were not exactly sure of what they wanted to do apart from obviously having fun playing in a metal band, and what started as a form of entertainment with the band playing cover songs from bands like Sepultura, System of a Down and Disturbed (like this live footage from 2012 where they play the classic Down with the Sickness), plus a couple of original compositions, quickly evolved to a more serious project, attracting more and more people curious to see that fusion of extreme music with female clean and harsh vocals.

In 2018, while Endigna was recording their first full-length album, Thais and Tiago faced a lot of problems with lineup changes and different musical ideas, which forced Thais to end the recordings and put an end also to Endigna as a band. However, after uploading on YouTube a vocal cover video for the song Pisces, by one of her favorite bands, Ukrainian metallers Jinjer, Thais was informed the video was not only seen by Jinjer themselves, but the band posted it on their official Facebook page, acknowledging it as the best cover version to one of their songs they’ve ever seen. If that wasn’t enough to make Thais extremely happy and proud of herself, Endigna were later invited to be the opening act for Jinjer at Manifesto Bar in São Paulo during their Latin American tour that year. Needless to say, that was a dream come true for Thais and the boys, re-igniting the fire inside Endigna for the delight of all fans of the band. If you want to enjoy the flammable music and live performances by Thais and her bandmates from Endigna, I recommend you take a good look and and even better listen at several Youtube videos from their official channel such as De Mãos Dadas, Pecado, Soldado Não Para, Lei Da Obediência, and several live videos like Morre Que Passa, Salvação at Mineiro Rock Bar, Pecado and Cara Da Derrota at Manifesto Bar in 2015, and Salvação, Sufocante and Lei Da Obediência live at Crazy Festival at Led Slay in 2011. Also ,don’t forget to check their SoundCloud page and official Instagram profile to know more about the band and their music.

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Apaart from her career with Endigna, our dauntless Thais can also be seen singing on the song Olho por Olho (which literally translates as “eye for an eye”) by a very peculiar project curiously named D.A.T.E.N.N.A (Desgraceiras Aterradoras Televisionadas Em Notícias Nada Agradáveis), a wordplay with the name of a Brazilian journalist who hosts a hideous TV show that deals mostly with the urban violence and nasty crimes in various regions of Brazil, as well as her aforementioned YouTube channel where you can find her vocal covers for Jinjer’s Pisces and Arch Enemy’s Reason To Believe, featuring special guest Hebberty Taurus,  guitarist for a Brazilian metal band called Dakhmas. Furthermore, Thais is also a skillful tattoo artist, running her own studio called Thais Amaral Tattoo in her hometown Taboão Da Serra (and you can get more details about the studio directly from its Facebook page or Instagram).

Regarding her biggest idols, influences and favorite bands and artists, Thais always mentions in her interviews iconic groups like Lamb Of God, Slayer, Deftones, Otep, Faith No More, A Perfect Circle, Tool and Stone Temple Pilots, and even pop artists like Beyoncé and P!nk; in addition, Thais also said in one of her social media profiles that the saddest song she’s ever listened to is Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven, the movie she’s watched the most in her life is The Craft, from 1996, saying she even owns it in VHS and DVD, and that she recommends the song Kriptonita, by a band named Ludov, for anyone who’s looking for good music from the Brazilian rock scene.

Thais, who by the way has been suffering from bulimia for several years but that fortunately has also been able to control that inner monster, said in one of her interviews that although the rock and metal scene are still considered sexist by many, she doesn’t really feel that difference or discrimination as she works better with guys than with girls, but that she obviously understands from a viewer standpoint that there’s a lot more pressure on women than on men. Also, our talented growler currently enjoys full support from her family in regards to her career as a musician, complementing by saying that this wasn’t the case in the beginning as the type of music played by Endigna isn’t exactly what we can consider a cash cow. Nevertheless, Thais and Endigna truly love to hit the stage and kick some serious asses, with her “ritual” before her live performances including a facial muscle warm-up, vocalizations and gargling with lukewarm water to drain her vocal chords, and after the concert is over she doesn’t talk or say anything for four or six hours to recover her voice.

