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Trying to Top the Last Didn't Work Out - 45%

Byrgan, August 1st, 2008

Without even listening to Anthropophagy you'll notice the makeover Vulcano is sporting. A little shaved here, some taken off the top there. Dude, what happened to your hair?! Don't worry this is still metal. But the first thing noticed is they started to push aside lyrical titles of death and destruction. "Stirring" and "Upright" are a little suspicious. Though they still have words like 'kill,' 'war', 'brain (without a gory diction attached)' and the wordless instrumental with a question mark, 'Am I Crazy?' But some of these are surrounded with other words to alter the meaning to a somewhat thinking man's stand-back state. Look. Let's talk. We'll stand back here, you stand there, and nobody will get hurt. This battle will only be words. Although, it might appear dangerous. Alright gentlemen? That last meeting, later tagged "Bloody Vengeance" on the streets. Yeah, 5 dead and 7 wounded—broken bones, the works—there'll be none of that. Just loud, harmless fireworks, and everyone goes home intact.

A few questionable things are noticed about Vulcano's second studio album put out only a year after the great Bloody Vengeance. The line-up took in new members on bass and drums, and switched the previous bassist and promoted him to lead guitar duties. Even though the previous album's singer is involved, it doesn't hold up to his prior, impressive vocals. Another stab to pour unnecessary blood from Vulcano's big pumping metal hearts is the production. All kinds of off-the-wall comparisons could be made about what it sounds like. But in all seriousness, it is as if the recording equipment was sort of near the instruments, just not quite close enough. Making it a distant, blended mess at points. If you're entitled to a treble knob, turn it up. The bass knob will turn friendless, just as fast as Vulcano did for me on Anthropophagy. The CD version fares slightly better, with a thinner and hissy, but more audible, sound; which will cause you to side with bass more so than the original. But this, ultimately, still has an unsatisfying quality to it, although without the hazy bass-like wall of sound. Possibly caused by cheap microphones combined with too many explosive instruments entering it and then mixed and compacted all together. To create a metal-salad that has too much dressing and tastes bitter to the ears. However, double bass peeks its twin-head out and becomes less of a hermit, also the bass guitar has far less of a low tone, which makes it more audible as well.

Since the two previous guitarists hit the road. We have the bassist travel on up to guitar. He has a decent style when the music is mid paced or slower. However, when speeding up it sounds a little rickety. Coming across as if he is torn between two different playing styles, not wanting to drop one for the other. Like a mountain-climber who wants to tackle steeper cliffs, without a flush transition when switching over equipment. Since the music is half fast and half mid or slower paced, this can be a problem. His writing is a cross of more traditional thrash, with a tendency to want to break out into more extreme terrain. When the prior guitarists were stepping it up from Live! to Bloody Vengeance with more extreme death, black and thrash sounding rhythms, and turning more primitive and unconventional. Anthropophagy, in comparison, is using more progressive rhythms without the overall, simplistic and catchy side. As a listener, this can become more draining because of his often repetitive style of hammering them into your ears. When at a slower pace, he might use a catchy chugged riff, combined with a choice of hitting quick, higher pitched notes. Sometimes these riffs are even hit-or-miss. Although, when faster they lean more towards miss, the pumping typically ceases, and you'll usually just hear repeated progressive, higher notes.

Another noticeable aspect about Anthropophagy is the running time, which manifests longer track times. This altered a few actions for the vocal patterns. Angel, as a singer, used a few different variations on past releases. Where he used half gruff singing on Live, the music carried a lot of the down time from the vocals. On Bloody Vengeance, it was practically non-stop on the overall music/vocals. But Anthropophagy spread the songs out with a bridge/chorus philosophy and Angel attempted to repeat his vicious vocals of yesteryear. The problem is that neither the music nor the vocals can pick up where the other left off. Like transitioning from 1st, 2nd, & 3rd shift, with each person picking up slack for the other and eventually destroying the whole continuity. Trying to spread out his one set quick vocal pattern of B.V. didn't work on here. Ironically, I think the shorter songs would have worked better for them, and would have helped eliminate some of the repeated, non-happening guitar lines as well. Usually, a band with longer track times is something that I go for more though.

