Various Artists
Brazilian Assault

For those of you who aren’t up on current events, or just don’t care enough to research the metal market outside of your own community, the Brazilian death metal scene is blowing up. While the country is still best known for its street-sweeping execution squads, its death metal scene has slowly evolved into one of the best around.

Characteristically, most of its bands fall somewhere into the soundscape of a hyper-speed version of Morbid Angel, however it is their rhythmic tightness and overall technical talents that have brought them acclaim from fans and critics alike. Carrying on through the fiery path that the Polish Assault compilation forged, those sickos at Relapse have decided to brutalize us once again with the release of this disc as a follow-up. Basically the Brazilian Assault runs in the same format as its precursor, highlighting probably the top four underground (not signed) bands currently running amok below the equator.

While I could lump all the bands together and try and make one coherent review out of it, I have decided to take each band and give a basic overview of their sound for easier comprehension: The first band up to bat, Abhorrence, is easily the fastest and most precise band featured on this disc. However, their sound is also the most easily compared to hometown heroes, Krisiun. In fact, the three songs provided by this band sound as if these hombres took Krisiun 101 at their local university. Picture the band’s latest, Conquerors of Armageddon and you have Abhorrence in a nutshell. Musically, they are ridiculously fast with some extremely complex grooves occurring in the background, which makes for an extremely desirable listen.

Ophiolatry is definitely a hard one to pinpoint. There seems to be a little bit more picking present in their song structures, which automatically leads me to think that they could be more influenced by juggernaut, Rebellion. However, it’s the vocals that really get to me as they reminisce of older Suffocation with their forceful, yet murky presence. This band should also be noted as having some truly amazing solos patched throughout the three tracks provided, which once again goes to show that this scene is chock full of amazing musicians.

Nephasth is probably my favorite band featured here, and by the time you are reading this has become the first band to be picked up by a major label since the presentation of this material. Evidently I am not the only one who saw the talent in this outfit as Denmark’s very own Mighty Music approached the band for a proper full-length. Once again, Nephasth shares some similarities with their disc mates, but their material just seems a little more mature than the others. Like Abhorrence, these guys come from the Krisiun-school, which automatically attracts me, but it is their fluent use of time changes and clockwork song-smithing that makes these four tunes the most memorable of the CD’s 17 tracks. I am eagerly awaiting the full-length, and I have a feeling that most of you who check out this material will be just as excited as I am.

Finally, we come to Mental Horror.Roughly these guys equate to a strange blend of hyper grind meets Onward to Golgotha-era Incantation vocals. While this might strike the interest of a few, it was not enough to further their chances of more added attention from this scribe. I won’t lie that the music doesn’t sound proficient, but it is thoroughly bathed in a rehearsal-room production, and is just way too chaotic to make much sense. Well, for the most part, there you have it.

This is one of the best showcases of extreme music around, and I am thrilled that Relapse has decided to exploit the underground of this very deserving nation. So who will be the next to be signed? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Bryan Allen
January 31st, 2001

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