Tropical Despondency: Black Metal from Brazil

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Rich with natural resources and beauty, a vast country sprawls across South America. It is home to a wide array of beautiful vistas, each populated by people with unique looks, accents, cuisine and heritage. However diverse they may be, from the northern urban enclaves incrusted in the Amazon jungle to the plains of the southern Pampas, a common thread is said to unite the natives – happiness. “God is Brazilian!” is, in fact, a sentence you will hear exclaimed by happy people over the entire country.

This is not, mind you, a post about happy people.

This is a post about fairly unhappy people, I shall say. A post about the nihilistic, the blasphemous, the hopeless and the misanthropic. Today, I want to talk to you about black metal music hailing from the frigid northern lands of Brazil.  Sadly, I am not going to explore the material of legendary bands such as Sarcófago and Mystifier. Before you claim my head for this heresy, let me open your mind to some lesser known bands with true gems in their discographies. So trust me, join me, or die in ignorance.

The first stop in our tour is a group named Goat Prayers. These guys have been around since 1992 but, unfortunately, never released a full length album. They appear in two demos and three splits with other Brazilian bands, amassing a small, yet respectable catalogue, which perhaps can be best experienced by listening to the 2010 compilation The Final Aclamation. Their early output has that lo-fi quality that was so prominent in Second Wave Black Metal records. Goat Prayers compositions are a tad more refined, relying on organs, synths and even flutes for extra ambience. You can hear that here. Be wary, though, the demo cover is the kind of lolbuttz you might not recover from.

I chose to feature a song from later on in their career. “The Moon That Never Sets” is a thrilling piece of black metal that showcases an increased production value, a grandiose sound reminiscent of Emperor and small bursts of NWOBHM influence that shine through in the catchy opening riff. Mount your black steed and ride to this tune.


It’s time to ditch the glory and grandeur, for we are now prepared to partake in the filth and depravity ov duo Hellscourge. These men have two LPs under their belt, released consecutively in 2011 and 2012 – Hell’s Wrath Battalion and Unmerciful Blasphemies. This is necro black thrash with no mercy for posers. They do not reinvent the wheel, but they are guaranteed to rip them off your chariot and slay you and your pony with it.


Moving away from aggression, we delve deep in sorrow and melancholy. Shadow Moon has one full-length (2002) and two demos. Unfortunately, I could only track down the 1998 EP entitled Cânticos Para O Amanhecer (in English, it would be something like “Canticles for the Breaking Dawn”). I am not sure if beautiful is the best way to describe this, but I cannot find a better word for it either. This is a patient, brooding form of black metal, somewhat akin to Drudkh, but relying on keys instead of guitar for the emotional charge.

There is a word in Portuguese that is not present in any other language. “Saudade” is the way we named the feeling of deeply and truly missing someone you might never see again. For some reason, this is the emotion evoked by most of Shadow Moon’s material in my opinion. You can hear the EP in its entirety here, if you enjoy the featured song “Five Awake”.


The final feature in this post is bleak. It is an exercise in nihilism and misanthropy. Escvro (bonus points to Slytherin for acing kvlt spvllvng) is the Portuguese word for dark (as in dim, poorly illuminated. This a one-man project formed last year. The man responsible for it uses the pseudonym Erebos, and all I could manage to find is that he “refuses to sell his music, all Escvro works are freely distributed and fully available for download”. Where, I do not know, since there seems to be no official website or anything similar.

Escvro’s only release so far is EP Ascensão do Vazio (“The Rise of Emptiness”). This is my favorite piece of music in this article, as well as the most intriguing. It features two great poems as spoken word passages, dismal lyrics in Portuguese and great songwriting. There are no guitars in this project – the riffs are written and performed on a 6-string bass. The vocals are the sort of deranged wails one can find in grindcore band Amnesiac. I am excited for the next Escvro material, and would love to see what Erebos could do with organic drums instead of a drum machine. You can watch a NSFW videoclip of new song “Perante as Estrelas” here, and listen to the complete EP below.


