Holocausto - War Metal Massacre LP/CD.
Review by Trevor Proctor.
South America’s influence both past and present on underground music is second to none, the continent is well known for its barbaric and primitive style of music, a sound mimicked by many but achieved by very few. This is also the case for Brazil which has spawned its fair share of extreme bands that continue to shape and influence the sound of extreme metal worldwide. Initially formed in the mid-eighties Holocausto played a pivotal role in the creation of a unique style of extreme music that originated in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil. This was a harsh, intense and chaotic style of Black Metal popularized by Holocausto along with fellow Minas Gerais band, Sarcófago.
The good news for us is that after a lengthy absence Holocausto has returned and in March Nuclear War Now! Productions is set to bring us ‘War Metal Massacre’ on digital, vinyl and CD formats. 'War Metal Massacre' was recorded, mixed and mastered by Andrevil along with Holocausto at Engenho Studio in Brazil during June 2016.
Holocausto’s first release came in the form of a single track Demo on cassette that featured ‘Massacre.’ This was in turn followed by two tracks included on the hallowed ‘Warfare Noise I’ compilation that featured tracks from three other bands from the Minas Gerais region, Sarcófago, Mutilator and Chakal, released by the legendary Cogumelo Records label. Holocausto’s unbeatable debut album, ‘Campo de Extermínio,’ followed in 1987, an album that remains a classic to this day and has been reissued a number of times on vinyl and CD by Cogumelo Records, Mutilation Records, Osmose Productions and Greyhaze Records.
Unfortunately the chaotic violence of these early recordings and live performances was laid to rest for many years as Holocausto embarked on a lengthy period of experimentation with a technical thrash approach to their music. With each release Holocausto moved further and further away from their trademark sound as featured on 'Campo de Extermínio' with one album, ‘Tozago as Deismno,’ even featuring elements of industrial, ambient and experimental rock. Holocausto disbanded after ‘Tozago…’ but over twelve years later they returned in 2005 with a new album, ‘De Volta ao Front,’ and a line-up featuring three of the bands original members. While this album was much better received than ‘Tozago as Deismno’ Holocausto didn’t manage to get close to their trademark sound.
However, after close to thirty years since their appearance on the ‘Warfare Noise I’ compilation Holocausto has returned to its earlier pioneering sound with the classic ‘Campo de Extermínio’ line-up of Rodrigo Fuhrer on vocals, Valério Exterminator on guitar, Anderson Guerrilheiro bass and vocals, and Nedson Warfare performing drums. Whilst this will be Holocausto’s sixth album it will only be the first since their debut to follow in the Minas Gerais tradition.
In similar fashion to what they done with brilliant Death Worship EP, ‘Extermination Mass,’ Nuclear War Now! Productions released a special picture disc edition of ‘War Metal Massacre’ at the Nuclear War Now! Fest vol V last November, so it’s an album I’d gave many listens before the promotional email hit.
Holocausto also headlined the Saturday night of NWN! Fest V and delivered a very intense set that left no one in any doubt the original Holocausto has well and truly returned.
Officially classed as an album by Nuclear War Now! Productions at just over twenty two minutes in duration 'War Metal Massacre' may be short but there’s no doubt whatsoever Holocausto has delivered one of the most authentic returns to an original sound from any reformed band in recent memory. 'War Metal Massacre' features a total of seven tracks – the first three occupy Side A and are re-recordings of the first three tracks that set the band on the path to recording ‘Campo de Extermínio,’ their original demo track, ‘Massacre,’ and the two tracks as featured on the ‘Warfare Noise I’ compilation. As if this weren’t exciting enough Side B features an intro along with three new tracks.
The original three tracks were always fantastic but the re-recorded versions sound tighter and more compelling than ever before with advances made in recording/production etc. over the past thirty years lending themselves well to Holocausto’s sound – don’t worry there’s nothing over-produced or clinical about them, but a listen to each track “back to back” with the original illustrates just how much this band has returned to it's trademark sound.
Side B begins with an air raid siren intro that leads to ‘Eu Sou a Guerra’ which launches us straight into the unconstrained havoc that featured on Holocausto's early recordings, “the orchestrated chaos of true warfare.” Whilst the name ‘War Metal’ is often misplaced in recent times this is a name that can easily be applied to Holocausto’s music and the three new tracks will appease even the most ardent of fans. This is War Metal in it's purest form, sounding as it was always intended to sound. There’s not a second that disappoints across 'War Metal Massacre's duration, an album that marks the second coming of both a band and a sound that before now we thought would never re-appear.
Nobody could have predicted a return to form as good as this 10/10.
01 - Massacre
02 - Destruição Nuclear
03 - Escarro Napalm
04 - Intro War
05 - Eu Sou a Gerra
06 - Corpo Seco
07 - War Metal Massacre.