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The Satanic Birth of the Blasphemous Black Fucking Death Metal - 100%

MemoriesRemain, July 10th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2002, CD, Cogumelo Records (Limited edition, Reissue)

Released in 1987 by Cogumelo Records, I.N.R.I. is the debut album by Brazilian black/death metal godz Sarcófago. While sure albums like In the Sign of Evil and Sentence of Death contributed not only to this album itself but also for the whole First Wave of Black Metal, I.N.R.I., in my humble opinion, is where shit gets really serious.

Everything you hear in a black metal band today, if you look back, you will see in this album. The lyrics, even though with some bad grammar, are way more twisted and perverted than ever before, like, if you take Sodom's, Destruction's, Slayer's, sure, they're sick and blasphemous but Sarcófago's take it up a notch, just check songs like Desecration of Virgin and Ready to Fuck, I don't think Tom Araya has ever come close to shouting things about Satan and his demons visiting Mary seven days before Jesus birthday and fucking the shit out of her, and of course I mean literally.

Euronymous, the prince of death himself, knew his shit and worshiped this album, along with other peers from the Norwegian scene, and even though it's the general consensus that he's the creator of the "black metal riff", I'd say, just look at songs like Satanas, the thunderous, quite literally, title track I.N.R.I., and Deathrash, it's all already here, that power chord tremoloing hell that black metal is known for.

Oh, the drums... the stellar drums of D.D. Crazy, that, even though sounding kinda (a lot, actually?) flat, I don't think it takes the shine away from them. I must say, this is one of the earliest use of extensive blast beats in extreme metal. I think prior to this, only a few other bands were nailing the drums this hard. Of the top of my head I can remember of S.O.D., Napalm Death, Morbid Angel's real first album was already recorded by then even though not released until a few years later I think it had some blast beats. Anyway, but by 1987 it still wasn't a common and plebeian as I would eventually come to be in the next decade, with every death metal band blast beating the shit out of each other, with things getting faster and faster, shout to Mick Harris, Flo Mounier, Mike Smith...

The vocals! Goddamnit! Best black metal vocals up until this release, easily. In the first wave, no one ever came close to spew such hellish vomit. Of course, Wagner had a little help of studio trickery in some parts, with some pitch shifting going on here and there to make him sound like Satan himself, but the boy, and I really mean the boy, because I don't think he was even 18 yet in this album, and, I can't confirm the veracity of this story, oh, no, I actually can, I think I read this in a Roadie Crew (Brazilian heavy metal magazine) edition, back in, 2012 or something, in a interview they did with him, he said the band broke up after I.N.R.I. because their parents kind of broke them up because they couldn't hang out with each other for their own safety because the gang was already doing some crazy shit, like, getting drunk and stuff, but, as I was saying, even thought without the studio trickery the boy could nail them growls.

So, that's it I.N.R.I. is such a marvelous album I fell in love again and felt like writing this review. I don't think if it's an underrated album, I mean, it gets a lot of praise from those who really know their shit, like, people who really like this black fucking metal rep Sarcófago, but I feel like, it should be one of those albums of that even these most "basic" metalhead would know, like, "You know black metal?" "Oh yeah, those face painting monkeys like Mayhem, Darkthrone, Sarcófago? I don't listen to them, but yeah, I know who they are". If you're a dude who likes to read reviews on the Encyclopaedia Metallum to make up your mind about an album, just go for it.