Lastly, when asked about the rock and metal scene in her hometown and in the rest of Brazil, Thais said that there are countless amazing bands all over the country that deserve our attention, despite of course all hassles and barriers faced by any underground band that plays heavy music. She complemented by saying that her interaction with all organizers, as well as with all fans of heavy music, is always fantastic, praising the hard work by everyone involve in all festivals and events where Endigna played and saying she loves to interact with the fans, without whom Endigna wouldn’t exist in her opinion, also mentioning the importance of the internet for the band to spread their music, their videos and tour dates. And, as a bonus, if you speak fluent Brazilian Portuguese or have a very good understanding of the language, simply sit down, relax and enjoy this nice interview with Thais to a series called “A Cena É Delas” for Motim Underground, where she talks about everything that was mentioned above and more, focusing on the role of women in the current scene, showing that the underground in Brazil is stronger than ever with talented musicians like Thais proudly carrying the flag of heavy music wherever they go.

Thais Amaral’s Official Facebook page
Thais Amaral’s Official Instagram
Thais Amaral’s Official Twitter
Thais Amaral’s Official YouTube channel
Endigna’s Official Facebook page

Endigna’s Official Instagram
Endigna’s Official Twitter
Endigna’s Official YouTube channel

Album Review – Quilombo / Itankale EP (2019)

The history and evolution of Afro-descendants told by the black hands of a ruthless Death Metal and Grindcore unity from Brazil.

Formed in 2018 by drummer and vocalist Panda Reis (Oligarquia, Armagedom, Brigada do Ódio, Heresia 666), who’s also involved in several amazing endeavors such as an educational and cultural project named Coyote Vive, and guitarist and bassist Allan Kallid (Oligarquia) in São Paulo, the most populous city in Brazil and one of the biggest cities in the world, Death Metal/Grindcore unity Quilombo is among us to tell the evolution of Afro-descendants all over the world as well as the technological history from the African continent in their debut EP, entitled Itankale. Their main objective with Itankale is not political, though, but to unveil the truth about the African slaves taken from their homelands, from their people and from their culture to live a new reality in Brazil, the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery, using the most underground of all music styles, our relentless Heavy Metal, as the perfect soundtrack for their speech.

Featuring an impactful artwork by Brazilian artist Artur Fontenelle, showing some of the greatest icons in the African-American history, and recorded and mixed at O Beco Estudio, Itankale is the voice of the voiceless, telling the history of slavery from the standpoint of the slaves themselves, who were discriminated, persecuted, tortured, raped and killed, but that never gave up, surviving an endless period of pain in the hands of the white man. Furthermore, according to Panda and Allan themselves, Quilombo are not trying to generate any controversy, fights or turmoil with other people, but to provide the view of those who were not allowed to write or speak to anyone about their reality. Based on historical sources that have been ignored until now purely due to ideological and political issues to maintain the status quo, Quilombo will crush your senses with their visceral Death Metal in Itankale, writing with their own black hands about all the suffering and sorrow that haunted the souls of their African ancestors for centuries.

In the opening track, simply titled Melanina (or “melanin” in English), we already face an intro that’s completely different from everything you might have ever heard, showcasing intonations and vocalizations inspired by the African culture before exploding into a sonic devastation overflowing rebelliousness and rage, led by Panda’s demented drumming and sick growls while Allan cuts our skin deep with his riffs. Put differently, this is one of those songs that will leave a mark on your psyche, sounding very unique and raw like the music found in Sepultura’s masterpiece Roots. Ancestralidade (“ancestry”) is another song with an eccentric intro that morphs into a carnivorous feast of Death Metal where Panda smashes his drums like a beast, also vociferating the song’s austere lyrics deeply and rabidly and with guest Binho Gerônimo bringing an extra kick to the music with his tribal percussion, followed by Treze Nações (“thirteen nations”), showcasing a capoeira-inspired intro and of course sheer savagery in the form of Death Metal and Grindcore, sounding as fast and heavy as it can be. Needless to say, Panda shows no mercy for his drums while Allan is on fire with his riffs, with their already violent musicality being effectively spiced up by guest Guilherme Sorbello’s deranged vocals.

Once again paying a powerful tribute to their Africa roots and their music, Descendentes de Reis (“descendants of kings”) reminds me of some of the most brutal creations by their countrymen Ratos de Porão, which obviously translates into awesomeness, whereas in Semideusas (“demigods”) it’s time to talk (and growl) about the importance of women in the African culture, flirting with old school Punk Rock. In addition, the wicked guitar riffs and solos by Allan mixed with Panda’s infernal roars provide the listener all that’s needed for some brutal slamming into the circle pit. And closing the EP we have Diáspora D.C. (“diaspora A.D.”), bringing hints of classic Reggae music in its intro but again quickly morphing into one final blast of aggressive and frantic Death Metal, with Panda sounding truly enraged on vocals and with its primeval, tribal finale putting a glorious ending to the album.