I believe the music featured here is proof that, even though black metal will forever be connected to and influenced by the landscape surrounding the artists, its themes and sentiments are universal to all men. In the end we are eternally condemned to question our purpose in existence. I rest my case with a rough translation of the final spoken word passage in Ascensão do Vazio:

“What if nothing happens?
What if the deformed and the homeless
the hungry eyes and hands that interrogate
the flesh that bleeds and drowns desires
what if all of this turns to ashes and absence?
and life still waves by…
and what if silence weighs over the anguished scream?
if the sphynx no longer displays its disfigured smile?
what if all the dreams were aborted?
what if nothing happens?
what if none of this not even remotely matters?”

Antônio Pinto de M. Filho

(Photo Via)

 

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  • CT-12

    I’ll have to fully listen to these bands later Mr. Dagon, but thanks for the juicy post! Between this and GLAB, my music-listening docket will be more than set for the week.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus

      I’m about to file my taxes for 2014 but / and will return to this post and the music contained therein. I just barely caught up on the third post from yesterday and the first two from today during work today!

      • Dagon

        I never did my taxes for the year I lived in the US (2012). I still feel like I’m going to be deported as soon as I hit the airport next time I try to enter the States.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          If they owe you, they don’t care if you ever file.

          If you own them, they’ll just try to get you to pay them.

          • Dagon

            I have a good feeling they might owe me 30 bucks. Which wasn’t worth my sanity at the time. Now that the Real is coming down, though… That’s a lot of Bandcamp albums.

          • Dagon

            I have a good feeling they might owe me 30 bucks. Which wasn’t worth my sanity at the time. Now that the Real is coming down, though… That’s a lot of Bandcamp albums.

          • JWG

            And that could get you about three lattes in most major urban centers.

            This might be a mild exaggeration though.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus

            Hell yes, especially at name your price.

      • CT-12

        Fuck work n’ errands n’ shit, I gotta read the toilet!

        • Edward/Breegrodamus

          Being an adult can be kinda whack when toilet stories are happening.

  • DDubya.

    Shadow Moon is pretty interesting, and those last lyrics at the end of the post are tortuously beautiful.

  • DDubya.

    Also, I’m glad you mentioned Mystifier. They’ll be showing up very soon.

  • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

    I am delighted by the undelightful delicasies in this post.
    (And continue to be baffled by Drudkh popularity in the Toilet)

    • Dagon

      You no likey Drudkh bruh bruh?

      • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

        Oh I like. I just wouldn’t expect someone like them to get all the attention from teh Terlet.

        • tertius_decimus

          What they did right is when they realised they suck at writing lyrics, they have turned to Ukrainian literature which is helluva depressing, especially poems from XIX century.

          • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

            Yes. Some great stuff there. Very reminiscent of Finnish lyricism (wether musical or not) in a way.

            That’s where my surprise lies. Some of this poetry is NS in nature and people here don’t seem to enjoy it otherwise.

          • tertius_decimus

            If you interested, here’s Kroda – Мак Цвіте. My favorite poem by one of the greatest writers/poets of XX century. What baffles me is that the song itself is so-so, it just doesn’t do the justice to the poem. If I were a director, I could shoot a movie based on it.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN4Oso9ZHSk

          • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

            I’d watch a movie based on this.

        • tertius_decimus

          What they did right is when they realised they suck at writing lyrics, they have turned to Ukrainian literature which is helluva depressing, especially poems from XIX century.

    • Howard Dean

      I’ve always trumpeted the name of Drudkh on the ToH, and I enjoy them greatly, but honestly, I much prefer Nokturnal Mortum.

      • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

        I enjoy both greatly. You are one of the persons I never believed having a problem with them despite the connections both bands have. Not after a certain article some time ago.
        But yes I enjoy both. (Got tix fot Nokturnal Mortum headlined fest, yay)

  • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

    I dig this.

  • JWG

    More guest submissions this week definitely suggest I need to get on the ball and write up at least one of my half-dozen article concepts.

    Unfortunately every time I start I feel guilty for not working on my Thesis write-up instead, so I try to do that for a bit.

