MOFO – Sick And Insane
Running Time: 41:50
Review by Victor Augusto
Now, ‘no one will stop them’! Yes, those are my last words of this review, but I decided to write them first. Let me talk about Mofo so you all understand my thinking during the writing process. Mofo are a Thrash Metal band of young members that have just one EP to their name: “Empire Of Self-Regard” (2017). Since this release, I have watched more than ten Mofo concerts and have followed many things from the whole composition process of this album. Every time I see them playing live, I think I am facing a new band, they are better than before. Maybe the fact that they’ve played almost every weekend for 2 years has helped them in this evolution. Of course, I expected a ‘sick and insane’ album (terrible joke), but what I could never imagine is how my expectations could completely under-estimate the result!
If the previous record was more like Thrash Metal with Slayer and Exodus influences, their sound has progressed to an extreme kind of Thrash, with much more Death Metal inspiration and sometimes similar to what Exodus were doing, musically, after the year 2000. The short acoustic intro ‘Cynic’ is an apocalyptic announcement of what’s coming. ‘Adrenaline’ opens with isolated riffs and blows your speakers with fast and extreme Thrash Metal and the speed of all riffs from guitarists Rodrigo ‘Shakal’ Loreto and Arthur Colonna are very impressive. They alternate between fast solos and bass regularly and the guitar sound is perfectly clear and heavy. All their technique and aggressiveness can be felt when they change from the extreme parts to the small melodies which are dispersed amongst the complex riffs. Don’t expect repetitive music.
You’re probably thinking that with two great guitar players, the bass sound might disappear as happens in many band’s, but you would be wrong! Pedro Dinis has created beautiful bass lines that flow independently of the main riff. I find myself paying close attention to his bass parts, even with the great wall of heaviness around it. On the title track, ‘Sick And Insane’, he shows his technique with an isolated bass intro followed by the drums. He plays his own lines sometimes and doesn’t leave the drums alone, both combining their arrangements which increases the groove.
Talking of drums, João Paulo “Mancha” joined the band right after the last release, and he has an incredible ability to change from Thrash to Death Metal in the blink of an eye on this album, showing wonderful creativity. He does this to perfection on ‘Brothers Of Death’. Double kicks, blast beats plus everything you would expect from a great Thrash Metal drummer are present here. It is like a blend of Tom Hunting (Exodus) and Pete Sandoval (Morbid Angel) with an all Brazilian way of playing percussion. His work with the hi hat and crash, ride, splash and china cymbals is very well composed. Sadly, the mix leaves it a little bit hidden. As for vocalist Emiliano Gomes, well, he has totally changed with his voice alternating between his typical screams, but now also adding many guttural parts. He sounds stronger than ever before.
For the most part, the songs are fast and heavy, but there are also a few more cadenced moments, like ‘Purgatory’ that mixes its rhythmical side without losing speed. I also absolutely love the guitar intro of ‘Time For War’ (killer riff) and the way this song passes its energy to the listener. The album finishes with another fast song ‘Hate And Disgrace’, again, in an Exodus style.
I am sure that all the members of Mofo have worked incredibly hard to reach this high level of musicianship and I can also tell how they struggle and fight in the Brazilian music scene. They have no egos and they’re always opened minded to receive opinions. “Sick and Insane” is an album that could easily perform in any list of the best albums of the year. Many old and big Thrash Metal bands could, and will, envy this record. If they receive the attention that they deserve, for sure, the band will reach the status that they have been working for. If it really happens, no one will stop them!
03. Brothers Of Death
04. Time For War
05. Sick And Insane
06. Let Them Fall
07. Final Experiment
10. Hate And Disgrace
Emiliano Gomes – Vocals
Rodrigo “Shakal” Loreto – Guitar
Arthur Colonna – Guitar
Pedro Dinis – Bass
João Paulo “Mancha” – Drums
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