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Imagine being a 15 year old kid in 1987, and being used to bands like Metallica, Testament and Anthrax. The closest you've been exposed to extreme metal is Slayer, and you come across a record like INRI. For the year it came out, blast beats at that speed were completely unheard of for the most part.
However it's not the blasts that get me, this record is a collection of catchy and memorable guitar riffs. The mood of the music is energetic in the vein of your classic 80s speed metal band, but brutal like old school death metal. Also you'll notice that it's not just blasts and tremolo picking throughout the entire album. They've mixed in some doomy/ slower riffs like on the intro to Nightmare as well as some much needed thrash beats that can be heard on several songs on the album
One interesting thing about the blast beats, I really admire it and never hear it from any other band. It's when DD crazy randomly slows down in the middle of a blast riff. I originally thought this happened because DD lacked the energy needed to keep a steady blast. The more I observed this, the more I realized that it worked as a suitable fill during blast beats, and a very unique way of going about it might I add! This is one of the most peculiar things about DD Crazy's drumming style. The best example of this can be heard on the main riff for Satanas.
One thing to top off the great song writing, is the vocals. Antichrist's vocal delivery has to be one of the deadliest in metal, you can really tell he puts a lot of effort into them. Also the lows for the time are unheard of and sound rather demonic. Also, you really gotta love the falsetto scream in the middle of The Last Slaughter!
One flaw on this album is the mild sloppiness in the drums, especially during the blast beats. However as they progress as a band, album by album, they really improve on being tighter as a band. However the sloppiness is something I overlook. The musicianship may not be perfect, but the togetherness they have as a band is very prominent.
This album is a timeless classic, and influential to many generations of black & death metal bands to come. Top notch riff writing, chaotic drumming, and shrieking black metal vocals throughout! It's hard to go wrong with this record, especially one that ends in circus music and the sound of someone taking a gnarly dump.
Top tracks: Nightmare, Satanic Lust, Satanas, The Last Slaughter.
When this was released it was practically open season for extreme metal to build upon itself. Outside of Brazil other countries had better distribution, equipment, means to record, established fan bases. With Sarcofago, you have to imagine they had limited and skimpy resources, yet they compensated in their own particular ways. Venom, Hellhammer, Sodom, Possessed, Bathory and other black-soul card carrying crew were at the right avenues to inspire these Brazilians, who used what little was available to them, and essentially took what was established in extreme metal at that point and brought it to another heinous level of intensity.
This raises a ruckus by mostly plowing forward, adding speed wherever they're capable. I can imagine them playing vicious enough in the rehearsal room prior to recording this that they're running on each other's used air. Essentially using a different form of collaboration where the instruments are enemies. Usually bands try to work in unison: basically a bass line might compliment a guitar line, the drums a particular fill to evolve the song, vocals that hand back and forth the reins. When they're pushing it to the limits with speed, Sarcofago's on the other hand fight to the death, ready to slit one another's throats, finding out who's the weakest link, and when you realize there isn't one or everybody's pushing just as hard, you're presented with a pack of tainted alpha males or just a lawless group of heathens, take your pick.
This will hit you broadside. Some albums feel long and unending, this feels sudden and unexpected like an off-road ride that just got hairy, repeatedly berating yourself that it's far too late to turn back to a safer stretch of terrain. Somewhere underneath all of that encroaching musical crudeness, 'INRI' on a basic level has the usual facets of story: unrelenting reasoning, flow that can be as feral as it is spelled backwards, prose that any nun would break her ruler over your head from. But here's where it completely breaks off: it's heroless. The starring roles are chock-full of antagonists. This is unlike even watching a horror movie that lets up by throwing out a joke for relief, or you let out a sigh when the killer gets it in the end—you won't find any of that here. In their personalities, Sarcofago spends less time on trying to be glamorous or productive rock stars in the sometimes superficial music world and more time on becoming enigmatic characters or destructive villains. With names like Butcher and D.D. Crazy they come across as old Batman comics with faces painted and a certain goon-like persona, but you can imagine them being flat-out rejected at the cutting room floor due to being too this or that, or just plain too over the top.