If you want to put your hands on Itankale, which by the way is available for a full listen on SoundCloud, you can contact Quilombo directly through their Facebook page or by sending an email to Panda himself, with the cost of the physical copy of the album being only 10 Brazilian Reais (plus shipping costs). The band is also working on several partnerships to distribute their album all over the Brazilian territory, with stores like Paranoid Records and Die Hard Records, both located in the famous Galeria do Rock in São Paulo, already being confirmed as part of the band’s distribution list. It’s not everyday that we are able to enjoy such distinguished and meaningful album of extreme music, and let’s hope that Quilombo keep giving a (heavy and thunderous) voice to all Afro-descendants for many years to come, it doesn’t matter if they’re metalheads or not.

Best moments of the album: Melanina and Treze Nações.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Poluição Sonora Records

Track listing
1. Melanina 6:44
2. Ancestralidade 4:33
3. Treze Nações 1:43
4. Descendentes de Reis 1:53
5. Semideusas 2:54
6. Diáspora D.C. 1:49

Band members
Panda Reis – vocals, drums
Allan Kalid – guitars, bass

Guest musicians
Bruno – bass (recording)
Binho Gerônimo – percussion
Guilherme Sorbello – vocals on “Treze Nações”

Album Review – Nervosa / Downfall Of Mankind (2018)

Slam into the pit to another killing hardcore thrashing bulldozer by Brazil’s meanest all-female Thrash Metal commando unit.

After two long years, here they finally are the unrelenting Brazilian all-female Thrash Metal commando unit Nervosa with a brand new and devastating album titled Downfall Of Mankind, delivering their usual raw aggression and untamed power throughout the album’s almost 50 minutes split into 14 compositions (including the limited edition bonus track) of killing hardcore thrash. In addition, the follow-up to their sensational 2016 release Agony marks their first with drummer Luana Dametto (who also plays drums for Brazilian Death Metal squad Apophizys), adding an extra touch of pugnacity to the band’s already heavier-than-hell and faster-than-a-bullet musicality and, therefore, providing lead singer and bassist Fernanda Lira and guitarist Prika Amaral all they need to keep haunting the souls of the lighthearted with their Thrash Metal tempest.

Downfall Of Mankind perfectly captures the live energy and the old school character that defines this São Paulo-based band without neglecting the strengths of a modern, compact soundscape, bringing the most pulverizing and sharp elements from all types of extreme music such as Thrash, Death and Black Metal, but of course always being deeply rooted in our beloved Bay Area Thrash sound. Featuring a demonic artwork by Brazilian artist Hugo Silva (Abracombie Ink), and with guest musicians João Gordo (Ratos de Porão), Rodrigo Oliveira (Korzus) and Michael Gilbert (Flotsam & Jetsam) providing their share of insanity and rage to Nervosa’s music, Downfall Of Mankind is definitely one of those albums that will inspire you to slam into the circle pit and bang your head like a maniac, two of the main goals in our good old Thrash Metal,  becoming a permanent part of your most metallic playlist.

An ominous intro takes us to the demonic realm ruled by Nervosa, who don’t waste a single second and start crushing our skulls with their ruthless Thrash Metal in Horrordome, with newcomer Luana simply demolishing her drums while Fernanda delivers her already classic she-demon gnarls. This berserk tune will surely generate some interesting mosh pits during their live concerts, which is also the case in Never Forget, Never Repeat, sounding even more devilish and pulverizing and showcasing the band’s heavy artillery at its finest. Prika seems to be mastering “the art of the riff”, delivering sheer brutality in a well-balanced fusion of Thrash and Death Metal, all complemented by the song’s utterly austere, old school lyrics (“Tyranny, bigotry / Crimes against humanity / Murder, persecution / Inprisonment subordination / Enough of genocides / Enough of bloodshed / Break this perpetration / Of history’s dark past”). Then toning down a bit their rage but still sounding brutal, the power trio blasts more of their thrashing music with their riffs and beats generating a menacing wall of sounds in Enslave, followed by Bleeding, presenting hints of the contemporary music by Cannibal Corpse (which is obviously a good thing) and with Fernanda taking her growls to a deeper, more hellish level, while Luana proves why she was the perfect choice as their new drummer.

