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The Warfare Noise compilations are legendary in South American underground circles, and country-loyal Cogumelo Records has tossed three our way. A label storied not only in its homeland but the world in general, the Cogumelo name has always been a citadel for young Brazilian bands looking for a future - Vulcano, Holocausto, Mutilator, and many more – in a place where the future isn’t at all certain.
With two kinds of hammers, an early but not lonely Mayhem, and a moniker that attempts to typify a genre, II’s bands don’t bring home the bacon like those on the original, but jeez, look at the groups they’re stuck chasing. As usual, we’ve got sparse demo productions all around.
“…dragging in the fucking trash, I feel the smel(l) of death…”
Witch Hammer kick this thing off, a four-piece that intros its “Weekend in Auschwitz” with a “99 Luft Balloons”-ish, keyboard-plinked effect during a rainstorm, then slowly builds the near-exact start of Sacrifice’s “The Entity” and eventually bursts open with frenzy that’s totally unafraid to switch from fifth gear to second, then third, then jerk back to first. Either guitarist Paulo H. or bassist Casito has got the mike, but whoever it is his vocals inflect like Obsessed by Cruelty-era Angelripper scorched by a less rabid Rob Urbinati, especially in “Degradation Process (R.A.D.)", though there are probably a hundred other farfetched vocal combinations to choose from. The song ends on a boogie bass note that’s anything but expected. Everything’s tight except for the solo(s), sounding barely screwed together and uncoordinated like a toddler running. The most successful of the bands featured.
“…war, on the dark face of the universe, between the eternal morality and eternity…”
Mayhem, or one of the glut thereof, is more pre-Beneath the Remains Sepultura and even Mutilator with lots of open riffage, velocity, and even those little memorable melodic diddles Sepultura like to throw in every once in awhile – basically something from Schizophrenia but blessed with a (slightly) better production. If this is what you look for in thrash tearing the death envelope, “Brain Mutilation” and “Insane Minds” probably won’t disappoint. Vocalist Gentil is guttural and dirty except for this totally unanticipated, shrill high note he spears “Brain Mutilation” through the middle with, flashing sonic images of Jeff Becerra letting loose at the end of vaunted “Death Metal”.
“…but I see that want is power, and that give me this power of murder…”
Unfortunately, someone has to come in fourth place. Megathrash embark their vinyl time with a nifty Yes-like acoustic intro that's as fluent and assured as any Steve Howe on the block, but then “Desire by Kill” and “End” begin the downhill roll toward Acme’s warehouse. With riffs ordinary filling in for riffs enticing, these two tracks just kinda lie there even while strolling briskly through the motions. Hope gathers here and there in “End”, but a lame chorus disperses most of it. Vocalist Alexandre and his teenage tone do nothing to spur the project on, and if half of his acoustical skill filled his lungs things may have been better. While Megathrash fail at their name and lyrics (see above), they do offer some of the quickest and most competent solos on the disc, and Marilia, a bassist of the gentler gender (no offense to you dominatrixes out there), is a pleasant surprise and even has little solo wedged into “End”.
“…Satan finished with the innocence of the man, revealed the secret to the good and evil…”
Three quarters of the material featured here by the interestingly named Aamonhammer is on par with countrymates Mayhem in sound and production though they downscale the creativity a bit by omitting the melodious Sepulturaian touches, avoiding a closer relationship/cloneship with Brazil’s Band of the Eighties, and maybe that’s not such a terrible thing.
The other quarter, the first half of “The Decapitator”, rumbles intermittedly with twin bass as it plods menacingly like a cover of Sodom’s “Obsessed by Cruelty” that’s a little off. Here the vocals (Geraldo or Gordo) deepen, sounding more like immortal Max than in Satanically spewed “B.O.D.E.”. Flavio flies on the drums while Geraldo spins solos like a deranged spider on crank and would be top dog if the guy in Megathrash had missed the bus to the recording.
Of the four, only Witch Hammer would actually see a recording studio where a label was paying the bill. Mayhem would remain one of the many named after the noun, and Aamonhammer and Megathrash…well, you know the rest. Not at all a historical ‘must have’ like the debut, but keeps the engine running of the well-regarded tale of the South American underground.