Album Review – Ancesttral / Web Of Lies (2016)

A top of the line Thrash Metal album by a passionate and all fired up quartet that wants to show the entire world Brazil has a lot more to offer than just samba and MPB.

ancesttral_frontcoverWhen my good friend Jorge Diaz, host of the awesome Brazilian radio show Timão Metal, asked me if I wanted to write a review for Web Of Lies, the brand new album by Brazilian Thrash/Heavy Metal band Ancesttral, I obviously accepted the task right away. First and foremost, it’s always a pleasure to show the world that “terra brasilis” has a lot more to offer than just samba and MPB in regards to music. Furthermore, Jorge brought to my attention that two members of Ancesttral are huge supporters of our favorite soccer team (and obviously the team that inspired the creation of Timão Metal), the almighty Sport Club Corinthians Paulista. And do you want to know how Web Of Lies sounds? Well, let me tell you it’s goddamn good, just like scoring a beautiful and pivotal goal against your worst archenemies in a decisive soccer match.

Formed in 2003 in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, Ancesttral have been on an exciting upward spiral of success since the band’s inception, having already released an EP named Helleluiah in 2005, their debut full-length album The Famous Unknown in 2007, and more recently another EP entitled Bloodshed and Violence in 2012. Now in Web Of Lies not only the band’s old school influences the likes of Metallica, Anthrax, Pantera, Slayer and Testament continue to shine in their music, but there’s also the addition of modern elements from artists such as Godsmack, Disturbed and Rob Zombie, contributing to a fresher sounding while remaining loyal to our good old Thrash Metal, their biggest passion in life (together with Corinthians, of course).

There’s a lot of electricity flowing from the very first second in the opening track, the fantastic What Will You Do?, which sounds like an awesome fusion of Fight, Metallica and Anthrax. Even before lead singer and guitarist Alexandre Grunheidt (who’s by the way absolutely nuts for Corinthians) joins the music with his blazing vocals, lead guitarist Leonardo Brito already fires a flammable mini-solo as the band’s welcome card, leading up to a difficult question: can it get any better than this? The solid and sharp headbanging composition Massacre, inspired by the Carandiru massacre, one of the most hideous slaughters in Brazil’s history, answers that question with its endless aggressiveness and dark lyrics (enhanced by an enfuriated Alexandre on vocal), sounding like a hybrid between some of the classics by Fight and the heaviest tunes by Disturbed; followed by Threat to Society, more modern than the two previous tracks due to the additional elements from bands such as Godsmack and System Of A Down. Furthermore, drummer Denis Grunheidt blasts groovier-than-usual beats, providing the perfect atmosphere for Alexandre and Leonardo to bring forth also more contemporary riffs and solos.

Megadeth-like riffs by Leonardo and more tuneful growls by Alexandre are the main ingredients in the well-crafted chant (and a good choice for their live performances) named You Should Be Dead, where its backing vocals are very effective in increasing the song’s impact on the listener, whereas in the excellent Fight a somber intro led by the obscure bass sounding by Renato Canonico suddenly becomes a merciless neck-breaking tune, presenting elements from old school Thrash Metal as well as from Alternative Metal. Not only that, albeit the vocal lines get more melodious (and consequently less violent), Ancesttral do not give up their usual brutality, being driven in this case by their heavier than hell riffs. And in Nice Day to Die, a Speed Metal composition with hints of Alternative and Nu Metal, the band definitely puts the pedal to the metal in terms of pugnacity, in special the demented vocals by Alexandre (and all backing vocals as well) and the frantic drumming by Denis.

