Korzus

Sonho Maniaco

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Because 1985's Korzus ao Vivo mini-L.P had simply cobbled together a few live performances in lieu of an actual recording budget, 1987's Sonho Maniaco (translation: "Manic Dream") qualifies as Korzus' first studio album proper. Such was life for a heavy metal band in a third world country; but then, at least they could get away with putting horror movie icon Freddie Krueger on the album's cover and not getting sued! Anyway, Korzus certainly made the best of their limited resources here, coming up with an album which, for all of its technical and financial shortcomings, still stands as one of the better examples of Brazilian thrash. Packed with distinctive riffs, colossal opener "Anjo do Mal" ("Angel of Evil") is probably the best representation of their sound: vicious, raw, and slotting somewhere in-between Slayer's incomparable intensity and early Metallica's all-around inventiveness. Ensuing highlights "Juizo Final" ("Final Judgment") and "Caminhando nas Trevas" ("Walking in Darkness") showed that ace guitar player Silvio Golfetti was the real motor behind the Korzus' juggernaut. And the sadly prescient "Suicidio" ("Suicide") tragically foretells drummer José Mauro (aka Zema)'s impending suicide a few months later. It's only on the album's two final epics, "Guerra Nuclear" ("Nuclear War") and "Paraiso da Morte" ("Paradise of Death"), that Korzus smack headlong into their creative limitations; clearly, pulling off a couple of eight-minute behemoths was simply beyond their abilities at this time. Another thing that hurt the band's international prospects at the time was the fact that vocalist Marcello Pompeu was still singing Portuguese lyrics, but this hardly affects the proceedings in retrospect. And to restate an important point made earlier: although Sonho Maniaco is to be considered merely a solid, competent entry in the big picture of international thrash and speed metal, there's no refuting its status as a small landmark in Brazilian heavy metal. [In 1999, Destroyer Records reissued Sonho Maniaco and its successor Pay for Your Lies in a handy two-for-one CD.]

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