    It never gets anywhere, either, though…

    • Dagon

      Man, I’m gonna take a break after only two articles to write my thesis too. What’s yours about?

      • JWG

        The first half is a Needs Analysis concerning information sought by persons with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus.

        The second half will be a catalogue-structured internet resource collection based on (a) the needs analysis (b) clinical literature (c) my own experience as a person with hydro.

        • Dagon

          I had no idea you had hydro. Did it happen as a child or after adulthood?

          Mine will only be a review of main corpus callosum defects in MRI studies, since it’s graduation level they don’t require me to write new stuff. I’m all caught up in studying for residency exams so coming up with a prospective study was a no go.

          • JWG

            I was diagnosed at 3 months as having a congenital obstructive hydrocephalus, as well as significant aegenesis of the corpus callosum in fact.

          • JWG

            I was diagnosed at 3 months as having a congenital obstructive hydrocephalus, as well as significant aegenesis of the corpus callosum in fact.

        • Dagon

          I had no idea you had hydro. Did it happen as a child or after adulthood?

          Mine will only be a review of main corpus callosum defects in MRI studies, since it’s graduation level they don’t require me to write new stuff. I’m all caught up in studying for residency exams so coming up with a prospective study was a no go.

        • I’ve got spina bifida occulta, son.

          • JWG

            I don’t think I can upvote this.

            Disqus is not quite as flexible on meaning as with a Facebook ‘like’…

          • I upvoted you because I support you wanting to write your thesis and because I always support everyone here :3

        • BXAXXBXAXX

          Without getting too intimate in a toilet setting, what is that like, bro?

          • JWG

            The biggest difficulty in the Needs Analysis was getting permission for any type of data collection tool – eventually Ethics approved a voluntary survey, the least likely to get sufficient data.

            …Which, exactly as anticipated, resulted in a very low response rate (which is why I’ll need to turn to my own experience and the literature to properly populate the second project. At least I can pad my page count by adding citations and paragraphs on possible explanations for why the response rate was so low.

            I suspect that most of the reason is exactly as you imply: some answers might be too intimate for patients to share, so they’re loathe to share anything.

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            I presuppose privacy is a big deal in the community. Do you not have a wedge with your own experience? I just have no idea what this is like, and I was curious.

          • JWG

            My own experience is helpful in directing research, for sure, but it’s limited to one section of the lit review (and eventual system content) because the scope I chose includes a spectrum of conditions that I don’t have (spina bifida).

            This was in turn necessary because the Canadian support network (SBHAC.ca), like a lot of other countries, work for both groups equally – and not as two separate Associations as is the case in the U.S. and those individual States which have their own.

    • plz write something.

    • would read / 10

    • DDubya.

      Follow my lead. The dissertation can wait. The Toilet is forever.

      • can I insert a Void reference here?

        • JWG

          Like the vast majority of Theses, once it’s done it might as well be Flushed into the Void.

          Though I will almost definitely add it to my ResearchGate profile, so at least I can see if it ever gets cited by others.

          Side note: ResearchGate now sounds totally like some sort of academic witchhunt by internet provocateurs. Thanks, Twitter.

          • lol.

            Why don’t use Google Scholar?

          • JWG

            Immediacy, I suppose.

            ResearchGate emails me when someone else cites one of my (two) academic papers currently listed. With Google Scholar wouldn’t I have to monitor it myself?

          • I haven’t used Google Scholar full because I need a institutional address, but I think it does the alerts.

            I’ve submitted my papers and were accepted in the database, but I can’t count the cites, because of that institutional email that I need. If I found something I will share it with you 🙂

    • I am close to making some contributions around here. I have much grind to share.

      • Dagon

        I’m sure it will be much appreciated. Grind is a favorite ov many toilet dwellers.

      • DDubya.

        GRIND!

    • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

      I wrote a Porcelain Throne article which will hopefully be up soon.

  • Tyree

    I’m in a goddamn work meeting right now. Will check this out when I get home Fish God. Looks dark and evil and stuffs.