After such amazing devastation, it’s time to slow things down in Pathetic Little Liars, focusing on a darker sounding, something that could have been recorded by Metallica in any of their albums after the 90’s (except of course for the horrendous St. Anger). The only minor issue with this song is that, in my opinion, nothing changes in its four minutes, being quite repetitive after a while. Also groovy and as heavy as hell, Subhuman is another high-quality composition with highlights to the burning riffs and solos by Leonardo, its nonstop beats and an awesome Rob Zombie-inspired performance by Alexandre, all translating into modernized metal music tailored for old school metallers.

ancesttral_2016Then we have one of the most thrilling songs of the album, the title-track Web of Lies, another awesome tune where hints of the sonority by Disturbed become manifest one more time, showcasing how much Ancesttral looks into the future when composing their material, and despite being less thrashy than their customary sounding it’s still awesomely vibrant and resonant. Before the wondrous sonic extravaganza in Web Of Lies is over, Ancesttral show us what happens when Pantera meet Anthrax in the deranged Fire, where metallic riffs build the necessary ambience for Alexandre to spit fire through his incandescent vocals. In addition to that, I bet you’ll start screaming “FIRE!” together with the band while slamming into the pit to the sound of this belligerent tune, and that says it all when the music in question is Thrash Metal. As a bonus, What Will You Do? returns with the same punch as its original version, but this time with a special alternate solo by guest guitarist Rodrigo Flausino, concluding the album almost exactly like it started, which is evidently on a very high note.

The guys from Ancesttral are true workhorses, having invested a shitload of money, time and energy into the making of the album, and playing exhaustively everywhere in Brazil where first-class Heavy Metal is demanded. For instance, take a look at their outstanding performance at Manifesto Rock Bar, in São Paulo, on August 23, 2014 playing three of the new songs (“What Will You Do”, “Threat to Society” and “Web of Lies”) before they were even launched, and you’ll be able to notice how much they nurture a profound passion for all things metal. And in order to provide your honest support to this sensational Brazilian band, go check their Facebook, YouTube, ReverbNation and SoundCloud, and buy your copy of Web Of lies through their online store, the Shinigami Records’ webshop, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and many other locations. Just like Ancesttral do, simply respect your past, live the present, look into the future… E VAI CORINTHIANS!

Best moments of the album: What Will You Do?, Massacre, Fight and Web of Lies.

Worst moments of the album: Pathetic Little Liars.

Released in 2016 Shinigami Records

Track listing
1. What Will You Do? 5:23
2. Massacre 5:10
3. Threat to Society 3:52
4. You Should Be Dead 3:50
5. Fight 5:32
6. Nice Day to Die 2:38
7. Pathetic Little Liars 4:06
8. Subhuman 3:42
9. Web of Lies 3:14
10. Fire 2:52
11. What Will You Do? (Alternate Solo Version) 5:23

Band members
Alexandre Grunheidt – vocals, guitars
Leonardo Brito – lead guitars
Renato Canonico – bass
Denis Grunheidt – drums

Guest musician
Rodrigo Flausino – guitar solo on “What Will You Do? (Alternate Solo Version)”

Advertisements

Radio Show Review – Timão Metal

If you’re crazy for Heavy Metal and the almighty Corinthians, come join the “bando de loucos” together with Mr. Jorge Diaz and his weekly metal show.

Rating1

Timao MetalWe have to admit we metalheads go completely crazy while listening to the thunderous sound of heavy music. Although each one of us has a different taste and style, there’s no way we can live a single day of our lives without the electricity emanating from either an old classic by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, or from the modern headbanging riffs from Disturbed and Slipknot, and it’s this strong passion for Heavy Metal that unites us all and keep us moving forward no matter what. Thus, if there’s one type of person that truly understands what I’m talking about, it has to be a real soccer fan. However, I’m not talking about fans of specific players, like many “supporters” of Barcelona or Real Madrid nowadays, but people that love their clubs or national squads more than anything, and if those people root for the Brazilian team Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, from the city of São Paulo, Brazil, or if you prefer Corinthians, Timão or Coringão, the first FIFA Club World Cup winner, it’s when things get even better.

With over 30 million passionate fans all over the world (known as the “bando de loucos”) and a beautiful history of over 100 years of glorious triumphs and a distinct connection to each one of their supporters, which translates into over 10 million fans on Facebook and 4 million followers on Twitter, it was time for Corinthians to provide their metalhead fans a special show where soccer and Heavy Metal are combined in a compelling way. That’s the awesome fusion you’re going to get every week while listening to TIMÃO METAL, broadcasted by the official Corinthians web radio station Rádio Coringão.