With their debut Sarcofago are ungracious hosts: they grunt and spit when they talk, your well-being at constant risk being in the same room as them, their typical '80's Brazilian sound sandblasts your ear drums, their English is atrocious, blunt and to the evil point. Through all of these little "setbacks," the kind where it could easily ruin any other band, it has an eternally likable clunky-clang to it. A way to explain their framework would be like rapidly putting together a puzzle where the image and construction was etched by a learned caveman. One piece can be roughly squeezed with the next and because of that some sections aren't perfect and might look off, but the strength of these recordings is the band throwing away most standard and conforming musical ideas out the window and still being capable of guiding the listener with their radiating energy and workable deviations from the norm. The process can resemble being in the heat of the moment, and if your heart or nerves don't give out before you're finished, you can hawk a loogie right back at them, or in your hand and secure a firm lasting handshake. They present the ageless establishment of relationship where a set of individuals exchange back and forth, except it looks more like take, take, take, give, take, take, take, give. You start to wonder if they are friend or foe, or just doing it solely for themselves. The kind of attitude that says something like, "Take it or leave it, like it or hate it, either way it will piss you off or you can just piss off."
The production on 'INRI' has frayed ends: ripped, torn, ragged. It sounds like it was recorded in a tin room or directly from the bowels of Hades, however you want to take it in. Though this is better sounding than some other Brazilian bands at the time, loud enough to be workable as each instrument comes through, and importantly I find it complimentary to the type of ideology they set out to portray. This album has a few simple, known-to-work positions and particular movements: crouching, hiding/stalking, at a trot, sprinting. Like a capable, though, primitive hunter who has deep murder in his eyes. The song writing was worked through prior, but when showing up to record it's as if a buzzer is about to go off before they have to stop, or they were going for a longer length but the studio gave the boot or their wallets ran dry. And I'm sure they went in with the mentality of something like: If bands like Genocide/Repulsion would take it thus far with acceleration, we'd take it further till we tipped over or our arms fell off. At most times they graze through notes and at others they slow it down and can be just as menacing. More than likely they were just grabbing hold of the slower sections of Hellhammer and adding more fuel to the fire. 'Satanic Lust' brings about tricks by starting out calm with simplistic repetitious chug then gives the treat with a break into speeding madness. 'Nightmare' is a song where the main guitar line is slow, basic and catchy, with some simplistic palm mutes thrown in for good measure. 'Christ's Death' heads down the speedway only to decelerate midway and still intimidate anyone who gets in its path; a riff initiates an ultra sluggish strum on a few notes before the music comes in and then multiple tortured screams rain from your speakers in peaked emotional hate and disgust. Mostly they're strict carnivores for the juiciest, bloodiest, piece of...riffs. Being practically inharmonious and still recallable, yet looking like something the cat dragged in: twisted, soiled, unmerciless; the kind where the curiously morbid part of your brain can't help but take a snap shot of it for later evaluation and exploration.
They have blastbeasts with enough force that they sound like two fast-forwarded, stiff-arms rapidly hammering nails—a metal against metal emulation. If you've ever gotten the speed settings on a record player wrong, basically making a fast band converted to hyper accelerated levels with the flick of a switch (or a tape deck with fast-forward and play pressed simultaneously), this would be like taking Sodom's 'Obsessed by Cruelty' or a similar album in extreme metal just before '87 and injecting it with a medicine cabinet full of uppers, flicking the conversion switch, and then seeing that same band's speed suddenly get veins-out-the-neck jacked with energy. Although Mr. D.D. Crazy couldn't evolve his chops in the drumming world anywhere near someone in the likes of Mike Portnoy, or more related with Dave Lombardo with his distinctly hard, varied, and well-rounded style, double D pushed the level further with the extremity side instead of true technique, and literally turned out to be one of the fastest and most ferocious snare bashers for the year. The vocalist makes himself sound as inhuman as possible with shouts, grunts and growls, having them peaked in intensity with effects drenched inside and out. This is before these type of vocals would become common place, before your Cannibal Corpses or Cannibal Clones, at a point when they came so out of left field that they could scare off the normal music listener who rightfully thought, "What in the hell was that?", and I feel after this many years later are still capable of treading, or more like trampling, on those same nerves of a new unsuspecting generation.
