Victor Augusto’s Top Ten Albums of 2019

Victor Augusto’s Top Ten Albums of 2019
By Victor Augusto

Before I let you loose on Victor’s Top Ten Albums of 2019 I would just like to thank him for all of his hard work this year. It’s been great to have you onboard!

Definitely 2019 was not an easy year for me. After a couple of years of intense dedication to my local Heavy Metal scene, I realized I was walking in circles and wasting energies in the middle of many egocentrical people. I also lost time with bands that don’t appreciate my support.

Before I changed my focus to professional bands, I spent a few months trying to recover myself from my mental exhaustion and I wasn’t able to follow all the good releases, but the few I heard were enough for me. So here are my impressions of what were the best this year.

10 – Acid Reign – The Age of Entitlement

10 – Acid Reign - The Age of Entitlement

The UK band Acid Reign appeared at the end of the eighties and quit in the early nineties, but they returned in this decade and let clear to the world that they still can record a killer album. “The Age Of Entitlement” just shows their creativity to play incredible riffs, as a good Thrash Metal band does. The band also explored the melodies of classic British Heavy Metal bands. All of it together with an incredible recording/production was enough to show to the world that Acid Reign is really back.

https://www.facebook.com/acid.reign.thrash/


09 – Kamala – Live in France

09 – Kamala – Live in France

Since their first years, Kamala wasn’t just a one more awesome band among all other great Brazilian bands. They put some mantras and oriental music to complement their heavy music and built a great name in their country. In this decade they changed their sonority to a straight Thrash Metal and also started to tour in Europe. From all the countries that they played, France was the one that really embraced this trio with the same passion that the band put forward when playing for French Metalheads. “Live in France” is one more brick in this great career in Europe and a great way to show that Kamala is getting bigger, even after almost 17 years on road.

https://www.facebook.com/kamalaofficial/


08 – Acero Nacional – Trueno

08 - Acero Nacional – Trueno

If you think South American Metalheads are insane, you have probably never seen the Chilean ones. Bands from there also have this spirit and you just have to analyze the name Acero Nacional to understand it. The band’s name means “National Steel” and the steel is a reference to the people who works with this metal in metallurgy industries. The band represents the workers in their country and “Trueno” (Thunder in Spanish) sounds like the title; Strong, fast and devastator.

https://www.facebook.com/aceronacional/


07 – Fleshgod Apocalypse – Veleno

07 – Fleshgod Apocalypse – Veleno

As a fan of extreme Metal I have always loved Fleshgod Apocalypse since the first time I saw the video of ‘The Violation’ in 2012. For me, they are the great new mainstream band that appeared in this decade. Instead the same old stuff from all Death/Black Metal bands; they just put opera and al Italian influence. For my surprise, the band drastically changed their line-up for this album, but I still feel the same spirit in their music. Actually, they are better in my opinion. The songs are not extremely fast all the time as before and the production chose a more organic recording. For me, those changes helped to digest easier all the complexity of their arrangements. I loved as always.

https://www.facebook.com/fleshgodapocalypse


06 – Legacy Of Kain – Paralelo XI

06 - Legacy Of Kain – Paralelo XI

The first time I heard and reviewed Legacy of Kain in 2017, they were just a new band in Brazil, with old musicians that were playing Metalcore/Thrash Metal. I liked them, but the band was not so far my favorite of the year. Now they have changed their lyrics from Portuguese to English and decided to play a strong and furious Thrash Metal with a few elements of Metalcore. All the anger you hear in this new album is from the main theme that is about the slaughter of an Indian tribe in Brazil, which happened in 1963. For sure this record will make you angry too.

https://www.facebook.com/legacyofkainbrazil/


05 – Woslom – Paranoia

05 - Woslom – Paranoia

Woslom is a very famous Thrash Metal band in Brazil. In this decade they released three great full albums and toured a lot, not only in their country but also in Europe. Again, the band brought a great theme well represented in the cover art. “Paranoia” has a dizzy stairway and the opening riffs of the title track reproduce it too. Despite it is just a four track EP, this record can show what we can expect from the next full album. A technical and crazy Thrash Metal that always surprises the listener.

