Brutal Death Metal

Mozambique metal – Sarcotrofia and Darkest Place – Metals Around the World

In this special I am going to review every metal release ever to come out of Mozambique. In total *drum roll* two releases from two bands according to The Metal Archives! Both bands SarcotrofiA and Darkest Place are from the capital, Maputo. However, there is (or was) probably a lot more activity, as the trailer for a documentary “Terra Pesada” below shows there has definitely been some gigging in the past. Judging by their website www.terrapesada.com, the documentary is not out yet.


SarcotrofiA

540735The band does excel in describing themselves in their Soundcloud:
A SOUTHERN AFRICAN VERSATILE TOP LISTED BAND IN THE METAL SCENERY, FROM MAPUTO/MOZAMBIQUE, WITH SUPER JOINT INFLUENCIES OF MOZAMBICAN TRADITIONAL RHYTHMS WITH METAL, TURNING IT INTO GUTTURAL GENRE.

FOUNDED BY GORO FAST (drummer) IN 2006 FROM THE ASHES OF ANOTHER PAST BAND CALLED Sarcomaticaposa, THEN AFTER SEVERALS LINE UP CHANGES, BECAME SarcotrofiA. WE NOW SCREAM OUT OUR SOUND IN GUTTURAL ROTTEN PORNOVAGINOTOPSY WAY; FROM THERE UNTIL NOW HAS BEEN WORKING HARD, TRYING TO BRING THE BEST UNEXPLORED SIDE OF MUSIC TO THE LISTENERS AND LOVERS OF THIS MUSICAL GENRE. THE BAND HAS BEEN WORKING HARD ENOUGH IN ATTEMPT TO CREATE AN IDENTITY AS SarcotrofiA.

ACTIVE MEMBERS:
Namesis Daude: Guttural Throat
Euclides Anatolly: Rotten Riffs
Jubless Jubileu: Grinder pussies
Goro Fast – Drums

PAST MEMBER
Lolah Orlanda: Porno Vaginotopsy


I find it particularly funny that the other basic metal band roles are easy to find out from descriptions, but their bassist, whose role seems to be “Grinder pussies”. And how about that ex-member from the time they only did hardcore porn!

SarcotrofiA is nothing new in the game of humouristically heavy brutal death / grindcore. They released the 2nd ever Mozambique metal release, a 5 track EP Left to Rot (Hypocrisy’s Penetralia, anyone?) in 2013. They fall in the sweet sector of bands who are not full humour goregrind like for example Gutalax, but definitely have some tongue in cheek there.

The instruments separate quite well being still chaotic. The guitars lack sense of power though and drums have too much of that. Sounds are really similar to what a small European band might conceive as their first demo. You can hear that these guys can play their instruments surprisingly well and are no strangers to sudden tempo switches. Especially the drummer Goro Fast does an impressive job, fast tempos and all kinds of fills while keeping in tempo.

mz-lgflagMozambique has one of the most distinctive country flags. I mean how metal is it to have an actual AK-47 in the flag of your country. And how could you not use that in your grindcore, i mean guttural rotten pornovaginotopsy bands album cover. It’s meant to be really.

I am rarely a fan of goregrind and unfortunately for me there’s not that much interesting stuff going on in Left to Rot but individual riffs like the intro of Brutal Slab and Panic At a Morgue. Both tracks identically turn to chaotic blasting after solid hard-hitting intros, Brutal Slab has some more memorable riffing. The whole Panic At a Morgue track could be deemed almost progressive as it has about 20 sections just placed after each other. Even though the riffs are not technical by any means. It is a prime example that there definitely is a lot of stuff happening, riffs varying all the sudden and behind it very deep guttural growling.

The advertised Mozambiquan traditional rhythms are too hard to find, the band could really be from Europe. This kind of stuff has its fans too though. Central Europe has a lot of semi-humouristic brutal death metal / grindcore gigs, SarcotrofiA could well be a regular in those places, given different circumstances.

Listen Left To Rot from their Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/sarcotrofia/ghost-monk?in=sarcotrofia/sets/left-to-rot-ep-2014

P.S. Without me noticing, in the summer of 2016 SarcotrofiA did play a live gig in Czech Republic and in November 2016 the band announced in their Facebook that Goro Fast is currently the only member and he is moving the band to Europe. It may be that SarcotrofiA is closer than I imagined in being a regular at grindcore gigs around the old continent of metal. They also stated that an album is in plans. If SarcotrofiA manages to incorporate some of Mozambique background to their music, they could breeze some fresh air to goregrind.


Darkest Place EP

297518First lets make it clear. When you find an independently released “E.P” that’s the first metal recording in the history of Mozambique (2006) it is very hard to believe it to sound something else than a demo. And it doesn’t. Darkest Place unfortunately split up before they could make another release as their newest demo compositions from 2010 started to show a lot of promise, but this EP is wobbly.

Darkest Place is labeled as “Extreme Gothic Metal” in metal-archives. They do have growling vocals but it can be argued that the 3rd track Frightening Nights is the only extreme metal track. It is actually the 1st track in Metal-archives but my version labels it third. Metal-archives also lists a track called “Lost in the dark” as third, that I do not have nor does Darkest Place youtube site.