If the normal safe and secure, do-it-by-the-book person is wondering about leniency, mercy, pity, or conformity, graciousness, mass appeal—what of it? An objective of their's was to make you flinch. And they demand your attention, but are ultimately deserving of it; the kind of obnoxious person that gets a slap to get in line and returns an even harder slap right back. Sarcofago did it either unconsciously and not completely on purpose or consciously resisted the mainstream at every step, though whatever happened behind the scenes it likely wouldn't matter because most initially listening to this would be under the impression that the band never heard of a glide, leveling or a smooth landing, probably being one of the most chaotic pilots you've flown with, traveling through thunderstorms, rain, hail, low visibility, but in the end the worst they've done is upset some nerves and values, aid in deucing your pants, and although they still owe you $11.95 for making your lunch come up and out the wrong end, I applaud them each time I put this on for the hellish ride and near-death experience.
WARNING: The following album will induce, but may not include drowsiness, constipation, upset stomach, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks, religious mania, obsession with the occult, alcoholism, dementia, the urge to kill a lot of people, bestiality, and frantic head banging.
Sarcofago's "I.N.R.I." is considered a Black metal classic for obvious reasons. It made everything else seem like pale imitations and it called bands out due to their wimpiness. Sarcofago in their very early days were already a cult act who were pushing boundaries with their demos and appearance on Cogumelo's Warfare Noise I compilation. Alongside fellow up and-coming band Sepultura, Mutilator, and Vulcano who had already released the godly first ever South American black metal album "Bloody Vengeance," Sarcofago pulled out all the stops and injected an unholy dosage of breakneck speed to the already fast-evolving Black metal scene, and not just in South America but worldwide. The only other band that was playing anything as extreme as this were England's grindcore bastard song Napalm Death. That should give you an idea on how groundbreaking this album is.
Not only was the music extreme but so was their image. Sarcofago took the standard spikes and leather and made it even more demonic. Sarcofago were also the first band to properly use what is now modern-day corpsepaint. King Diamond, Celtic Frost, Bathory and early Slayer had sewn the seeds of the macabre facial paint; Sarcofago made it fucking evil. Sarcofago even started the trend of black metal fans standing around in the graveyard looking goofy, but Sarcofago made it look like they were for fucking real. Take Destruction's look on the first Destruction E.P "Sentence of Death," put it on steroids and that's what you get. The drummer DD Crazy with hi two foot high mohawk, corpsepaint and bullet belts is possibly the coolest fucking thing I have seen on an album cover. Also as a trivial note, this is the band Mayhem's guitarist said he wanted every band to sound and look like.
For the most part, Sarcofago's music could be described as crude and ugly. Wagner Antichrist's vocals are low and demonic-sounding without it sounding corny and a few high falsettos. Guitars sound like a chainsaw with the throttle on full blast. Drummer D.D. Crazy...how the fuck is he playing THAT fast? The drums are so fast it will induce a few dizzy spells. There's little to no bass on this album which actually fits perfectly. The sound production is probably the ugliest there is next to Beherit's "The Oath of Black Blood."
I really can't say there is a bad song on here, just some will be stuck in your head for years to come; "Nightmare," "Satanic Lust," "Desecration Of Virgin," "Deathrash," "Ready To Fuck," and "Christ's Death" will have any fan of black metal or extreme metal in general salivating and going absolutely fucking nuts.
