SummaryBrazilian boys will be Brazilian boys
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There’s no denying that Brazil had a huge impact on the development of extreme metal and today’s topic Holocausto are yet another reminder of such. Their evolution may have been an awkward one; since the band would quickly move away from their core strength (even if they did make a decent return to form later), but that doesn’t take anything away from Campo de Extermínio.
We’re talking about a record that’s just Brazilian to the max and assuming that you’re already familiar with the unholy trinity of Vulcano, Sepultura and Sarcófago, this style of early Brazilian extreme metal doesn’t need much of an introduction. Let’s just say that if Holocausto fits perfectly in this category of unhinged Brazilian madness that’s primal, sloppy and absolutely delicious. The biggest surprise are the multidimensional vocals; as they range from a ghoulish howl to a venomous bark and the latter even brings to mind Wagner’s young blasphemous yells. The guitars are all over the place; both from a stylistic and practical point of view. You can still detect plenty of thrash in the band’s guitar work, yet it’s more of an unrefined mishmash of styles that’s closer to Morbid Visions than Immortal Force. Drums aren’t as blastbeats-driven as I expected them to be, as the drummer plays at a steady beat from time to time and yet, they often represent the calm before the storm.
Given the band’s name and shock values (the horror!), one might expect something close to I.N.R.I., yet Holocausto’s impulse control prevents the band from trying to out-do everyone with unnecessary extreme features and thus, you end up with proper songs. The title track kicks off with an epic swinging riff that’s reminiscent of Vulcano’s ‘Bloody Vengeance’, only to follow up with some unhinged thrashing bits and creepier guitar riffs that bring to mind early Sepultura. ‘Forças Terroristas’ intensifies things with a spiteful vocal attack and speedy tremolos that sound as hot as the eternal flames of hell itself; pushing the boundaries of thrash to the absolute extreme. ‘Regimento da Morte’ introduces some demonic vocal howls and with wicked guitar riffs that balance on the edge of thrash and death, it quickly transforms into an old Sepultura-styled piece of beauty. ‘III Reich’ is arguably the most merciless tune on the album; a dose of primal aggression that’s so fast that it rivals most of Vulcano’s Bloody Vengeance and if you can’t keep up, then you better find someone else to be.
Just like the many comparable Brazilian albums from this time, Campo de Extermínio remains fairly consistent, but it does become a bit same-y and less-inspired once the album progresses. ‘Vietnã’ is by no means awful, but lacks some of the outstanding qualities that the other track possess and comes off more like an ordinary afterthought than anything else. On a different note, the guitar tone is a bit thin; meaning that the faster bits aren’t always as pleasant to the ears as they should and that on several occasions, the drums have a tendency to drown them out in the mix (mostly notable on ‘Facção Revolucionária Armada’ with that loud-pounding drum performance).
Nevertheless, none of these complaints are extremely problematic and once I’m in the mood for Brazilian mayhem, Campo de Extermínio does just what it’s supposed to do. If you’re already familiar with the bigger names that (once) were on Cogumelo Records, then you can’t go wrong here.
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