Review Summary: You cry for your father but he don't remember you...
1987 was a pioneering year for the more extreme genres of metal. Death practically invented Death Metal with Scream Bloody Gore, Sodom pretty much perfected thrash with Persecution Mania, and Bathory helped grow Black Metal from just a gimmick used by Venom into what it is today with Under The Sign Of The Black Mark. Not letting the Northern Hemisphere hog all the credit was Brazil's Sarcofago. Their debut I.N.R.I was a milestone in the evolutionary process of both Thrash and Black Metal.
I.N.R.I.'s sound is a primeval pool of Thrash's attitude and ferocity and the over the top antics and primal rage of Black Metal. Led by Wagner "Antichrist" LeMournier, who previously helped found Sepultura, Sarcofago start off I.N.R.I with "Satanic Lust". Even though there is plenty of wrist-shattering tremolo picking, the guitars have more in common with early Slayer as they blaze away like revving chainsaws. D.D. Crazy's constant hyper speed blasts and the tortured reverb soaked howls of LeMournier help in adding a "Blackened" feel. This is seen again and again on I.N.R.I., making its primary sound similar to what one would imagine if Darkthrone started belting out Sodom covers. The production is surprisingly dry when compared to similar albums at the time. The gratuitous use of reverb can only be found on the vocals, leaving the guitars bone dry and helping to accentuate the thrashier elements of the band. The only downside is that Sarcofago keep in the tradition of using scooped tones, thus nullifying any contributions by bassist Gerald "Incubus" Minelli.
The lyrics contained on I.N.R.I were written purely for the shock value, which is a given with song titles such as "Ready To ***", "Desecration of Virgin", and "Christ's Death". To get a general idea of Sarcofago's lyrical themes, one just has to listen to "Desecration of Virgin" where LeMournier shrieks such wholesome verses as "Demons suck your pussy/And *** 'till delight/She isn't more virgin/Because was ***ed by Satan." The album's title track best sums up their general ideals with its closing screams of ""*** you...*** you!...*** you! Jesus Christ". Over the top? You betcha.
I.N.R.I walks a fine line between Thrash and Black Metal at their most violent. The over the top lyrics might be a turn off to more devout listeners, but for those with no qualms about swearing allegiance to Satan, I.N.R.I. is one hell of a ride.
YES! this is an amazing album, really deserved a review. sarcofago were one of the originators of corpse paint if i recall correctly. the brasilian scene in that era had so many good bands - Holocausto, old Sepultura, Chakal, Vulcano, and more.
Metal, metal, metal. You really like metal, in fact, you listen to old skool metal, thrash metal, speed metal, death metal, math metal and anything with the word metal in it. You are often found in small venues listening to local bands drinking pints and talking about your own metal band. You like tats and piercings, and are often hench..
Fuck yeah…Sarcofago are pioneers and legends in every sense of the word, while I.N.R.I is one of the most filthy, hateful and blasphemous records in existence. This album was quite obviously an influence on everyone from the Norweigan bm bands to Canada’s Blasphemy to the whole, bestial bm sub-genre (bands like Beherit, Anal Vomit, Archgoat etc.). The broken English lyrics just make the whole thing all the more memorable (and are even a bit humorous at times)
satanas revenge is started
and the heaven is burning
god angels are deads
and the survivors are praying
the sacred cross is breacked
and demons are smyling
because your lord satanas
raped the mother of false
And of course the infamous “if you are a false don’t entry!!”, lol.
While this may well be the most evil album ever to come from Brazil as illmitch pointed out there’s lots of other great stuff as well (early Sep., Sextrash’s “Sexual Carnage”, Holocausto, “Campo De Extermino” album in particular, the early Chakal material).
And although no other Sarcofago album is as big of a FUCK YOU to the spirit of Jesus Christ “Rotting”, “Hate” and “The Laws of Scourge” are often overlooked and are definitely decent albums in their own right.