MOFO – Sick And Insane

MOFO – Sick And Insane
Self-Released
Date: 01/04/2020
Running Time: 41:50
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

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!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Cynic
02. Adrenaline
03. Brothers Of Death
04. Time For War
05. Sick And Insane
06. Let Them Fall
07. Final Experiment
08. Frank
09. Purgatory
10. Hate And Disgrace

LINE-UP:
Emiliano Gomes – Vocals
Rodrigo “Shakal” Loreto – Guitar
Arthur Colonna – Guitar
Pedro Dinis – Bass
João Paulo “Mancha” – Drums

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/mofothrash/
www.instagram.com/mofothrash/
www.soundcloud.com/mofothrash
www.twitter.com/mofothrash
www.spotify.com/artist/5b0lBSsVnWjnxqL3bfTwEE
www.youtube.com/channel/UCDD9ksiF5PXKqnpHPT-ORlA

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.

Deathless Legacy – Saturnalia

Deathless Legacy – Saturnalia
Scarlet Records
Date: 13/03/2020
Running Time: 24:16
Review by Victor Augusto
10/10

Maybe it is not a surprise to hear Italian bands exploring their traditional music, like Opera, to play along with Heavy Metal or work on subjects from this beautiful culture. Some bands do it in an epic way while others go deeper into the heaviness or obscure sound. In all cases, they sound unique. In the case of Deathless Legacy, the theatrical side where all interpretations are so strong and are hugely different. So, why not explore the rich Italian history, from ancient Rome to be more specific, in a 24-minutes-long single. If you love songs like ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ (Iron Maiden) or ‘Stargazer’ (Rainbow), you should stop everything you are doing now and join the band on this journey.

Saturnalia was a celebration in ancient Rome that happened between December 17th and 23rd. It was a short period of rebirth when the slaves could enjoy and party as free people. This song tells a specific history, in the year of 86 AD. During a long war, Helius hears that his father Flaccus (the Pater Familia of the Adepphius family) is dying and he should return to be the new Pater Familia as he is the first-born. In the Cimini hills, near Rome, he decides to rest during the night before returning home. There, he rests forever after a criminal sets his tent on fire while he is sleeping. This is done by Tullius Murena’s servant. Tullius’ plan is to kill the first-born son and leave the Adepphius Family weak to own and run their land. What he cannot imagine is how things would change. It is within this scenario that the main character appears. His name is Lucius, a slave of Tullius who was whipped almost until death after he let Tullius’ wine fall on the floor due to a trick from a young child. Lucius recovers himself in time to celebrate Saturnalia with his best friend, and slave, Hecatia.

Declared the prince with horns by the slaves and under command of Laverna, Lucius  gives an order for Tulius to serve him wine during the Saturnalia celebrations and Hecatia uses the same trick of the young child to make him fall on the floor, looking a fool in front all of the slaves. Of course, this joke has terrible consequence and Tullius, feeling humiliated by his slaves, creates an ambush for Lucius and Hecatia. He gives them a secret mission to deliver a gold medallion for his bastard son’s mother. Suddenly, on the way to deliver it, some of Tullius’ servants emerge to rape and kill Hecatia in front of Lucius. After witnessing that murder, he is stabbed by Tullius’ sword. For a moment, he can meet his parents in heaven, but it isn’t his time, yet.

He awakes under the care of Laverna Priestess, the goddess who protects the Underworld from thieves and cheaters. The goddess of what lies in the shadows as no murder or punishment is allowed by what happens in Saturnalia. Tullius calls for him the wrath of Saturn. She heals Lucius with a potion, so he can find himself deep inside and begins his metamorphosis with all his grief and pain!

Spiritually dead, but physically alive, Lucius finds the mortal remains of Helius in the burnt-out tent. He also finds a rope of one of Tullius’ servants and he was still carrying the same gold medallion he carried during the ambush he suffered. He realises that the person who murdered Helius is the same who murdered Hecatia. It is the spark for his revenge. Lucius burns his face and wears Helius’ armour to pretend he is the Adepphius first born. With a disfigured face and using the same armour that Helius used, nobody can recognize him. He returns to his old home and a great feast is made to celebrate it because everyone thinks that Helius is dead. Tulius is shocked and whips the servant that hasn’t killed Helius. Now, Lucius is using a gold mask to hide his pain and fake his existence, as if he is the new Pater Familia. During the feast he shows to everyone, including Tullius, the gold medallion and the servant’s robe. The betrayer is finally discovered and Tullius is taken to die in Rupes Tarpeia. Therefore, the revenge is complete, and it finishes the tale of Saturnalia!

