The stars have aligned on Antichrist Reborn, the debut album by The Troops of Doom from Brazil. There are many stars within the underground firmament who have joined forces to create the album, and the music itself reaches us like lights across a void from a distant time, gleaming like brilliant obsidian arrays lit by hellish flames.
Among the human stars are the troops of doom themselves — former Sepultura guitarist Jairo “Tormentor” Guedz, bassist/vocalist Alex Kafer (Enterro, Explicit Hate, ex-Necromancer), drummer Alexandre Oliveira (Southern Blacklist, Raising Conviction), and guitarist Marcelo Vasco (Patria, Mysteriis, and acclaimed graphic artist for the likes of Slayer, Kreator, Machine Head, Soulfly, and Hatebreed).
In addition to them, the album includes guest performances by João Gordo (Ratos de Porão) and Alex Camargo and Moyses Kolesne from Krisiun.
And that still doesn’t touch every point in the constellation. The album was mixed by Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain) at the The Abyss Studio and it was mastered by Jonas Kjellgren at Blacklounge. Moreover, the cover art was painted by Sergio “AlJarrinha” Oliveira, the artist behind the original artwork for Sepultura‘s Bestial Devastation. And physical editions of the album will be released by Alma Mater Records, the label owned by Moonspell frontman Fernando Ribeiro.
All those stellar names seize attention, but for serious metal listeners only the music will count — as is only right. The names build expectations, but those hopes must be fulfilled in the sounds or the album will soon be forgotten. We’ve already hinted at our own opinion — that Antichrist Reborn won’t soon be forgotten — but you can decide for yourselves today because we’re presenting a full stream of the record on the eve of its April 15th release.
The album builds upon the pair of EPs released by the band last year and the year before — The Absence of Light and The Rise of Heresy — and over the course of its 10 tracks the stars have also aligned.
The band un-cage blasts of ferocious death/thrash with enough explosive energy to power a large metropolis. Grimy riffs blaze, slash, and eject fanfares of brazen and hideous grandeur. Freakish guitar solos erupt with wild, volcanic intensity, threatening to melt down the strings, and darting arpeggios add to the feeling of exhilarating mayhem. The drumming drives like overheated pistons and the bass slugs like a sledgehammer. And Alex Kafer manages to clearly enunciate the blasphemous lyrics while channeling the fury of a ravening demon beast of tremendous power.
The electrifying pulse of the music can’t be denied, nor can its rabid and riotous viciousness be understated. The songs will also chop at your neck like a spring-loaded ax — this stuff is red meat for a headbanger and a prime source of sore-neck syndrome. It’s also addictive as hell, thanks to a flair for songwriting that incorporates catchy and emotionally evocative melodies in the midst of all the highly infectious riffs and the punishing but sinew-triggering grooves.
Speaking of those melodies, they’re capable of causing the music to dance, dart, and swirl with wild abandon, to become dreadfully sinister or morbidly diseased, and to soar in visions of hellish magnificence.
The band don’t give you any time to catch a breath until pinging keys and eerie sonic mists provide a chilling, unearthly interlude in “Grief”. But then it’s back on the attack, with the pile-driving trauma, the intoxicating guitar harmonies, and the racing, heart-palpitating savagery of “Pray Into the Abyss”. From there the band keep their feet jammed on the pedal, delivering one white-hot blast of exhilarating hellfire and crippling groove after another, with only one more chance to breathe (and shiver) during the creepy interlude of “Apocalypse MMXXII”.
As they say in the trade, Antichrist Reborn is all killer, no filler, a non-stop thrill-ride that’s going to deserve prominent places in year-end lists. Get into it right now:
Alma Mater Records will release this beast on CD Digipack and Cassette Tape formats tomorrow, and Vinyl will follow. The relevant links are below, but let’s close with an understandably enthusiastic statement by label boss Fernando Ribeiro:
“I have been a fan of Brazilian extreme music, namely Death Metal since the late eighties. It shaped me as a musician and as a metalhead as much or maybe even more than the the classic extreme Metal bands from Europe and the US. Antichrist Reborn holds the key to open the gates and unleash those demons upon us in 2022! It’s just the brilliant missing link between that past and the glorious Troops of Doom future. My head is in the clouds and I am totally psyched to have this top of the chain band in my label. You won’t believe how hellishly strong is this record, Troops of Doom will claim the title of best Death Metal album of the year!”