P.S. I don't think anyone has mentioned this, but if you get your hands on "I.N.R.I." try to get the original orange cover or if you are a die-hard vinyl collector, try getting the Nuclear War Now Productions picture disc. Stay away from the shitty Pavement Music release where they completely omit the classic graveyard photo for some shitty stock photo and even misplaced track listing.
In 1987 three bands put out three albums that still nowadays (I don’t care about the personal tastes) are regarded as cult and innovation for the growing extreme metal scene: Mayhem (Deathcrush EP), Napalm Death (Scum) and this I.N.R.I. I hope I didn’t forget anything. There was a quite big difference between these brutal assaults but both Mayhem and Sarcofago helped the newborn black/death metal scene. Aesthetically, Sarcofago were one of the very first groups to use the black metal face painting too.
Musically, the intensity and the rawness of this album could easily level your house. If in “Satanic Lust” we can find punkish/speed influences, “Desecration Of Virgin” shows no mercy with its high dosage of blast beats and up tempos. The guitars' sound is fuzzy in the guitars and so already very BLACK METAL ( I believe they picked this up from Sodom’s “In The Sign Of Evil” EP). For this check out also the mid paced first part of “Nightmare” with sudden speed restarts.
The vocals are very distorted: they are always very Venom worshipping but with a more extreme touch and, sometimes, they are followed by pure growls or screams. The sound is almost revolutionary. The snare drum sounds very 80s style; it’s so pounding and martial that almost erases the bass drum work. The title track is quite hilarious with the screams “Fuck You Jesus Christ!” but it’s unbelievably powerful with the never ending blast beats.
“Satanas” is well know to most of the blacksters around for the unmistakable black/speed riff at the beginning that appears so often during the whole song. There's obviously no melody concession or will to slow down. “Ready To Fuck” is great for the doom mid paced part where you can hear Wagner say “Suck Me…”; while the mythical “Deathrash” is so “famous” for the great, pure blast beats malevolence.
All in all, I can recommend this album to any black/death metal fan who wants to add a new piece to his personal collection in the long way to discovery of the extreme metal roots.
Every time Sarcofago is mentioned, INRI comes to everybody’s mind and there’s an obvious reason to that. Well, the reason is that this beast is one of the most aggressive and infamous album that came out of the Brazilian famous Extreme Metal Scene. My review could easily end here.
Sarcofago was started by Wagner “Antichrist” after his departure from Sepultura due to ideological conflicts. IMO, I think he wanted a much more extreme band and he was truly successful because, both this band and this album are considered legendary among extreme metal fans. Let’s see, as already stated by other reviewers, Sarcofago was one of the first bands to wear corpse paint and devoted to a “fanatic” satanic image. But not only had the image made these guys famous but the music itself too.
INRI reminds me of early Sodom, early Slayer, Possessed, and of course Venom and Bathory. This is old-school black metal played in its rawest form and the way it should be performed! The lyrics and Wagner’s accent are hilarious but at the same time EVIL has fuck and riffs are absolutely delightful, this makes “Morbid Visions” look a very poor album. D.D Crazy kills in his drum kit delivering insane blast beats over the place; I think he is a very good drummer and a much forgotten one. Too bad.
Like it or not, this album must be hailed for its influential value. Bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone and Emperor state Sarcofago as a major influence and this is still mentioned by actual bands. IMO, this is mandatory.
Highlights: “Satanic Lust”, “Nightmare”, “Christ’s Death”, “Ready to Fuck” and “Deathrash”
Evolution occurs in a broken line and not in some kind of continuity. That's what inspired and inventive bands like D.R.I., Possessed, Darkthrone etc have showed us in these past decades of Metal.
Sarcofago does the same, as this is (in my humble opinion) the first album that could be classified as Second Generation Black Metal. Yes, I know that if you listen to this and then to Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger (or even more longshot: Satyricon's Nemesis Divina) you may not find the number of similarities you want to classify INRI in this genre. However what I have to say is that this is the same thing. It was just spawned by INRI and then it (naturally) evolved. The sound changed a bit. And that's why it looks different.