After such level of destruction, get ready for an 80’s-inspired (or I should say old school Metallica-inspired) Thrash Metal attack by those three she-devils titled …And Justice For Whom?, where the unstoppable beats by Luana dictate the rhythm while Prika continues with her shredding onrush. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see them playing this one live. And Fernanda’s rumbling bass ignites a dark, mid-tempo tune beautifully titled Vultures, a good song to break your neck headbanging with Prika once again delivering cutting riffs from start to finish (despite the fact the song could have been a little shorter, though), whereas Kill The Silence brings a classic Nervosa sonority in terms of its pace, riffs and lyrics, led by the slashing guitar lines by Prika while Fernanda keeps growling and gnarling like a beast, therefore keeping the album at a truly high level of aggressiveness. Their sonic insanity goes on in No Mercy, a more rhythmic and groovy circle pit-generator with highlights to the solid job done by Luana on drums, and Raise Your Fist!, a rebellious anthem by Nervosa bringing forward an inspirational intro with historic speeches about freedom, gender equality and equal opportunities for all, such as the timeless one by Martin Luther King, Jr., sounding melodic, violent and electrifying, all at the same time. In other words, let’s all raise our fists up in the air to this insurgent hymn by Nervosa.

Downfall Of Mankind/Limited Edition Digipack CD Fan Package

And Nervosa still have energy left for more devastation, starting with the berserk Fear, Violence And Massacre, blending the most pulverizing elements from Thrash, Death and even Black Metal, with Prika firing an awesome, melodic guitar solo halfway through it, not to mention you’ll definitely feel the urge to scream the words “fear, violence and massacre” together with Fernanda; whereas although Conflict is a decent creation by the girls, it’s a bit too generic compared to the rest of the album. There’s a lot of good stuff in the song, though, such as the incendiary riffs by Prika and its frenzied pace. The last track from the regular version of Downfall Of Mankind is the superb Cultura do Estupro, with the iconic vocalist João Gordo (Ratos de Porão) sharing the vocal duties with Fernanda in the only song of the album entirely sung in Brazilian Portuguese. I really hope João joins Nervosa during some of their live concerts to sing this cataclysmic, acid tune, with Luana sounding simply demented behind her drums. Lastly, as a bonus track to the limited edition version of the album we have Selfish Battle, featuring Rodrigo Oliveira (Korzus) on drums and Michael Gilbert (Flotsam & Jetsam) providing a nice guitar solo in a slightly different version of Nervosa, feeling more like a heavier version of 80’s Hard Rock the likes of Warlock thanks mainly to the high-pitched vocals by Fernanda.

One can never get enough of Nervosa, and if you’re already addicted to their incendiary music go check what they’re up to on Facebook and purchase your copy of Downfall Of Mankind from their own BandCamp page or from several other locations such as the Napalm Records webstore, where you can get the deluxe fan package featuring the limited edition digipack, a cover flag, a patch, leather wriststraps and a tote bag. Also, don’t forget to watch the track by track breakdown of the album by the girls on YouTube (part 1 and part 2), and obviously to keep an eye on their official website and Facebook page for whenever they take your hometown by storm. Downfall Of Mankind once again proves that thrashing like there’s no tomorrow is Nervosa’s business, and they don’t need any guy to make sure that their business continues to be more than good.

Best moments of the album: Horrordome, Never Forget, Never Repeat, …And Justice For Whom? and Cultura do Estupro.

Worst moments of the album: Vultures and Conflict.

Released in 2018 Napalm Records

Track listing
1. Intro 1:12
2. Horrordome 3:17
3. Never Forget, Never Repeat 4:40
4. Enslave 3:15
5. Bleeding 3:47
6. …And Justice For Whom? 3:34
7. Vultures 4:09
8. Kill The Silence 3:29
9. No Mercy 3:40
10. Raise Your Fist! 4:04
11. Fear, Violence And Massacre 3:35
12. Conflict 2:59
13. Cultura do Estupro (feat. João Gordo) 3:10

Limited Edition/Digipak bonus track
14. Selfish Battle (feat. Michael Gilbert & Rodrigo Oliveira) 3:26

Band members
Fernanda Lira – lead vocals, bass
Prika Amaral – guitar, backing vocals
Luana Dametto – drums

Guest musicians
João Gordo – additional vocals on “Cultura do Estupro”
Michael Gilbert – guitar solo on “Selfish Battle”
Rodrigo Oliveira – drums on “Selfish Battle”