https://www.facebook.com/woslom/


04 – Hatefulmurder – Reborn

04 - Hatefulmurder - Reborn

One detail that makes me admire a specific band is when I have difficulty to find their band’s style. Hatefulmurder in an incredible Heavy Metal band that offers something similar to Thrash Metal, but they sounds as heavy as a Death Metal band. Sometimes the band flees to funky bass lines structure or other styles and is not repetitive with the songs structure. This is the third band’s album and the second with Angelica Burns on vocal. She brought all heaviness with her strong vocal, sometimes similar to Tomas Lindberg voice (At The Gates singer), but the band goes further to any kind of Death Metal. I suggest you listen to “Reborn” and make your own conclusions about it.

https://www.facebook.com/hatefulbook/


03 – Destruction – Born to Perish

03 - Destruction-Born-To-Perish

Destruction is a band that doesn’t need to be introduced to anyone. I was lucky to see them live twice (in 2016 and 2018) and I even met them backstage for few minutes last year. Schmier, Mike and Andy Black were very polite and I took a pic with them to save this moment in my memory. It was few months before they announced the Damir Eskić and returned to have two guitar players. Probably any Destruction album can easily perform in a top 10 list, but “Born to Perish” has this stronger sonority due the addition of the second guitar and this album sounds even more aggressive than the others.

https://www.facebook.com/destruction/


02 – Death Angel – Humanicide

02 - Death Angel – Humanicide

It is very hard to not love anything that Death Angel release since I showed their concert in my hometown in 2010. That day I was lucky to stand in front of Rob Cavestany and he gave his guitar pick on my hands. He is as gentleman as a great riff composer. Actually he could be considered one of the best riff makers in the Thrash Metal history, but maybe the long time that the band was stopped disrupted the band’s trajectory. What really matters here is the fact that Death Angel released another insane album and I dare any Thrash lover doesn’t bang his head while listening such amazing album.

https://www.facebook.com/deathangel/


01 – DarkTower – Obedientia

01 – DarkTower – Obedientia

Before I put this record in the first place of my top 10 albums of 2019, I was really afraid to be unfair with the famous bands that have a great history in Heavy Metal, but DarkTower really touched me with this album. It is not just a matter of how they play Black/Death Metal, but how they put all anger and feeling to illustrate all chaos we live in Brazil. Since the political fights that our people have been doing to how we are losing our culture and our identity as a nation; everything was brilliantly described without attack directly at any side of this war. They just advise how people are stopping to think by themselves and how they have been manipulated by false heroes. Embark on this epical and realistic journey listening to “Obedientia”.

https://www.facebook.com/darktowermetal/


Special mention also has to go out to the following bands:

Miasthenia – Sinfonia Ritual

Here is a great Pagan Black Metal band that is the opposite of bands from this style. “Sinfonia Ritual” is not specifically an album because it shows a symphonic version of five songs from the last three band’s album. It is a great way to enter into the Miasthenia soul and discover how amazing they are.

https://www.facebook.com/miasthenia/


Endust – All ends in Dust

My special mention goes to The Brazilian Thrashers of Endust that released their first album “All Ends in Dust” even though they have never played any concert ever. Their music is a kind of Thrash with Nevermore influences, which increased melodies and changed the dynamic of this great record.

https://www.facebook.com/official.endust/


Infrared – Back To The Warehouse

Another special mention goes for the Canadian band Infrared. They also quit in the eighties and returned this decade. The album “Back To The Warehouse” rescued old compositions that received all aggression of their Thrash Metal.

https://www.facebook.com/infraredmetal/


 

 

 

Disclaimer: This Top Ten is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

DarkTower – Obedientia

Obedientia Cover

DarkTower – Obedientia
Electric Funeral Records
Release Date: 06/11/2019
Running time: 41:38
Review by Victor Augusto
10/10

I often ask myself if it is possible that a band will offer anything new nowadays, after everything we know, and have heard, in Heavy Metal. Maybe I am being skeptical, but I don’t think we will ever hear innovation or something revolutionary inside music again. Despite that, I do believe it is possible to find ways to flee from “more of the same”. Following this path, I can mention Brazilian Melodic Black/Death Metal band DarkTower who have been conquering South America for more than 10 years touring regularly and releasing two great albums “…of Chaos and Ascension” (2013) and “Eight Spears” (2016). If these two albums showed to fans their huge technical ability, “Obedientia” comes with a new purpose.

