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NO FUN - 100%

Demiror_Moritur, December 8th, 2018

For simplification purposes I will loosely mostly make use of the term “black metal” to collectively refer to the three of the genres that Sarcófago’s material spans since it’ll save much writing and reading time, and they’re after all considered to be part of the black metal genre’s history as one of the main influences on some of the most well-known bands of the genre as opposed to thrash or death metal since it’s their sound’s “main route”, so to speak.

I will not allow anyone to disrespect what undoubtedly is the fucking best black/thrash/death metal band of all time. The Worst is an album that represents absolutely everything that’s actually authentic, genuine, true, and good about the black metal genre.

Released in December 1996, The Worst effectively marks the end of Sarcófago as a band when it comes to their main discography aside from the Crust EP that they released in December of the year 2000, which they released together with the album in later versions of it anyway. Just like the rest of the cursed band’s discography, this full-length is potent, dirty, brutal, mean, evil, fast, and crushing. The sound is absolutely polished and, as disturbingly and savagely necro and lo-fi as it is, every single instrument can be heard perfectly in the mix, which shows the band members aren’t shy at all about their contribution to the musical soundscape of the album, and every single instrument rings with absolute intensity and brute force.

I can’t for the life of me understand how anyone could say they take black metal seriously as a genre and at the same time criticize an album as excellent and as exemplary as this one in any way. As much as extreme metal, in general, took a significant (and permanent) turn for the worst after the initial popular bands from the 90s released their acclaimed albums and controversy started after criminal acts were committed by several members from different black metal scenes all over the globe (admittedly, most notably by those in Norway), this album right here gives serious listeners and avid consumers of extreme metal of actual quality true hope, hope in knowing that there will probably always be good music in the genre as long as bands as Sarcófago exist. Insisting in preserving a disgusting, rotten, strong, mighty sound that crushes the listener with constant pummeling and mean-spirited riffs on top of even more labyrinth-esque, choking, muted, sick riffs non-stop through the more than 40 minutes of running time, every time this album plays I feel like this genre is something to be scared of once again. It gives me that serious, dry, no fun, no cheesy shit, all black, eerie, disturbing, deadly feeling that black metal and extreme metal, in general, is supposed to give. That same feeling Deathcrush would give to anyone whenever they first heard it, without even knowing the context behind the band itself. This is how a band in this genre is supposed to sound if they are to be taken seriously and become popular or influential, as this is the style every band should respect and revere. Sadly, people like me are mostly left with old material to listen to now that everything sounds fake and plastic, hence why I’m reviewing this album right now.

The music of Sarcófago is absolutely brilliant. It sounds really ugly, crunchy, raspy, loud, black. Not only are the different compositions of the nine tracks of the album straight to the point, no filler, no bullshit, packed with death/thrash metal riffs that ring strong, meaty, vibrant and dirty, but the blackened UNINTENTIONAL (that’s very important) filter that cloaks over their whole sound guarantees the core elements of the black metal genre shine through every instant of the album, making the listener experience become plagued by a cursed, satanic, evil atmosphere. It’s no secret Euronymous was obsessed with this band, and it’s easy to understand why. I often wonder what he would’ve thought of this album had he been alive to witness this splendid aural festival of hellish attributes and massively bestial sound.

I like the fact that Wagner Antichrist, here going under the initials W.L. and handling the vocal duties and the guitars on The Worst, said he liked Immortal (undoubtedly the most straight-forward, pure black metal band of the early Norwegian black metal scene, so therefore comparatively the most similar band to Sarcófago from that scene) but said Burzum was absolute shit and its sound was too weak, which is exactly what I also think. As opposed to Burzum however, I simply cannot stress enough how potent and powerful the disgustingly overall evil sound of this album is. It’s absolutely amazing how good musicianship and powerful playing can make an album so infectiously vicious. It simply cannot be compared to pretty much any of the modern so-called “black metal” bands that make a case for being intentionally frail and weak sounding (fucking lame).

I have to give it to W.L. for being one of the best vocalists I’ve had the pleasure to be yelled and feel threatened by every time I play Sarcófago’s music. His screams are filled with rage, disgust, anger, and I could easily keep on listing pretty much every negative, pure emotion I could think of to apply it to his vocal delivery. He was undoubtedly a mastermind at work. The grunts, screams, gurgles, croaks, and shouts all over the record make everything stand out even more. No band I can think of can do that. Every other band I’ve listened to with this powerful kind of vocal work has the instrumental section of the album obscured as a result. The actual opposite happens on The Worst though, and it’s a never-ending festival of maniacal shrieks and deadly growls that plague the mix and empower the music, giving it a no-thrills, 100% serious tone. I fucking love the vocals to death.

