Brazilian band. “Troops of Doom”. Death/thrash. Ring any bells? For those with long memories, it should. Sepultura recorded a song with that title on their debut studio album, Morbid Visions (and gave it a kick up the arse for a meaty re-recording on Schizophrenia).
The Troops of Doom have been put together by Jairo Guedz who featured as the guitarist on that original album, as well as the EP which preceded it. He also helped write some of the songs on Schizophrenia, and The Rise of Heresy is a note perfect hark back to those lo-fi, lower-budget days. This was Guedz’s aim, and he’s nailed it alongside a great lineup: bassist/vocalist Alex Kafer (Enterro, Explicit Hate, ex-Necromancer), drummer Alexandre Oliveira (Southern Blacklist, Raising Conviction), and guitarist Marcelo Vasco (Patria, Mysteriis, acclaimed graphic artist for legendary bands such as Slayer, Kreator, Machine Head, Soulfly, and Hatebreed among many others).
Listening to this EP is like stepping back to the late 80s and listening to the songs that didn’t quite make it onto Morbid Visions. Not due to lack of quality, just as there’s only so much space on a slab of vinyl or a C30 cassette tape. There are four original songs, plus covers of “Bestial Devastation” and (of course) “Troops of Doom”. The whole thing reeks of effort being spent in coming up with new material while adhering to that classic sound which Guedz himself helped to define.
It’s a short release, so this is a short review, but that doesn’t mean I’m any less impressed with this EP. It’s great fun, it takes you back on a whirlwind trip of memories. The songs are brutal, edgy and sound like they were deliberately recorded in a highly-crafted tin can. It’s great that Sepultura moved on, evolved, changed their sound and grew as a band. It’s equally great that there’s someone around to remind us of that 1987 sound that got them where they are. That it’s coming from someone who was actually involved at ground zero is the icing on the cake.
The Rise of Heresy is out now