Always inspired in chaos that rules the world, this time DarkTower have got their specific scenario from where they live in Brazil. An unstable country in terms of economy, governments and now, a nation split by political worship that makes them ready to kill each other, blinded by angry and foolish attitudes. No, you won’t hear any political statements like you do with Thrash Metal bands or the antichrist screams associated with Black Metal bands but you will hear all the darkness from their daily anger and suffering, which is very well elucidated by complex and heavy compositions. It is like you are hearing a soundtrack of the apocalypse. A non-fictional apocalypse; A real apocalypse!

The acoustic intro of ‘Punishment’ becomes heavier and epical until ‘Downfall’ devastates all of us with killer riffs, blast beats and screams about the mental maze of a lunatic who cannot think or act for himself due to religious dogma. Next track ‘God Above Nothing’ is the most aggressive song and it represents the church leaders, allied with politics, using the people’s faith to control and manipulate them. This religious theme actually represents exactly what is happening in the band’s country, where the slogan “God Above Everything” was used massively during the most recent political campaign. As I said before, do not expect specific names to be mentioned here, as the idea of “Obedientia” is to make clear how dangerous a nation that worships snakes and lunatics can be, no matter which side they represent.

The instrumental prelude of ‘Highland Ceremony’ explains the story behind ‘Winged Snake’s Communion’. It is about an old South American tribe called Cañari, who, in the mountains of South Ecuador, still keep their old traditions alive even after all the wars and changes in civilization. This song reflects an idea of the traditions Brazil has lost throughout the years. More songs make clear what the band wants to warn you about, like the chorus “I Won’t Kneel For You” in the title track ‘Obedientia’ and the metaphoric references of sculpted leaders when they say “Man of Clay” in the lyrics of ‘Praxis Against Ignorance’.

The main theme is brilliant and very well interpreted by vocalist Flávio Gonçalves with a Black Metal vocal inspiration but also with Death Metal power and the band follow him with the fabulous guitar work of Raphael Casotto and Rafael Morais who alternate insane riffs and solos and create a dense atmosphere. This is highlighted by the great and, sometimes, independent bass lines of Rodolfo Ferreira and drummer Rômulo Grilo increases the heaviness with numerous tempo changes, from slow cadences and percussion to extreme blast beats.

After ‘The Carnal Splendour’ which is the last act of musical violence, the calm and beautiful ‘…As the Obedient Marches to the Abyss’ closes the album! Epic, Powerful, Dark and, at the same time, realistic about the human living chaos!

Maybe “Obedientia” doesn’t bring anything new to listeners, but it is undeniable we are in front of a masterpiece. All the darkness and emotion in the music make the listener enter into this experience angrily. It feels like every detail, every single note and lyric has been studied to create a perfect match between all band members. Listen and appreciate while the obedient march to the abyss.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Punishment
02. Downfall
03. God Above Nothing
04. Highland Ceremony
05. Winged Snake’s Communion
06. Praxis Against Ignorance
07. Obedientia
08. Rites of Conscience
09. The Carnal Splendour
10. …As The Obedient Marches to the Abyss…

LINE-UP:
Flávio Gonçalves – Vocals
Raphael Casotto – Guitars
Rafael Morais – Guitars
Rodolfo Ferreira – Bass and Vocals
Rômulo Grilo – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.darktowerofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/darktowermetal/
https://www.youtube.com/user/darktowertv
https://www.instagram.com/darktowerofficial/

https://www.youtube.com/user/darktowertv

 

Promo Pic1

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.