Campo de Extermínio

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Arguably the most controversial heavy metal album of all time, Holocausto's Campo de Extermínio ("Extermination Camp") obsessed over the Third Reich's atrocities against Jews during WWII in such gory detail and, most agree, poor taste, that it has often been mistakenly branded as an anti-Semitic work. Naturally, the extreme metal quartet from Belo Horizonte was quick to refute these claims, swearing that the album's shocking and unflinching descriptions were simply meant to show their own revulsion to the events that had inspired their name. Unfortunately, sometimes perception, as they say, is everything. If, however, you manages to get past all of this (as well as the album's introductory audio, taken straight from the Nuremberg Rally), you will note that, musically speaking, Holocausto's style centered around the same confluence of vulgar, post-Venom black metal and mid-'80s thrash typical of many Brazilian metal bands of the period, including Sarcófago, Vulcano, and even the soon-to-be mighty Sepultura. Holocausto were rarely as capable as these competitors when it came to imprinting their frenzied outbursts with a personality of their own, though, resulting in but a few songs in any way justifiable as standouts (see "Facção Revolucionaria Armada," "III Reich" and the unexpectedly off-topic "Vietnã" and "Setembro Negro"). On the remaining majority of cuts, unimaginative arrangements, endlessly repeated circular riffs, and atonal Neanderthal grunts (the unintelligible nature of vocalist Rodrigo Führer's enunciation making the fact that all lyrics were written in Portuguese a moot point) decry the band's one-dimensional approach. And that's, in fact, most likely the true cause of Holocausto's ultimate failure to advance their career beyond the deepest South American underground, regardless of chosen subject matter. [Campo de Extermínio's CD reissue in 2003 added the bonus track "Massacre," from the Lost Tapes of Cogumelo compilation, and boasted a prominent front cover disclaimer attempting to renounce any anti-Semitic intentions once and for all.]

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