Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Brazilian Death Metal Top Ten

Got it into my head to do a top ten for one of my favourite region-based subgenres, the hyperblasting, Christ hating beast known as Brazilian death metal. If you're the drinking sort, take a shot every time I use some variation on the word "blast." Or, just chug a whole bottle of tequila now, it comes down to the same thing.

Sepultura - Beneath the Remains

What can I say about this album that I haven't said before? Though a case could (and should) be made for any of the first four Sepultura albums to be on this list, if I had to pick just one it would be Beneath the Remains. Possibly the most important album for me in terms of my descent into the metal underground, the one I've returned to most often, and one I plan on listening to if I'm about to die in a fiery plane crash.

Krisiun - Conquerors of Armageddon

On Conquerors of Armageddon, Krisiun capitalized on the goodwill that their previous albums built up in the underground with a recording that highlighted their talent without diminishing their frenzied hyperblasting attack. Krisiun were at the forefront of the wave of bands that returned death metal to the forefront of the extreme metal landscape, and returned Brazil to the frontlines of death metal.


Nephasth - Conceived in Inhuman Blood

Though largely forgotten, the criminally underrated Nephasth ended their six year existence with one of the best death metal albums of the last decade. Their drummer and bassist would go on to form the equally impressive (and similarly underrated) blast furnace The Ordher.

The Ordher - Kill the Betrayers

Formed from the ashes of Nephasth in 2005, The Ordher was a high point in a death metal landscape that was looking increasingly short on ideas. They've sadly called it quits, but not before releasing two unbelievably heavy albums, the second of which shows how far ahead of their peers they were in terms of talent.

Mental Horror - Blemished Redemption

Though they didn't make quite the same splash as their countrymen when they emerged in the late 90's, Mental Horror outlasted most of them, and their last album was a career best. They've been quiet since then, but Brazilian death metal bands are like Chuck Norris: They don't sleep, they just wait.

Grave Desecrator - Insult

There's no shortage of old school fetishists strapping on bullet belts and recording fawning, out of tune tributes to the early 80's, but Grave Desecrator's second album put them at the head of their class. If the unholy spawn of Morbid Visions and In the Embrace of Evil sounds like your thing, then your thing is Grave Desecrator.

Sarcófago - The Laws of Scourge

INRI is most often cited as the seminal Sarcófago album (its influence and legacy are immutable, having provided the attitude and look for the early Norwegian black metal scene). But I actually prefer their second full-length, The Laws of Scourge. Released the same year as Sepultura's Arise, it matched Sarcófago's longtime rivals in musicianship and ambition if not popularity.

Headhunter DC - God's Spreading Cancer

This long-running Death Cult have been around in some form since the late 80's, and though there's never been anything particularly original about their meat-and-potatoes approach to thrashing death metal, their fourth full-length is chock full of killer songs and blasphemous intent - the things that put Brazil on the map in the first place.

Abhorrence - Evoking the Abomination

Perhaps the only Brazilian band to challenge Krisiun's supremacy at the turn of the millennium, Abhorrence's sole full length was further proof that Brazil was re-emerging as a hotbed of uncompromising barbarity.

In Torment - Paradoxical Visions of Emptines

Offering a more technical approach than their countrymen while still retaining the blasting fury that epitomizes Brazilian death metal, In Torment are proof that Brazil's status as the home for take no prisoners, give no fuck death metal is secure.