Rádio Coringão has been active in the promotion and coverage of several sports events organized in different corners of the world since 2009, focusing obviously on all professional soccer matches played by Corinthians throughout the year in different championships, with approximately 500,000 likes on Facebook and about 140,000 followers on Twitter, also providing their listeners a solid mix of Rock N’ Roll, Heavy Metal, Samba and several other rhythms during their weekly schedule. As this is a webzine dedicated to Heavy Metal, I’ll “ignore” the other programs that do not play metal music, but if you also like listening to different stuff I can assure you Rádio Coringão is an excellent choice for your daily playlist. For instance, their show called Noite Corinthiana, where only the best of Rock N’ Roll is played, is indeed fantastic.

Radio Coringao

Rádio Coringão – The Official Sport Club Corinthians Paulista Web Radio Station

The high-octane Timão Metal, presented live from “Fiel Chile” in Santiago, Chile every Tuesday at 10pm BRT – Brasília Time (which would be at this time of the year 8pm EST – Eastern Standard Time and 1am of the following day GMT – Greenwich Mean Time, but it always depends if the daylight saving times are on or off) by Jorge Patricio Diaz Guzman, or just Jorge Diaz, will offer you the cream of the headbanging elite from Hard Rock to Black Metal, while at the same time providing news and comments on what’s happening in the world of Corinthians. The show started back on October 10, 2012, and since last year it became live instead of pre-recorded, adding an extra layer of fun to it as you can now request a song in real time through the Twitter account from Rádio Coringão.

How about keeping up with the world of the almighty Corinthians and, at the same time, bang your head to powerful tunes such as Black Sabbath’s Children of the Sea, Unleash the Archers’ Test Your Metal, Satyricon’s Dark Medieval Times and Metallica’s One? And let me tell you the program grew to a point that there’s another show following the same format every Saturday at 5pm BRT – Brasília Time called Gavião Metal, broadcasted also live by Jorge Diaz from Santiago, Chile through Rádio Livre Gaviões. The only suggestion I would make to the show host would be to record both Timão Metal and Gavião Metal as podcasts (through online services like Spreaker, for example) and make them available online for fans who cannot connect when the shows are being broadcasted live, but as I said, this is just a minor detail.

Of course, as huge supporters of Corinthians, we at The Headbanging Moose could not miss the opportunity to build a promising partnership with Timão Metal, providing all fans of Heavy Metal that enjoy the show what’s new in the world of heavy music. In other words, while Jorge will keep taking care of firing some classic tunes to you, we will send him the best of the underground. For instance, this week’s show already featured three amazing compositions by indie bands from different parts of the world: Children of the Stars, by Canadian Heavy Metal act Phantom; Heart of Darkness, by Ukrainian Black Metal horde Morkesagn; and Degrees of Solitude, by the up-and-coming Belgian Ritualistic Black Metal band Cult of Erinyes. I’m sure everyone who was listening to Timão Metal got thrilled to the flaming sound of those bands, and I don’t need to say you can find all details about them on our reviews here at The Headbanging Moose. And guess what? This is going to happen every week, which means tons of excellent independent bands for you, impassioned supporters of our magnificent Coringão!

There are several different places where you can listen to Timão Metal as well as to the rest of the programming by Rádio Coringão, as for example:

1. Through their official website

2. On Facebook

3. And on smartphones with iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, Bada, Blackberry and some Nokia models, you can download the TuneIn app and search for Rádio Coringão

After all is said and done, I believe you all know the steps you need to take every Tuesday at 10pm BRT – Brasília Time, right? Tune into Timão Metal at Rádio Coringão, enjoy the best of classic heavy music, discover the most promising new metal acts from all over the world, bang your head nonstop, raise your horns, and obviously… VAI CORINTHIANS!