Angel, when doing a vocal line, still uses a quick slew of words. With a gruff growled, bellowed and mild roar, as well as a screamed and shouted emphasis, depending on the song. There are moments where he'll even throw in an extended yell or croak at the end of a vocal part, to possibly extend itself where the lyrical content couldn't. His vocals have some reverb, and a slight delay on a few tracks as well. Though, his vocals aren't as loud and mostly sound partially dry compared to the heavy amounts of reverb on the last. You can detect it, but they are somewhat scratchy sounding in comparison. And when the music speeds up it sounds like he is trying to yell through a small hole in the wall of instruments—heard and tries to make due—but not able to get around the obstacle to become timely rescued. The other instruments have some reverb attached also. But I can imagine them pulling back some, because they didn't want to push the sound into the background completely. The drummer's fills, such as his snare rolls, are heard the loudest, and sound explosive because of this added effect. Although, his blasts can become undercurrent, and go awash with the flowing sound waves when all of the instruments decide to go for laps. Like the rest of the music, the bass guitar is in attendance when they slow down. But he might as well skip the continuing train ride upon entering the town of Fastland, as the conductor hurriedly announces, "All aboard." Seen as a passing silhouette in the rear, he runs waving his arms for attention, he is sadly missed. Bye Mr. Bass, though I might as well call you Bass, since we've known each other over many sweaty, late nights, with multiple whirls and twirls, spinning and grinning over the years. From banging of course, perverts.

Transfixing at the cover art of this 87' album, but transpiring like a later Magic the Gathering mana card look-a-like and full of bittersweet fantasy. Which appears to be some kind of mountain-like landscape, designed as a lushly painted portrait, acting out a guessable scenario. I can't tell where Vulcano have gone, who've they met and possibly who really inhabits their bodies. I'm sucked back to reality since Vulcano went through a mixed bag of genres from early days to their debut album. As well as a line up change here—still trying to maintain themselves—which didn't entirely hold up. These things can be damaging points when a fan wants consistency. The remaining members tried to scoop up a band within a year and their focus just got lost somewhere between the lines. The desire to play, and the desire to create and record sometimes have to cancel themselves out. But doesn't always fairly do so on both sides of the spectrum. The production on this release didn't help at all either, and somehow sounds less loud and clear than the live album they put out two years prior. The CD version rescued a few instruments from drowning but doesn't get recognized for this somewhat of a pointless heroic act. Except for people now to say, "Oh, so that is what they went on to do right after Bloody Vengeance." I still find semblances of fast death-thrash on Anthropophagy, with actual blasts this time around, and an audible want to likely blow your aggressively-keen socks off. But it is hard for me to recommend this album, for the other unleveled and diminishing aspects, to a fan of old or even a new fan who wants to jump in somewhere on their discography. Just don't land here because it is possible that you'll be disappointed. And your socks will only be itching to stay on your feet, to hopefully go out and better conduct your precious head-banging time elsewhere.

Great but monotonous - 70%

sob, July 14th, 2006

After being quite impressed by their "Bloody Vengeance" from the previous year, I bought a copy of this remastered (by I Hate Records) CD. It also contains the "Devil on My Roof"-demo, but this will not be reviewed.

The first thing I noticed was the quality. Now, I´ve heard a lot of people complaining about the quality on "Bloody Vengeance" but this album is even worse. I am not a sound geek, it usually doesn´t bothers me (quite the opposite) but this album is balancing between "great old school"- sound and "just a lot of noise".

The album starts off great with great riffs (Red Death, Death Angel´s Armies, Brainwash) but then starts to get a bit monotonous. And just looking at the track list just makes me wish that something will happen further on. And it does.

Track number 5. "Fallen Angel".
My theory is that the band got really drunk and wrote and recorded a song just for fun, which later by mistake made it on the album. This is a very slow song with mediocre riffs and the worst text in the brazilian metal history:

"Inside the house, I see dead boys
Should I leave them, or die with them"

"They got some girls, but don´t make sex
They see a head, but don´t around"

The tightness, speed and aggression that they showed on all the previous tracks are rapidly change to this slow Venom-wannabe sound and I soon regret that I wished for change earlier.

Track number 6, the title track, gives back the rush of speed and anger with one of the best intros on the album. Then the sound returns to the barely heard fast riffs with insane drumming and spontaneous vocals. This is where the album starts to get really messy. It´s great, but it is a bit hard to hear what´s going on (keep in mind that this is remastered material).

Track number 9, "(Am I Crazy?)", is just a desperate way to get an instrumental song on the album. It´s mid paced trumming by a drunk drummer.

Now, the next song, "Megathrash" gives me great expectations becuase of the title, but it almost immediately falls into the old pattern of endless riffing.

A funny thing is that after the last song, "Upright" (a great outro for the album) comes "Witche´s Sabbath" from the 1983 demo. Maybe it is the relief of hearing something different but the classic old school sound of brazilian metal makes me ready to explode...!

In overall, the album does contain some really good material but not at all like "Bloody Vengeance" and the bonus material is almost more interesting!