The lyrics are a mixture of Hate, Disgust and Satanism (whether it's real or not) but one thing is for sure: There's pure energy in these lyrics and a HUGE amount of rejection for a lot of shitty things of this world, which sounds positive to my ears. It is also really funny to hear the words "Demons suck your pussy, and fuck till delight, she is no more virgin, because she was fucked by Satan" and behind that chaotic Black Metal riffing (and blastbeat). Or "Oh lady start to suck me, cause I'm ready, I'm ready to fuck"... And, it is not funny haha like watching idiots on TV. I really enjoy Wagner's furious attack.
Oh and did I say Blastbeats? DD Crazy is a fucking maniac. These blastbeats are unbelievable for 1987. Surely what inspired classics like Darkthrone's A Blaze in the Northern Sky and Mayhem's De Mysteriis dom Sathanas.
You want to know what I like most about this album? This is the point where the extremity of the 80's meets the 90's. Where that tendency for raw and simplistic (punk influenced) music of the 80's meets that insane chaotic, dark and mysterious (should I say melodic?) riffing of 90's black metal (Just listen to the title track INRI). Add to that the stripped-down fuck-you-all aesthetic and you have Sarcofago - INRI... Hail to Wagner Antichrist Lamounier and Sarcofago. Excellent album for Thrash/Black/Death Fans
P.S. If you believe Mayhem's Deathcrush was ahead of its time and ignited the Second Wave of Black Metal, Wagner Lamounier might be able (with INRI) to explain to you HOW FUCKIN WRONG YOU ARE!
This is indeed my favorite black metal album of all time, although it is quite a shame the bands later releases suffered that true raw and classic feeling this released had. This release has had as much of an impact on black metal as early releases by other 80's black/thrash bands such as early Bathory and early Sodom. Everything about this album is pure evil, the obscure "vomits", the dirty guitar riffs, the over the top blast beats from DD crazy... man! is that guy beating the shit out of his kit. The vocals surprisingly vary a lot, from low growls, to your average black metal vocals, and to ultra guttural voice effects that perhaps were borrowed on Beherit's "Drawing Down the Moon" release. There is indeed a big german thrash influence that can be found on this release, from acts like Sodom and Kreator, infact the riffs on this album are more thrashy than they are black metal. But its satanic atmosphere and lyrics make up for it. Speaking of the lyrics, I really do not think their vocalist/song writer Wagner knew english during this release, no, it seems as if they simply translated every word from portugese to english, the majority of the words spoken are in fact pronounced entirely wrong but this can be forgiven as the band comes from Brazil. I am not exactly sure about the original vynil release, but for the first 1990 Cogumelo release of this album, the sound is very good, the guitars do not sound static, the voices are not muffled and bass can actually be heard. This is infact a very raw release and would be most enjoyed by any fan of black, thrash or death metal. Any fan of old extreme acts such as old Beherit, early Sodom, early Bathory, early Sepultura, Blasphemy, and Possessed should own this album.
BUY THIS OR DIE!
Without intros nor anything alike, this album begins in the rawest way. From obscure and primitive origins comes this musical declaration that generates a fast and furious thrash with some proto-black metal elements. This is one of the reasons why I like Brazilian thrash, this dirty production, a grave emphasis on the guitar, drums that resound joined with a vocalization full of echo and a mercyless lyric.
Upon listening to these guitar riffs, you will see the great influence in Bathory, Exciter and Sodom. Even more when you see the organized way in which the songs are arranged. The notes of this intrument flow with identity inside the apocalyptic and chaotic context of the songs. The bass sorounds the guitar in each riff. Wagner's voice suits perfect at the music. Evil, raw and acute at times. But all these elements are not the ones that make this legendary work a mater piece. In fact, the percussion of DD Crazy is what gives the excellence to this opus. Fast, precise and powerful, are the three adjectives that describe in the most fair way the drums in this production.
