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The Troops of Doom > A Mass to the Grotesque > 2024, Digital, Blood Blast Distribution > Reviews
The Troops of Doom - A Mass to the Grotesque

Making metal evil again - 90%

dhpito, June 9th, 2024
Written based on this version: 2024, Digital, Blood Blast Distribution

Make metal evil again. This was The Troops of Doom’s “motto” for the promotion of their sophomore album, “A Mass to the Grotesque”. Being plastered on merch, posts and everything else possible. Ever since having released “The Confessional” all the way back in September 2020, it was clear that Jairo Guedz, Alex Kaffer, Marcelo Vasco and Alexandre Oliveira wanted to bring back the beloved, tried and true formula of old school death metal. 4 years later, they remain as hectic (and heretic) as always, providing stellar content once again in their grotesque mass.

“With this album, we could experiment more with something not so linked with the old Sepultura albums… we weren’t concerned about it (sounding like Sepultura)”
Jairo Guedz

Compared to “Antichrist Reborn”, the veteran’s 2022 rookie full-length, we see The Troops breaking out of their shell much more, creating their own identity. While “Antichrist” still had many aspects of the old Sepultura sound many fans wanted to hear, “A Mass to the Grotesque” brings a much deeper final product to the table, while still maintaining their 80s/early 90s thrashy essence. Both singles – “Chapels of the Unholy” and “Dawn of Mephisto” – illustrate this point perfectly, blending tried and true breakneck tremolo riffs with more cadenced, slower sections, while still keeping brutality at the forefront.

This grotesque mass also shows how the band is progressively less afraid to experiment with new ideas, such as with the 8 minute long (almost epic-like) “Psalm 7 8 – God of Bizarre” and the slower “Venomous Creed”, which closes out the LP, showing flashes of doom influence at times. In general, there is something to be enjoyed by every type of extreme metal fan. It goes without saying that the production is absolutely impeccable, every single instrument, every single riff, every single vocal line slots into the whole album perfectly, like a glove. The guitar tones are incredibly brutal, clearly evoking the raw energy and power of the 80s, but with the clarity of modern production. Alexandre Oliveira’s drums require no comments; perfection.

“It was a dream come true for me. You have Dan Seagrave doing your artwork and the Morris brother, Jim and Tom Morris of Morrissound Studios… the cradle of death metal… It’s one of the best things I’ve written in my life.”
Jairo Guedz

As the rest of the album, the cover once again shows how the band is striving to create their own identity and break out of their mold. The cover for “A Mass to the Grotesque” marks the first time in the band’s history where the art is not drawn by the excellent designer and guitarist Marcelo Vasco, as according to Jairo, Marcelo wanted to see other artist’s takes on their art, their music. Dan Seagrave, absolute legend, goes for a more cool cover, contrasting directly with the rest of the band’s red artwork. Also, the signature devil figure, which has followed Guedz since his Sepultura days is no longer a central figure, still being present, but being only a small part of the amazing piece of art that is this cover. Just like the sound itself, it definitely stands out among the sea of death metal releases we have been seeing as of late.

All in all, if it hasn’t been made clear yet, The Troops of Doom’s sophomore album release, “A Mass to the Grotesque” undoubtedly stands as one of the best death/thrash releases of 2024, and very possibly, of this decade. This future classic evokes perfectly everything that was loved with early death metal, but being able to enjoy all of the blessings that come with modern technology. It would surprise few to see this release being discussed as a classic in the future, and to see The Troops headlining major festivals. The band may be young, but all of the members are veterans of the tough brazilian scene. Concluding, one can say that metal is – albeit slowly – being made evil again, and there is no album that pushes this agenda more than “A Mass to the Grotesque”. I leave you with this reflection from Jairo Guedz, in his interview with Flavia Andrade:

“We are the grotesque, we are being controlled (by politics, religion)”
Jairo Guedz

Extracted from my review on Chaoszine, quotes extracted from Jairo's interview to Chaoszine