Review: Speedkiller “Midnight Vampire” [Edged Circle]

Review: Speedkiller “Midnight Vampire” [Edged Circle]

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In the end of January the music label Edge Circle Productions will release the first EP “Midnight Vampire” from the young Brazilian band Speedkiller, offering almost half an hour of speedy and uncompromising thrash metal in pure classical form. Earlier this EP was released by Helldprod Records, but now the Norwegian music label Edge Circle Productions has set the goal to interest wider range of audience (specializing mostly in black metal) towards this South American release.

These Brazilian metalheads gave an impression that this music came straight from the 1980s. These guys aren’t prone to idealize the modern musical age; they live in this unique atmosphere of old school thrash metal (praising the spirit of German thrash), emphasizing the sincere directness of the previous century. “Midnight Vampire” is labeled as a black/thrash metal release, but in fact it’s rather a heavy/thrash metal record with some dark and atmospheric elements of mysterious evilness of black metal. The occult and fantasy themes through the lyrical concept and the cover art (when dark fantasy meets the anime) also allude to a mystical aura of black metal.

Actually, during these seven songs (and one of them is a short horror-inspired non-metal “Intro”) there’s a lot going on here, despite the classical principles of songwriting – from hellish blackish elements and traditional heavy metal clichés to simple and speedy thrash metal compositions. Regardless of the unsatisfactory and a bit messy sound, that doesn’t spoil the whole concept, because this extra rawness makes “Midnight Vampire” even more fitting to the 80’s atmosphere of musical adventurism and spiritual ambiance. Though, due to the harsh sound, the singing (half-growls) of Spellcaster totally loses its importance, like it’s some background instrument. Unlike the guitar lines, these are the core of this record, well-lined, but with a touch of sporadic frenzy with long instrumental parts. The painstaking death/thrash brutality (“Suicide Hell”) distracts from the lenient colors of classic heavy metal (like “Nightspell” or “Shadow People”). There are some technical guitar solo moments and atmospheric interspersing (“Midnight Vampire”), diversifying this old school metal mood.

Speedkiller is on the extreme metal scene for three years now, but only now these steady thrashers are ripe for the real physical records. The South American scene isn’t so popular on a global scale, but still, the Brazilian scene is kindly respected, especially at the underground level. Yes, these musicians aren’t the new incarnation of the local legends like Sarcófago, but regardless, their enthusiasm and love for the metal music of the past years is truly inspiring.

Release date: January 29, 2021

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