To culminate this reviews, I definately recommend this album. For the lovers of Death, Thrash or Black Metal, this release is imperative to devour. The violent and euphoric moments that you will have with INRI, will be endless.
Tracks that highlight for its excellence: Nightmare, INRI, Satanas, Deathrash.
I fucking love the riff after Wagner screams DEATHRAAAAASH!!!!!!!!
Sarcofago was formed after Wagner Antichrist left Sepultura. One look at these guys and you know what their music is all about. Covered from head to toe in nails, leather, ammo, spikes, long hair, inverted crucifix's and corpse paint (on a trivial note, because of Sarcofago, Dead from the infamous Mayhem decided to start wearing corspe paint live). This album came out in 1987 and had to be the most extreme of it's time, years before death classics like Left Hand Path, Altars of Madness, Deicide and Eaten Back to Life were released.
What we have here is a mix of great bands, but done better. The Satanic lyrics of Venom, but more Satanic. The harsh growls of Bathory, but more harsh. The speed of Slayer, but faster. And some of the first blast beats done properly. DD Crazy's blast beats are INSANE on this album, especially for 1987!!!
This album offers everything from fast songs (Satanic Lust, Satanas) to slow, haunting songs like Nightmare. The lyrics are pretty much broken English but you get the point (how can you not understand lyrics like "I hate you, I hate you Jesus Christ!!"?).
Anyway, if you like death, thrash, or black metal, you MUST get this. It was way ahead of it's time, and was probably the most extreme album of the 80's as far as black and death metal go.
Check out the band that Beherit, Blasphemy, Black Witchery, Mayhem, and Impiety were inspired by!
It is pretty easy to guess this record came from Brazil. Just listen to Antichrist's "singing" (okay, spewing out of blood and guts). It has the characteristic brazilian accent (see also Max from Sepultura).
Malignant as all fuck, packed with good riffs and cheap production that it is quite a charming experience to listen to. Label partners (at the time) Sepultura unleashed their own brand of pure vomitory blasphemy with their Bestial Devastation EP and the Morbid Visions LP, mixing Slayer, Possessed and (early) Sodom into one mean piece of underproduced sonic warfare, but Sarcofago, dare I say, went beyond that. INRI, speaking as a whole, is far more simple in it's structuring, far more brutal, and just as charismatic.
The cover art gives you a good idea of what you might find in the music. Damn, I wouldn't like to meet guys dressed like THAT in a dark alley. Or anywhere, for that matter. The amount on ammo over them would make Rambo pee on his pants. Completed with inverted crosses, corpsepaint, spikes and kvvl as fvck black outfit.
Inside: just pure fucking old-school black metal the way it was meant then and the way it is supposed to be now! "Nightmare", "INRI", "Christ's Death", "Satanas" and "The Black Vomit" (from the Warfare Noise I compilation and available only on CD versions) are all brilliant displays of pure annihilation.
If you heard "Seven Churches", "Morbid Visions", "Apocaliptic Raids", "In the Sign of Evil/Obsessed by Cruelty" and the like and you feel like you need more, then this is for you. HAIL SATAN!!!!
One of the first bands to ever wear corpse paint and devoted to a satanic image, these guys were amongst the pioneers of the great brazilean metal scene, that started growing in the early 80's and had a huge burst in the late 80's/early 90's.
"INRI", Sarcofago's first release, is a very simple, yet effective style of black/death metal. A decent production and mix, with some "primitive" songs, similar to Bathory and Venom, musicwise. There are some mixed influences, but you can hear that these guys were really into their music and they worked hard to get it out.
There are no highlights or stand out elements here, just a very good old school metal with some ultra evil (yet funny) lyrics. It comes down to average musicians playing good metal with lots of attitude. Songs like "The Last Slaughter", "Satanic Lust" and "Desecration of Virgin" (these last 2 are my faves) are just instant classics.
Looking for some good old school stuff in the Venom/Bathory vein? Get Sarcofago's "INRI". m/