Review Summary: Sonic venom from Brazil.
For those of you not familiar for Sarcofago, they are a first wave black/thrash metal band from Brazil responsible for influencing many of the trappings and trimmings both musically and fashion-wise in black metal. First off, this is not very accessible music (obviously), and there's not really anything to analyze, as the music is simple to almost an idiotic level. So what's actually good about this album you ask? It's the passion and ferocity in which the music is delivered. Hearing this album is equivalent to having your skull caved in by a 'roid raging satan wielding a metal baseball bat. It's mind-numbing, it's aggressive, and most of all, it's earnest.
The production is actually not as bad as most people make it out to be. It's punchy, direct, and pushes the drums to the forefront. A further note should be made in that although the electronic sounding drums give people the impression of a drum machine. The prototype blast beats and occassionally sloppy drumming is actually performed by D.D. Crazy, who could be credited as one of the first drummers to make extensive use of the single foot blast beat. The guitars are one step behind the drums, possessing a sort of buzzsaw quality that drills maniacally into your head. The bass growls monotonously behind everthing, providing a nice platform for the music to stand on.
The music is primal, feral, and utterly nasty. Wagner rips out his throat spewing broken english about desecrating virgins, worshipping satan, and a gaggle of other pleasant things, the guitars saw away at a possessed speed, and the snare is abused, overplayed, and generally drags the album along by it's throat. The visual equivalent of this album would be a rabid zombie falling apart at the seams, but sprinting at a 60 meter pace, with giblets of meat, maggots and limbs flying away from the velocity. Like I said before, you do not listen to Sarcofago for musicianship or melody. You listen to them because you want a soundtrack to pure brutality and venom. The album is a singular statement- a festering middle finger to convention and morals. Nothing more, nothing less. The hardcore styled simplicty, coupled with thrash taken to new extremes creates an extremely ugly and rusty first incarnation of black metal. It's not romantic, it's not filled with longing and wistful themes of returning to nature, it's simply disgusting, desolate and enjoyably so.
Sarcofago went downhill after this when they eschewed their black metal influences and started to construct quasi-progressive thrash songs with drum machines. This is a testament to musical insanity and nastiness at its best. The sheer ferocity makes up for the inane musicianship, and this is something that is sorely missing in the music industry today. Most bands are competent players, but they do not possess the fresh passion that Sarcofago so duly demonstrated with this album. If you want to dig deep into the roots of black metal and find the originators of this underground genre, look no further than Sarcofago's INRI.