    Sarcófago >>>>>>>>>

    • Dagon

      I have a feeling you will dig Escvro and HELLSCOURGE above the others.

      • I was listening Hellscourge and thought: “OMG. THIS IS TAIRÍ MATERIAL!! O_O)”

        • Dagon

          TAIRÍ jajajajajjaja
          it’s his official name now

  • Scrimm

    Hahahahahaha our guitar players having one of those studio moments when you keep fucking up at the exact same spot. I love when its not happening to me!

    • Dagon

      Are you drunk? It must be even better.

      • Scrimm

        No there’s no alchohol yet. but there is herb.

        • Dagon

          Seaweed.

          • Scrimm

            I bet that would be pretty awesome.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            Its ok, a little fishy aftertaste.

          • Scrimm

            That’s ok, in my experience some of the best stuff smells like cat piss.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            My weed better not ever smell like my cat’s piss.

          • Scrimm

            I’d kill my cat if I still had it.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            You’re a terrible person.

          • Scrimm

            Yep. Dogs>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            Have both >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

          • Scrimm

            I aso meant if it pissed on my weed.

          • Tyree

            There is a cat staying with me now because my sister moved in with me for a while. I told my sister to keep the cat in her room or I’d kill it. So she did. While I was at work it would eat everything in my house, ruin furniture by scratching it and shit every where. It would constantly crave attention and jump on the counter when I was cooking and try and eat what I was preparing. I fucking HATE that cat.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            sounds like my old lady’s dog

          • Scrimm

            That’s how my dad’s cat got after he died. Pissing and shitting everywhere EXCEPT the litter box.

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            Cats only pee outside of the litter box if they are in duress, sick, or in an emotionally unstable situation.

          • Scrimm

            I know. I felt bad for it that cat loved my dad, but that shit was unbearable.

          • Our cat’s in heat, and for some bizarre reason keeps pissing everywhere lately.

          • Scrimm

            There’s not many smells I hate worse.

          • Dagon

            Whenever I hit up the AZ in that stupid human flesh I’ll bring you some. Should have chosen a better located human, but that’s what discounts get you.

          • Scrimm

            I wish I wasn’t here.

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            Welcome to my world, Scrimm

          • Scrimm

            Where are you that you don’t want to be?

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            Existing

    • JWG
      • Scrimm

        HAHAHA

  • BLXKKBEXRD

    Dis Shadow Moon is gooood

  • JWG

    On topic: I dig what I hear throughout the article, though I have my sound down way lower than where I’d really like it to be for full skull crushing effect.

    I’ll listen to these at an appropriate volume level once I’m out of my on-campus Office.

  • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

    I’m so happy. One of my favorite middle school guilty pleasure bands is coming near me in March.

    • DDubya.

      How was your workout?

    • Mushroomhead?

      • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

        No. They’re not a guilty pleasure to me.

      • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

        It’s actally Hollywood Undead.

        • BXAXXBXAXX

          New lows.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            Don’t worry, I’m beginning to see why I forgot about them when I entered high school. It’s because anything after the first album is awful. Even the first album isn’t that good.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    brazil—royal world vacation destination

    all 3 at once
    -1st vid-mute
    2nd vidmute
    3rd vid full vol

    http://youtu.be/cgr7HhWyTts

    http://youtu.be/HJUt_x0gwug

    http://youtu.be/XMLiqEqMQyQ

  • Tyree

    Dude! Hellscourge is mean as hell! Good shit Fish God.

  • pïgchop™

    Here – this is just massively and completely awesome.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzbA79ptJP8

    • BXAXXBXAXX

      The steel lap guitar is baffling to me. Its incongruent with my playing as a guitarist. Its why piano is a no-go for me.

      Personally, I’ve been jamming the newest Orden Ogan most of the night (and some Empyrium).
      http://youtu.be/vZrT_w2TAIU

      • Stanley

        I’ve watched this video about 20 times on youtube. Is this song representative of the rest of the album or will I be getting suckered if I buy it?

        • BXAXXBXAXX

          Stanley, my boy, the album is great.