His guitar work is of just as impressive quality. The playing is just absolutely proficient and totally sharp. I also cannot think of any other extreme metal band in history that features such extent of sharp, buzzy, crunchy, raw, evil riffing packed so intensely and densely into the mix to create an unmatched sound of aggressiveness, darkness, malignant power, and demonic music. At the same time, it doesn’t sound at all like they’re trying to make it sound a certain way, which is what I point out earlier in the review, they’re just musically expressing themselves, hence why they sound so genuine. The repetitive punishment of self-circling, never-ending inferno of constant non-melodic riffs isn’t in any way purposeless or directionless, it all makes sense, everything fits like it’s supposed to, nothing sounds plastic or phoned it; it’s incredible. Not only are the riffs icy, rashy, raspy, menacing and threatening, but they’re actually full of vibrant power, making the mix stand out. I think one of the secrets behind the success of this album is precisely how perfectly everything is mixed.

The drums are programmed, and I fucking love them. No man could play this fast even if they tried and at that strength, so why not program them? They serve as the foundation of the music, so they have to be brutal. They’re punishing, never letting up. They keep going on and on, non-stop blast beats of pure brute force. They feel and sound organic too, which is another great aspect of the album in general, how real every single instrument sounds. You can actually hear the strings and the drums, even if programmed, sound livelier and more powerful than any other black metal band I can think of.

The bass is fantastic. It’s handled by Gerald Incubus, here also going under initials, G.M.. It’s also perfectly noticeable, which is extremely important. It’s in perfect consonance with the guitar, and it adds even more consistency and vibrancy to the riffs. Its contribution to the album is primordial, as opposed to how easily disposable the instrument usually has been throughout the history of not just black metal, but of extreme metal in general. The bass has a bouncy quality to it that just makes everything glue together even better, which is how it’s supposed to be.

To sum up, I wanted to express my strong feelings for the music contained within The Worst, because it represents something that will never be again, and that is truth and authenticity in extreme metal and black metal in particular. The satanic lyrics, the evil music, the violent, spiked, corpse-painted image; it’s all there. Sarcófago is the ultimate band, and I hate the fact they split-up. I’d like to thank every member of the band and anyone who otherwise contributed to creating this music. This album is excellent, just like every other release by this band. I don’t understand why anyone would dare talk shit about it when all we have now is good for nothing bands in the thousands that have made the name of the genre a joke forever. Sarcófago forever!

Name of this album describes it very well... - 45%

Miihkali123, June 12th, 2009

Every Sarcófago album is quite original, if you compare it to other albums by the band. Except this.. "I.N.R.I." was black / thrash, "Rotting" was epic black metal, "The Laws of Scourge" was technical thrash / death, "Hate" is death metal and "Crust" brutal death metal... Every album of Sarcófago is different. Except this. "The Worst" sounds like "Hate", but there are several different tracks... Some of them remind me from their early punkish days, some of them try to reach the touching and more experimental style of "The Laws of Scourge". Actually there's only one way this album is unique in Sarcófago discography. This is bad.

Intro song "The End" is quite interesting, nothing revolutionary, but for (late) Sarcófago it's unusual experiment with acoustic guitars and keyboards. It introduces us to title track "The Worst" which reminds me from old school brutal Sarcófago, though has quite slow tempo. It is not very good piece, but it's not bad, and some way I like it, even if it's slightly too long. Third track "Army of the Damned (the Prozac's Generation)" is also a good one, and it's lyrics tell about nowadays very common thing. It's good, groovy song and has quite nice solo. Till the beginning of third track everything is ok and "The Worst" seems to be quite succesfull Sarcófago album.

Then comes "God Bless the Whores". It's overlong, ultra boring track which is beyond mediocre. Lyrics have interesting and quite fun reference to "The Laws of Scourge" times whit it's references to 'midnight queen' and good old 'little Julie'... But the song itself is garbage and the lyrics too. Then comes again two OK tracks, first "Plunged in Blood" which has great groovy atmosphere and is very fast stuff. If I should release Sarcófago single, it probably would be "Screeches from the Silence* / Plunged in Blood" , since these are their most catchy tracks. Re-recording of classical Sarcófago song "Satanic Lust". With better production and sound quality it doesn't feel as good as the punkish old version, but it's still good one.