First two tracks Hour of Death and Wrong Creations are more easily labelled as one of the hundreds of gothic rock/metal clones that came after the success of Within Temptation, Evanescence and Nightwish. Especially Hour of Death is incredibly tame, almost a pop track really. Sure, Wrong Creations has some balls and distortion guitars. It’s overpeaked with amateuristic growling vocals and a 30 second + 5 second blastbeat sections. With a whopping 9 minute length it’s also an overly stretched composition.

Wrong Creations does some trails of doom oldies like Paradise Lost. At best their sound has some of the melancholy grandeur of Lilitu.

Musicianship is very wobbly. Especially some of the clean parts without distortion show that the guitarist’s timing and note lengths are too often off. It is not hard to guess that the recording is a work by a very young band early in their learning curve of instruments. I don’t think the studio technicians in Mozambique would have any idea how to record metal either. If it has been even recorded in a studio. The casio keyboard sound on top gives it unwelcome cheeriness.

Surprisingly the heaviest song Frightening Nights has a lot better demo sound. It has some black metallish darkness and is probably the best piece of the record. From 1 to 3 minutes the band luckily does not have cheery sounding keyboards in there and the dark riffing is very welcome. It’s funny to hear a gothic metal band that actually shows some promise in the blacker fields.

After 5 minutes Frightening Nights goes all cut and paste, a section after each other. Especially the last half a minute after some quite mindless fast guitar soloing is completely puzzling: guitar, drums, casio keyboards -> cuts out and turns to just acoustic guitar (with quiet drums) -> suddenly it turns to keyboards with different sound that fail to play the melody right + the sound of a lightning :D. It really reminds of Damien Storm’s grandiose puzzlingness.

darkest-place-ashesThe band has split up but their Youtube also lists a 2010 release Ashes of the Earth that shows a great deal more maturity in compositions. It would have been interesting had they managed to record these tracks with more experience.

This youtube clip must be completely computer made but the sounds aren’t half bad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8qlTg5yBiA
A live clip of their newer track, “was filmed by a show called Rockzone, T.v Station Tim”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rVDAjgjKzM
Wrong Creations from their first EP:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPMGByFaGbY
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Darkest-Place-111254205443/


Bonus material – SarcotrofiA

I love the few rare descriptions that you can find from Sarcotrofia in the internet. In total equals the amount of Mozambique metal releases, 2. The next one is funny and puzzling at the same time. I mean, this time the bass player gets titled in but drummer is stated as “horrible”. It’s actually meant to be a positive thing I think, haha! I mean just read this jewel: “If you hate brutal metal make sure you listen to this EP so that you hate it more. If you love this EP make sure that you call the doctor, you sick freak.” 😕 😕 😕

Sarcotrofia
It is the time for these zombies from Mozambique to prove that metal music will not be stopped, no matter what the circumstances may be. In 2006 the drumming maniac named Goro Fast decided to bring together a group of metalheads that could take metal from the mind to the gutter. I should warn you: if you are a politically correct individual and you get easily offended by disgusting imaginations, you better stop reading right now because things are about to get fugly. Sick and disgusting death metal is the only game in town here. I don’t have much information to tell you, except that this band is not for those with a weak stomach. The band is:

Namesis Daude: grunt screams chaos
Euclides Anatolly: guitar butcher chaos
Jubless Jubileu: bass abuser chaos
Goro Fast: horrible drumming chaos

The band writes guttural brutality with songs like the EP “Left to Rot”:
1.Ghost Monk 03:10
2.Brutal Stab 04:53
3.RATM 04:53
4.Benighted 04:29
5.Panic At Morgue 05:52
total time 23:17

If you hate brutal metal make sure you listen to this EP so that you hate it more. If you love this EP make sure that you call the doctor, you sick freak. http://www.soundcloud.com/sarcotrofia
http://metalbulletin.blogspot.com/2015/10/sarcotrofia.html

Genocide Shrines – Manipura Imperial Deathevokovil (Scriptures Of Reversed Puraana Dharmurder) – Sri Lanka

505952If you are still reading after the whopping album title I can only take it that you feel some kind of enthrallment. I’ll be first to admit I jumped straight in it without any googling but pretty soon it became apparent that small search might provide some understanding of the albums thematics. Taken that I can only understand ~4.5 of the 8 words in the album title (Imperial, Scriptures, Of, Reversed, ***murder)…

When the distorted voice clip in the sixth track Hurl Burning Spears To Exhume The Raavanic Throne Of Sivvhela Retaliation violently commands RAAVAN at the very latest one should realize Genocide Shrines are onto something special.

“Ravana” is the the primary antagonist in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where he is depicted as the king of Lanka [1]. “The life of Ravana, one of the most powerful beings ever to roam the universe, if Hindu legends are to be believed, had unfolded in the small island Sri Lanka, where he ruled with mighty power over gods, humans and demons.”