Musically, “Saturnalia” has strong guitar riffs and bass lines from Sgt. Bones and Deadwood Nick. They create many intense moments, from acoustic and melodic pieces to fast and heavy ones, mirroring the tempo of the story. Frater Orion’s drum parts are amazing, he doesn’t let the music become massive and tiring. He plays in many different tempos and variations. Another interesting thing is how the song has a symphonic approach, but pianos, keyboards and orchestrations are not always present. The instruments are very well mixed, bringing the spirit of classic Heavy Metal. Steva’s vocals are brilliant. She has a unique identity to interpret the drama and the history. The interesting thing in her voice is how she uses a melodic side, sometimes a bit angelical, together with a lot of evil power, reminding me of the way that Ronnie James Dio sings.

There is an accompanying short movie/official video of the track and it has the band members acting as characters, with the black and white scenes bringing an epical and dense atmosphere. The more I watch the film; the more this genial creation enchants me. Unique! Majestic! Maybe these words could describe this Italian masterpiece called “Saturnalia”.

Here is a link to the film/video

TRACKLISTING:
1. Saturnalia

LINE-UP:
Steva – Vocals
Frater Orion – Drums
Alex Van Eden – Keyboards
Sgt. Bones – Guitar
Deadwood Nick- Bass

LINKS:
www.facebook.com/Deathlessmetal/
www.facebook.com/scarletrecords/
www.youtube.com/user/DeathlessLegacy
www.instagram.com/deathless_legacy
open.spotify.com/album/3WIl8GeGQusozWJXzEHvap

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.

Ross The Boss – Born Of Fire

Ross The Boss – Born Of Fire
AFM Records
Date: 06/03/2020
Running Time: 45:22
Review by Victor Augusto
9/10

It has not been a long time since I saw a few videos of Ross The Boss playing in great festivals, mostly with cover songs from his old band, which was an interesting reminder of the music from one of my favourite bands, that I listened to exhaustively during my childhood. If you don’t know who Ross The Boss is, he originally played guitar in Manowar, who had a great and controversial history during the 1980’s. Another thing that many people maybe don’t know is that, during the 1970’s, he was in a Punk Rock/Hardcore band too. It was a surprise to me that his band was about to release their fourth full album, and it made me a little angry that I’ve never heard his work on this project before, considering how much of a fan I am.

Despite the title, “Born Of Fire” isn’t a copy of what Ross played in the past. First, let’s talk about the team in this band. It’s brought together great names, like Mike LePond (bassist for Symphony X, Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins), and brought a great dynamic to the music, mixing aggressiveness with skilled technique. Steve Bolognese adds to the Thrash Metal spirit, fleeing from the traditional drum lines of Power Metal. Of course, with Marc Lopes you would expect to hear a typical Classic Heavy Metal/Power metal singer with that kind of gummy voice, but surprisingly, it’s not. Marc has a new power to his vocal, reaching the high notes and adding some screams, which reminds me of Metal Church. His interpretations are great and deliver some good excitement for those who like a heavier kind of vocal.

The album production is excellent, with all instruments sounding loud and clear. The songs are far from old-fashioned Classic Metal and have a mix of progressive and power metal elements, together with a thrash Metal spirit. It’s beautiful to see Ross still playing fast and incredibly well. His solos are amazing, with a lot of feeling and technique. Seriously, everything here sounds simple, but has complex structures at the same time, making it seem that more than one guitar player is not necessary to create remarkable music.

Some epical tracks, like ‘Maiden Of Shadows’, show off Ross’ roots, nodding to things that he used to play, but songs like ‘Glory To The Slain’ and ‘I Am The Sword’ bring a more aggressive sonority. The title track ‘Born Of Fire’ has a melodic chorus, which is easy to memorize and sing along to. Slowing down the cadence, ‘The Blackest Heart’ reminds me of old Black Sabbath, just with less doomy parts. The thing that stands out is that, despite the genre explored in each song, all tracks have an extra dose of aggressiveness!

Without exacerbated virtuosity, what you hear is pure and good Heavy Metal, as it should be! Great riffs, heavy, and very well played. For me, it’s awesome to see Ross The Boss burning his guitar again, with so many precise solos, and with other greats as bandmates, who just increase the beauty of this album. “Born Of Fire” is an incredible work with potential to show the world just how amazing Ross The Boss, the band, has become.

TRACKLISTING:

01. Glory To The Slain
02. Fight The Fight
03. Denied By The Cross
04. Maiden Of Shadows
05. I Am The Sword
06. Shotgun Evolution
07. Born Of Fire
08. Godkiller
09. The Blackest Heart
10. Demon Holiday
11. Undying
12. Waking The Moon

LINE-UP:

Ross The Boss – Guitars, Keyboards
Mike LePond – Bass
Marc Lopes – Vocals, Keyboards

Steve Bolognese – Drums

LINKS:

www.ross-the-boss.com/
www.facebook.com/rossthebossofficial/
www.twitter.com/officialrtb
www.instagram.com/official_ross_the_boss/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCpFPepzxskxHXaYLZC-EQpw
www.facebook.com/afmrecords/

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.