Review Summary: This album occasionally shows flashes of brilliance, be it through the flashy guitar solos or the varied basslines, but unfortunately they only get to show themselves very infrequently, making for a torrid time making your way through some of the lesser c
Vulcano are a thrash metal band with heavy black metal influence that are unknown to many. They formed in Brazil in 1983 and put out a demo tape before eventually capturing the attention of their local scene through their 1986 debut, Bloody Vengeance. Unfortunately, they are a prime example of why any small time thrash metal band could not really make an impact on the scene following the peak years for the genre, as they quickly faded from anyone's eye including their local scene. They broke up after the insipid 1990 album Ratrace, realizing that thrash was a dead game, before coming back in the 2000's with three albums, none of which achieved any success whatsoever and flew directly under the radar.
The real problem with the band, and perhaps the reason that they failed to make an impact on the thrash metal scene, is that they brought nothing new to the table. Many South American thrash metal bands that had made their mark such as Sarcofago had done the black metal-influenced style of thrash that Vulcano was tinkering with, but those bands did it to a much higher standard. The only album from this band that really attempted to diversify and stand out from the masses of bands that were doing a similar style was their debut, on which they used up every ounce of creativity they had, and then were content to merely make generic albums until their break up, and then following their return they made uninspired thrash that was about as dull as can be. In 1998 they released their only material after their debut that was actually worth listening to, but even that was not particularly good. Thankfully, this album is not long as it only clocks in at 23 minutes, which is exceedingly short even for a thrash album and works to its advantage. Eight songs make up Who Are The True? and each of them is fairly short.
The riff work here is among the most boring in all of thrash metal, and not even in the generic constant tremolo picking that many of the more brutal thrash bands insisted upon using in every song. Whilst the drums hold up the album and give it something to smile about with their nice rolls on Hercobulus and the title track, the guitar work is lazy and pedestrian. The riffs here primarily keep to a middling pace that plods along and is content to do nothing really fresh. The aforementioned Hercobulus is actually the best song here, with some really cool riffs when the song picks up a bit, but aside from that, the two guitarists of this band never strive to do anything that has not been done a thousand times before. This is also an album that had so much potential in its guitar work. The fact that it is not a thrash metal release that thunders along at a thousand notes per minute using nothing but tremolo picking meant that it had more room for creativity than 90% of other bands in the genre but it squanders this potential.
The vocals are also rather dull and come off feeling emotionless. They are the gruff, raw sound that one would expect from a black metal-influenced thrash release, only they come off feeling too forced and strained, without any actual life behind them whatsoever. This is really a lesson in how to sound as though you are on your death bed whilst singing/shouting. Also, when the vocals are present, the completely dominate the mix. On Different Land this is OK as he at least attempts to vary his performance with a couple of well executed high-pitched wails that suit the music somewhat, but on Death Metal he is dull and uninspired to say the least. In direct contrast with the seeming lack of creativity from many of the other members of this band, the bass work is probably the highlight here. Every bass line is well thought out and gives the album a much needed feeling of focus and refined nature. This is best displayed in the 93 second long song "F*ck Them", which opens with a predictable thrash gallop (trust me, after you have heard a couple of tracks from this, you will expect something like that and predict every riff change), but the bass lines throughout keep it feeling different an enjoyable.
Who Are The True? also suffers from an abysmal production job, with a really raw feel to it that stems from the lack of commercial success and finances the band had with which to create this album. Everything sounds very flat and fuzzy, and more than often the lead work is buried beneath the wall of sound the rest of the band create, which is a shame as the guitar solos also add quite a little to this music. Overall, Vulcano's third studio album is one that is listenable due to the varied drums and bass performance and, when audible, the solos are great, but the other factors of the band's music hold it back from greatness.