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Speedy Destructive Roller-Coaster That Never Ends - 91%

bayern, March 28th, 2017

Vodu were one of the Brazilian holy three (the others Overdose and Viper) who were not interested in brutalizing the environment to blacky, deathy, grindy proportions in the mid-80’s, like most of their compatriots, but were looking at the more flexible and less radical power/speed metal movement which was particularly big in the States and Germany. The guys shot two demos in 1985 in quick succession, and based on the quality of the music on them were given green light for the recording of their official debut “The Final Conflict” a year later. This effort was an instant speed metal classic in the vein of early Helloween and Iron Angel, a highly energetic collection of rousing anthems that made the guys favourites on the metal circuit.

However, it was on the album reviewed here that the band edged out the other two mentioned outfits. This opus is a full-on speed/thrash metal assault that smites in the dust most of the performers in the field from Europe and North America. The title-track starts the “madness” with sharp cutting riffs, a sweeping speed/thrasher with a nice sing-along chorus. “Nothing to Lose” has “nothing to lose” so not surprisingly it carries on with the remorseless cannonade which acquires even more brutal proto-deathy dimensions. “What’s the Reason?” would be a surprise with its lyrical balladic intro, but don’t expect a very long “idyll” as the band switch onto full-throttle speed metal soon after with a frequent change of tempos, with another aggressive deathy stroke served alongside an impressive bass bottom; watch out for the more serious progressive rhythms in the second half as this is a 7.5-min saga with a lot happening throughout. “S.O.S. (Slaves of System)” makes the most of the initial stomping motif which turns to more technical ways of execution before less bridled intense thrashing puts a stop to those loftier aspirations.

“From This Time” is a speed metal masterpiece with furious galloping riffs, slower pounding breaks, and last but not least very good attached clean vocals which elsewhere sound more strained and hoarser; expect a myriad of time and tempo shifts as well as more inspired intricate guitar work and an extended screamy lead section. “Flag of Hate”… sorry, “Truce” is a spastic thrasher with more virtuous elaborate performance in the riff applications which still get lost in the high-speed “skirmish” that commences at some stage alongside a nice catchy chorus and very high-strung vocal exploits. “Keep (on) Fighting” possesses almost hardcore-like intensity with the hectic brutal riffs and the great burpy bass which races with the blazing guitars every bit of the way; 2-min of pure unadulterated moshing joy. “Many Things to Do” preserves some of the unbridled energy of its predecessor, and is the next in line heads-down speedster with very cool vocal participation exhibited once again not to mention the authoritative bassisms for the umpteenth time. “Look at Ourselves” is the progressive opus the proficient lead section at the beginning already announcing the more serious intentions although it becomes business as usual at some stage the band thrashing like demented for at least half the time matching Paradox’s “Heresy” and Heathen’s “Victims of Deception”, neither of these opuses released yet at the time, with its intriguing guitar duels and the immaculate “juggling” of tempos.

The Brazilian scene is yet to come up with a more rip-roaring roller-coaster. It’s really hard to beat such a marvellous dedication to a chosen style pulled out with loads of inspiration and gusto. Viper’s debut “Soldiers of Sunrise” is comparable, but it’s too melodic and not sharp enough to stand on the way of this shattering speed/thrash metal “attack”. The guys are virtually unstoppable here also coming close to the calculated madness of Toxik’s “World Circus” on the more technical moments which are more than just a few. “Seeds of Destruction” those were indeed; it only remained to be seen what “fruit” they were going to bear…

First it was the “No Way” EP three years later which contained two live versions of old songs, followed by a frivolous, just-for-the-fun-of-it cover of The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go”; and finally two brand new songs for “dessert”. This compilation left certain aftertaste that was ultimately erased by the next instalment “Endless Trip” (1991), the next in line chapter from the glorious speed/thrashing odyssey this time served with more progressive embellishments and more technical pyrotechnics. Nothing as overtly mind-blowing as, say, Sieges Even’s “Life Cycle” or Deathrow’s “Deception Ignored”; just the good old speed/thrash made more ambitious and mazey to fit the tastes of the new more demanding 90’s audience.

The band split up in the early-90’s, but it’s an “endless trip” for them, this classic metal panorama, so a reunion was inevitable. It came in 2007 under a slightly modified moniker (Vodu 30 Anos) to commemorate the release of their debut some 21 years earlier. The guys are still active, and are hopefully preparing for another “destructive” speed/trash metal invasion which would by all means make itself heard even on a saturated retro metal scene like the one we’re enjoying nowadays.