Split albums are always a treat, offering the absolute best from two or more bands. The recently released Guerra Total/Metalucifer split certainly proves this, bringing together some of Colombia’s fastest thrash and sticking it next to some Japanese heavy metal. This collaboration of thrash and NWOBHM-style metal is certainly something to be celebrated.
First up is Guerra Total (which translates to Total War), a Colombian thrash quartet. Think 3 Inches of Blood but with less high-pitched screaming (less…but not none). We’re introduced to Guerra Total with the song “Black Rock and Roll”, taken from their 2010 album Nuklear Zombie Division, and immediately we’re thrown straight in to the deep end. Be prepared for heaviness because this band won’t slow down to let you catch your breath! The track begins with a fast and fierce musical attack from the band, filled with distorted, fast guitar riffs and blasted drum beats. Singer Jordicaz dominates the song with his low, gruff vocals cutting easily through the rest of the band and demanding to be heard.
Easily the best title for a track ever, “Satan’s Army of the Apocalypse”, from 2013’s El Armagedón Continúa, demonstrates the talents of guitarist Deathfiend. His quick, heavy riffs introduce the track and quickly rule the song. That is, however, until he manages to upstage himself with the mid-song solo. Deathfiend shreds the guitar so hard and fast that you’ll have a hard time keeping up. The sheer speed and ferocity of Guerra Total is jaw-dropping and something that needs to be heard to be believed.
From Colombia to Japan, the second band featured on this split album are the excellently titled Metalucifer, which is a reference to the Sabbat song “Metalucifer and Evilucifer”. With Metalucifer playing a classic NWOBHM style, this is what heavy metal is all about! As an extra treat, all of Metalucifer’s songs on this release are in Japanese, so you can say to your friends that you listen to world music and feel cultured while still being able to headbang to your heart’s content.
Probably my favourite track from Metalucifer is “Heavy Metal Samurai”, taken from the 2001 release Heavy Metal Chainsaw, which you could honestly mistake for being a classic 1980’s release. The fast guitars, the crunchiness of the bass, everything on this track comes together and screams metal; particularly at the chorus where singer Gezolucifer literally screams “HEAVY METAL”!
The last track, “Warriors Ride on the Chariots”, from the EP of the same name, brings thoughts to mind of Bathory, which I’m sure we can all agree is a good thing. The rolling beat, thanks to drummer Elizaveat, makes you feel like you are charging along with the warriors on their chariots, immersing you entirely in the song. Elizabigore’s excellent guitar solo is reminiscent of classic Iron Maiden and will make you reach for the air guitar every heavy metal fan keeps close.
Definitely something to check out as soon as you can, expand your musical horizons and listen to the Guerra Total/Metalucifer split for some seriously heavy metal.