          • Stanley

            Nice. I’m on it. By the way, I just had a North Coast Old Rasputin. Not sure if you can get that in NC (I think that’s where you are) but if you see it you’ll be onto something!

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            I’ve had an Old Rasputin before, I recognize the name. I’ll pick one up if I see it again. What is it?

          • Stanley

            It’s a Russian Imperial Stout. It makes you fall over. Two max.

            http://www.northcoastbrewing.com/beer-rasputin.htm

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            Dont underestimate me.

            By that label, yeah, I’ve had one. I just dont remember (go figure)
            *rolls joint

            Completely OT: New Dark Souls 2 patch tonight did some interesting things.

          • Stanley

            Luckily I don’t play video games. Firstly, they are so complicated these days that you have to invest so much time into them (I guess that’s what makes them good). Secondly, and more importantly, my wife would divorce me.

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            Lol, I lucked out in this department. As a nerd, my old lady trumps me on occasion. Usually, she has no room to talk.

          • Howard Dean

            Seriously. I bet the playing of video games as a married, (presumably) grown ass man has significant compounding factors on divorce rates. It’s like a trigger.

          • I vaguely remember seeing those back in Chicago, but never had one.

          • Stanley

            My favorite imperial stout is Boulevard’s Dark Truth. You should be able to get this were you live as it’s from Kansas City. Try it!

    • KJM

      Saw him do this opening for King Crimson long ago.

  • Stanley

    Isto e muito adequado! I signed up the the Rio de Janeiro marathon earlier today! Not sure if these toons are ideal running music though but I’ll give them a shot.

    • BXAXXBXAXX

      Since the tarlet is dead tonight, i’m going to reply to everything. What is it that you prefer running to? My typical weightlifting tracklist is pretty hip-hop and power metal heavy.

      • Stanley

        Mostly metal but nothing that’s too blasty (unless it has groovy like Carcass). Lemme see, lately I’ve been running/listening to new Scar Symmetry, new Sylosis (but I can’t get into it), Pripjat (which I was alerted too here) which is 80s thrash excellence. Unearth is always good. Accept is always good. Darkest Hour. Wovenwar (oops). Basically, more straightforward stuff that has good production so that you can here it over the traffic/wind/heavy breathing.

        • BXAXXBXAXX

          Ah. You run outside. Us weightlifters dont have that freedom. Srsly tho, this newest Orden Ogan is highly approved. I just got it today.

          • Stanley

            I live in California! I run outside! I had to mow the lawn today!

            I do hit the treadmill once a week and also do a few weights but running and weight lifting are not good bed partners. Put it this way, I can curl 25lbs and press about 115-135 on a good day. lol.

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            I rarely max, but I would guess my 1rep bench to be around ~300lbs. I can run a pretty fast sprint but, anything past that, i’m pretty much gonna fall over.

            I work outside or in a drafty warehouse all day in the mountains. Its winter. When I get home, I dont go outside much.

          • Stanley

            You are a monster.

            Ok, I have to dash. Off out for Sushi!

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            Not really, bro. I weigh about 205 atm.

            Have a good night! My china food will be here soon!

          • Stanley

            Good morning. Hope you enjoyed your chinese. I downloaded the album earlier. It sounds great so far. This will be the soundtrack to today’s run.

          • BXAXXBXAXX

            I thought the Chinese food was good, though it was delivered by a grrl with dreadlocks. I blasted that album all last night, man.

      • Did you hear about the guy who plays The Mountain from Game Of Thrones? He broke an 1000 year old record for log lifting (the log was 30 feet long and weighed 1,433 pounds).

        • BXAXXBXAXX

          Yeah that dude is insane

  • BXAXXBXAXX

    Where is KJM? Where is my faggy tapir?

    • KJM

      I’m here, just don’t have much to say.

      • KJM>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      • BXAXXBXAXX

        Daw, cheer up buddy. You need me to roll you one?

        • KJM

          It’s all good. Thanks anyways.

    • Not The Ideal Tapir

      • BXAXXBXAXX

        Oh hayyyyy