Driving imagination and emotions into the darkest pestilential depths of hell and extreme metal, Brazilian death metallers Scourge unleash their new merciless and ravenous incitement in the venomous shape of Hate Metal. Eight tracks of unbridled filth clad hostility and invention, the release is an invigorating savaging seeded in the first insidious breath of the Brazilian death metal scene. It is vicious and sadistic, an antidote to the “False Metal that still abounds in extreme music worldwide”, and rigorously compelling. Band and album has no interest in creeping into an adventure outside of straight-up death metal but at the same time still creates an imaginative skilled exploit within its ‘confines’ which is venomously varied and uncontrollably captivating, and making a new statement for a well-trodden but always magnetic scene.
Formed in 2007 and hailing from Uberlandia, in the state of Minas Gerais, itself a breeding place of great extreme metal and bands, Scourge made their first strong declaration with debut album …On the Sin, Death, Lust, and Hate… in 2010, a release produced by Gerald Incubus of Sarcofago. The band now uncages its second assault on the senses and modern metal with Hate Metal, an onslaught of spiteful sound and ideation again attacking humankind’s deepest perversions and more.
Produced by the band and Rodrigo Nepomuceno, Hate Metal opens up with a storm fuelled intro, howling winds and funereal breath a climatic and messy portentous death knell of the strains of metal they loathe and our souls. It is an intriguing maelstrom of sound and drama which passes by for the instantly carnivorous presence and voice of Sentenced to Die to consume ears and emotions. Within seconds the guitars of Pretho Souto and Mauricio Conçalves have captured the imagination either with predatory riffing or sonic malevolence whilst the rhythmic antagonism of drummer William Santos and bassist Juarez Távora assault and stalk the senses respectively. Driven intensely by the raw guttural growls of Távora, the track permeates and envelops with unbridled malice and invention. It twists in gait and energy throughout its enthralling body, predictability as scarce as mercy in the riveting premise.
It is an impressive start swiftly matched by The Bread that God Crushed, its opening caress of acidic guitar amidst a reserved yet concussive scatter of percussion the perfect coaxing as thoughts and appetite increase their willingness to immerse in the dark encounter. Featuring guest vocals from Wagner Antichrist (ex-Sarcofago and Sepultura), the song from a tenderly start erupts in a torrential malevolence of sadistic beats and scarring riffs. It is a hellacious tempest racked with magnetic sparks and short grooves of melodic causticity which entwine tightly around the ears. It is a bewitching proposition even though its fury is held in rein for the main for a more toxic seduction than found on tracks like the following Angels of Wrath. The third incitement is glorious, from its first breath a mouthwatering provocation of iron tempered rhythms and skin scorching sonics. The richest ferocity is unleashed on the track; its destructive guitar sculpted flumes a treacherous ride for psyche and emotions which the threatening gut bred scowls of Távora openly revel in. The track proceeds to expel grooves and hooks which are as contagious as they are inhospitable whilst both Santos and the strings of the vocalist obliterate air and resistance with their unchecked rancor. It is a mouthwatering triumph, every twist and new detour within its ruinous presence surprising and thrilling whilst the individual craft of each band member adds additional flaming flourishes to the success.
Both Orgy in Paradise and Sacrifice of the Dead keep the new plateau for the album at its lofty height, though neither can quite equal the brilliance of their predecessor. The first of the two is an invidious prowl of oppressive riffs and demanding intensity speared by again inescapable swipes from Santos whilst both Souto and Conçalves vein the tempestuous aural malignancy with infection drenched evocative designs. It is another major highlight of the release, admittedly one amongst many, which is straight away outshone by its successor. As soon as niggling waspish grooves worry the senses within a titan like parade of rhythms, there is a flush of excitement firing up an already healthy hunger for the album. That irresistible temptation never releases its hold as the track builds and hits the senses like a grudge bred avalanche, the vocals a demonic instigator from the heart of the cruelty led predation. It is a beast of a track which finds time to add a web of melodic toxins which only accentuate its vicious beauty and raging disgust.
The Ancient Ritual of Death, with a heavily textured throaty bassline which is just delicious to the ear, steals attention next; it’s opening another which simply absorbs and enslaves body and mind from the first second. Into its full vat of aural vindictiveness, the track slips slightly in its attempt to match previous tracks but with floods of riling riffs and bone splintering rhythms charging persistently across the senses and bass and vocals combined opening up the cavernous depths of vitriol and animosity, the song is never less than gripping and impressively rewarding.
My Hate, My Dreams, My Revenge brings a new side to album and band, its melodic beauty and atmospheric elegance aligned to demon spawned vocal enmity bewitching. The song as the others never settles in one overriding scenery, its peaceful grandeur becoming an exhausting fire of uncompromising tension and smouldering grace before a finale which spews musical and lyrical hate.
Closing with the devastating title track, an anthemic call to brutal arms, Hate Metal is a commanding and thrilling antagonist. Certainly a must for all with a taste for the likes of Sarcofago, Bathory, and Blasphemy, the release declares Scourge as a new important protagonist of undiluted death metal.
Hate Metal is released in conjunction with USA’s Greyhaze Records and Brazil’s Cogumelo Records and available via http://greyhazerecords.bandcamp.com/album/hate-metal
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