Review Summary: An album so sinister it could have been recorded in the deepest depths of hell
Less than two minutes into the opening track of Bloody Vengeance
, the listener is jolted by some of the most frightening, satanic shouts in the world of metal. It’s not just that the high-pitched screams are believable, but they’re unusually loud in the mix and seem to come out of nowhere following the much deeper growls. I almost jumped out of my seat at the sound and it was more than enough to convince me to listen to the entire album. What I experienced was not unlike taking a journey to hell and back, accompanied by riffs.
For those looking for a raw, unapologetic album, they don’t need to look any further than Vulcano‘s Bloody Vengeance
. Released in 1986, it’s one of the first Brazilian black thrash releases and some claim it even influenced the likes of Sepultura and Sarcofago. Leaving all sense of melody at the door, the extreme metal band enters an evil, unforgiving atmosphere comprised of some of the angriest screams and instrumentation I’ve heard on record. With a healthy mixture of thrash, death and black metal, the album never seems to let up throughout its runtime. Aside from the fantastic vocals that are both varied and intimidating, the opener ‘Dominios of Death’ also gives the listener a good idea of what to expect instrumentally from Vulcano. Although the production is rather muddy, it doesn’t take away from the lightning fast drumming and dirty riffing that weaves its way in and out of every track. After we are shaken by the song’s signature screams we are assaulted by a heavy section of skillful guitar-work and blistering solos to close out the track and start the album off with a satisfying bang.
With the bar set rather high with the ridiculously evil ‘Dominios of Death’ the band don’t waste any time as every song seems to thrash just as hard as the one before it, creating an uneasy, but enjoyable listening experience. The second track ‘Spirits of Evil’ displays the band’s strong musicianship with more rapid drumming and riffs, but also some highly impressive work in the bass department. It’s the kind of bass that would make Atheist proud and it compliments the rapid-guitar work and harsh screams that surround it. ‘Holocaust’ is another standout which tricks the listener by starting out slower than the other tracks before bringing in the fastest, most impressive drumming on the album. It also contains one of the most memorable vocal performances which is sure to please fans of all things metal with its harsh, scratchy tone.
Vulcano don’t give the listener much time to catch their breath during the ruthless Bloody Vengeance
but that seems to be precisely the point. Despite the weaker production, everything is still very audible from the angry riffs to the shrieks that sound like they came from the very pits of hell. Don’t believe me? Just listen to track seven entitled ’Voices From Hell’ to hear the demented cries of the anguished before being hit with the doom-like final offering on the album. Those looking for a little melody with their metal should look elsewhere, but if you’re in the mood for a merciless lesson in extreme metal, Bloody Vengeance
is the perfect place to start.