"The Necrophiliac" is mediocre track, which, like "God Bless the Whores", is another overlong and boring track. "Shave your Head" is then probably the best track on this album. Very brutal and fast death metal stuff, with good lyrics about wannabe metalheads of nowadays... And then the closer... Outro track "Purification Process" is typical outro, i.e. a 'atmospheric' piece of shit.

So, what we have got here... Three highlight tracks "Plunged in Blood", "Army of the Damned" and especially "Shave your Head". And then bunch of more or less fillers. I recommend this only for die hard Sarcófago fans.


*from "The Laws of Scourge"

Blackened... half-thrash? - 34%

Skullhammer, April 13th, 2005

The title says it all. This is indeed Sarcofago's worst album. Imagine rejected Pantera and Machine Head riffs recorded in the 80's sloppy fashion with old school black metal vocals and a drum machine (that is usually annoying) and lyrics in broken English and this is what you get.

The End is an interesting intro for Sarcofago. It's a minute with melodic acoustic guitar passages and keyboards. This is very unusual for Sarcofago.

Then comes in The Worst which a fantastic track. I had extremely high hopes when hearing this. It recorded in 1997 but it has pure 80's production. I didn't realize that the album would be groove riffs because this song is pretty slow number with the exception of the chorus riff which is a very neat palm muted thrash riff with great fucking triplets. I should've realized something was up when I heard artificial harmonics but I just thought maybe Wagner Antichrist became a better guitar player. This song is fucking well done. Hell, even the drum machine sounds great for this track.

Army Of The Damned... wow fucking terrible. It starts out nice with a very nice thrasy riff. Then about a minute in everything goes to hell. Out goes the thrash and in comes the groove. The chorus is fucking awful with a chuggathon going on by the guitars. The solo at 2:45 is a nice touch. This would've been a great track if it wasn't for the groove riffs.

God Bless The Whores is a mediocre track. It's a slow track but it sure is hell is no Nightmare or Rotting. Instead it's extremely boring with repetitive riffing. 7:27 minutes of the same bullshit. No thanks.

Plunged In Blood is just like Army Of The Damned. Not bad thrash riffs but then the groove comes in and kills the song. This one has a moronic use of stop and go riffing. It also has a nice solo around 2:48.

These guys decided to re-record their classic Satanic Lust. Well... let’s say the original is so much fucking better than this one. Don’t worry folks there is no groove elements in the song, it's the drum machine that’s at fault. During most of the song the drums are so loud that you cannot hear the guitars. Monotonous blast beats ruin the song.

The Necrophiliac continues the slow paced style of The Worst and God Bless The Whores but is filled with groove riffs that kill it.

Shave Your Head is good song. If you want to hear something weird, hear this. Wagner Antichrist and Gerald Incubus both shaved their heads and wrote this song. Why? Because long hair began to represent posers like Nirvana and Pearl Jam and all they do is do drugs and try to get girls with their long hair. So to go against the trend they decided to shave their heads. Now back to the music, the song is pretty damn good. It's thrashy with no groove influence. It sounds like it would belong perfectly in INRI.

Purification Process is the final track. It's decent with monotonous blast beats being the only downfall.

Well I wouldn't recommend this to anybody. Maybe if you're a huge fan of Sarcofago you might slightly enjoy a track or two like I did. Or maybe if you have some weird desire to listen to blackened half-thrash you might enjoy this. On another note, Sarcofago shifted their lyrical style. Instead of being about society or anti-religious, they went towards an anti-suicide way. But this doesn't really make any sense.

The title track is a story of a bunch of bad shit happening to the dude. The chorus is "Remember my friend... The worst is to come!" The lyrics are similar for the most part throughout the album. So the final message is "don’t kill yourself because life is going to get worse and worse?" Don’t take the easy way out. YOU MUST SUFFER! I think suicide is a pretty dumb fucking thing to do but Sarcofago's lyrics seem to promote it instead of being against it. After reading an interview about this album with them, it really made me wonder. They say it’s against suicide but most of the lyrics talk about how bad life is...