Various Artists

Warfare Noise I

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Having observed first-hand how the two S.P. Metal compilations had successfully promoted Brazilian heavy metal bands hailing from the state of São Paulo, Cogumelo Records sought to do the same thing for young groups emerging in its own home state of Minas Gerais -- most of which the label had a financial stake in, naturally. Thus was born the Warfare Noise I compilation, featuring two songs each from local upstarts Chakal, Mutilator, Sarcófago, and Holocausto -- all of whose ultra-violent blend of thrash and black metal helped usher in a stylistic sea change as compared to the older, more traditional metal groups from São Paulo. Indeed, even though these younger Belo Horizonte bands showed little interest in instrumental or recording perfection, and usually chose to sing (or at least grunt) their lyrics in English rather than the old guard's still prevalent Portuguese, it was they who would put Brazilian heavy metal on the international map, as a unique stylistic offshoot all its own. First up were Chakal, arguably the most technically accomplished of the bunch, yet as obsessed with taking Christianity and its perceived evils to task ("Cursed Cross," "Mr. Jesus Christ," hello!) as any black metal band ever conceived. Ditto Mutilator, except that their two very thrashy contributions split their focus between the church ("Believers of Hell") and that other favorite subject of '80s metal: total annihilation via "Nuclear Holocaust." Side B opened with a spine-chilling three-for-the-price-of-two special from Sarcófago: "Recrucify/Black Vomit" and the self-explanatory "Satanas," both helping them stake their claim as the "blackest of the black" in the annals of Brazilian metal. And finally, there came the collection's weak link in the shape of Holocausto, who, as evidenced by war-themed tracks "Destruição Nuclear" and "Escarro Napalm," were not only still writing words in Portuguese, but also, quite frankly, trying to learn to play their instruments in the first place. Returning to the point made earlier, none of these tracks will ever be confused for state-of-the-art heavy metal, but rather fascinating glimpses into the very foundation of Brazil's "classic" extreme metal sound as it was first exported to foreign lands -- most notably by Sepultura, a band already ahead of this pack.