And what a name Hurl Burning Spears To Exhume The Raavanic Throne Of Sivvhela Retaliation is to sum up the experience. Genocide Shrines is a brutal death metal band with such a wall of sound it’s not immediately clear what they stand for. On further listens it becomes apparent that while the western influences are there, they aren’t of influx. The rhythmic heritage has seemingly taken a lot from local surroundings, savage tempos and violent atmospheres remind of the rich and violent history of Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan civil war, which left 80 000-100 000 dead in 25 years, ended just 7 years ago and there are still accounts that the minority and losing side of the civil war, Tamils may be tortured by the officials.

Rich chants and percussions of an unknown lore further thrust the experience away from Yankee and European colleagues. The outro Pillar 3 (Triumphing Of The Three Worlds) sounds like it could be a street recording of a Sri Lankan shaman.

The brutal basement sounds are reminiscent of good old days where classic metal records were recorded with suspicious equipment, delivering billowing muddy soundmass instead of the crystal clear liquid of nowdays. There’s undoubtedly its place for crystal clear production, but so is for sound that could have been recorded in torture chambers.

In an interview with the vice [2], the frontman Chathuranga Fonseka (a.k.a. Tridenterrorcult) states: “I had made a few important changes to my daily living with the intention of raavanic devotion to delve completely with murderous attentiveness and focus on the ascent. Traditions were continued as it has been done in the past during recording sessions. Mr. Obliterator from Serpents Athirst frequented these rituals to assist BlasphemousWarGoat with various elements.”. The interview makes clear to state that this band pours out some serious devotion on their album processes, encompassing a lot of their ancient mythologue. Just read the amazingly mystic track titles. If you understand what the hell they are referencing to and aren’t a native Sri Lankan, I salute you. This big unknown is part of the charm.

Black metal-esque guitars and rumbling drum-patterns of Subterranean Katacomb, Termination Temple (Henotheistic Primal Demiurge) among many others demonstrate the musicality of the group. My favourite moment is probably the primal ritualistic riff of Ethnoheretical Padmavyuha Consecration which effortlessly slithers into a ~40 bpm downstroke bruising. Militant Thrishul (Eradiction Puja) and Aerialdishamanic Bonethrone Omega both have a mildly melodic riff to present further variation.

Nearly all the tracks have some slower material, usually violent sludging, which makes it clear that Genocide Shrines is not leaning just to walls of sound and constant high tempos in delivering their mostly oppressive message.

But I never found out what is a reversed dharmurder.

9-/10

Bandcamp:
https://vaultofdriedbones.bandcamp.com/album/manipura-imperial-deathevokovil-scriptures-of-reversed-puraana-dharmurder

References:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravana
[2] http://noisey.vice.com/blog/genocide-shrines-interview-2015

Weeping Birth – Anosognosic Industry of the I

Weeping Birth must be one of the best hidden gems of Brutal and Technical Death Metal. This project of Metal monster mind Vladimir Cochet released its first album in 2003 but robbed the bank with their second effort in 2008. “Anosognosic Industry Of the I” destroys, chills and occasionally even puts in a beautiful melody. Mainly destroys.

Seventy-plus minutes of monster riffs and huge tempos is, as a thought, very hard to digest but somehow “Anosognosic Industry of the I” is made fluid. For times when the listener may feel sated of crunching riffs, the occasional melodic bits are the perfect relief. These moments are for example the crazy guitar solo of “Hurle à la Mort”, “Orgasmic Fetid Breath”‘s ominous guitar lead turning into a melodically outbursting chorus, or the beautiful track “Shadowless”. Most memorable melodics are, you guessed it, topped over crunching high-speed riffs. The album does have dynamics but it is truly itself only when the gas pedal is stuck down.

The clean vocals and the over done, bit dull-sounding drum machine aren’t at par with the rest of the release but they are nonetheless only minor inconveniences as especially the drums are very well-programmed. The only clearly weak track is “Detestable Birth Tapestries With Snakes Embroidered”, which verse riff is simply just off, making an otherwise strong track rather annoying. With deep self-examination one might also come to note that “Love, Death’s Betrothed” is perhaps too technical for its own good, putting in massive disruptions after each other. On early listens it can be mindblowing in a WTF-fashion, but later on the surprise wears off.

The album is a surprisingly flawless piece, having almost no weak moments. “Anosognosic Industry Of the I” excels at constant variation, wonderful riffs and well-timed dynamics to give the listener a breather now and then. The top moments include for example the frantic and devious last two minutes of “I Was” and the evil break of “Der Tanz der Toten” with French vocals seemingly ready to gnaw the skin off your bones. But most of all “Shadowless”, an almost Classical composition, which seems to consist of a continuous bridge slowly leading towards the inevitable orgasmic peak.

Prepare to get bewildered, amazed and confused. “Anosognosic Industry Of the I” brings in a similar shock factor as Havoc Unit’s album “h.IV+”  – for me these two are the best Extreme Metal albums of the 2000s.

Overall Score: 9+

The review was originally released in Metal-observer: http://www.metal-observer.com/articles.php?lid=1&sid=1&id=18866