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Apokalyptic Raids - The Pentagram

Apokalyptic Raids
The Pentagram
by Gary Hernandez at 30 September 2019, 11:12 AM

APOKALYPTIC RAIDS is a Black Metal band from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Their style is raw, first wave Black Metal reminiscent of early BATHORY, HELLHAMMER, and VENOM. They formed in 1998 under the name APOCALYPTIC RAIDS with a ‘c,’ presumably after the HELLHAMMER album of the same name. Not sure why, but after 2001 they went with the ‘k’ spelling. APOKALYPTIC RAIDS loves their metal heritage and they reference old school Black Metal bands throughout their long discography.  In May 2018 they released “The Pentagram” with limited distribution. In October this year it will be available globally through Hell’s Headbangers.

“The Pentagram” is the band’s fifth full-length album. They have at least as many splits, and one live album. Having been around for 20 years they’ve had a few lineup changes, twice on bass and twice on drums. As far as I can tell, however, their style has remained consistent, so if 1980’s Black Metal is your bag, then you’re in for a treat.

One of the good things about APOKALYPTIC RAIDS is they capture an analogue feel but never really get so lo-fi as to lose sound quality. With “The Pentagram” they crank out nine tracks in a quick 35 minutes. Eight of the tracks are exactly what you would expect from the band, a frenetic blur of riffs, hoarse vocals, and lightening fast drums. I say eight, because track nine, “The Story of Pope Joan,” is a nigh eight minute track that just explores all sorts of territory. From the soothing lead solo opening to the galloping riffs to the muted choral harmonics and across the multiple compositional movements, this song is like none other on the album and it is utterly magnificent. I should also say that one thing that sets this band apart from other old school Black Metal, at least on this album, is the quality of the bass playing. The bass line is lifted in such a way from the rest of the mix that Hellpreacher himself sounds like he’s in the room with you.

My favorite tracks are “Necromaniac (is Back)” for its killer riff; “Satan Laughs” for its punk vibe; “The Ghost of the Hammer” for its bluesy, Doom backbone; and, of course, the aforementioned “The Story of Pope Joan” for its sheer awesomeness. “Victory Beyond the Imagination” also has some great solo action from Necromaniac, and Skullkrusher partakes in some mightily abusive drumming. The remaining tracks are good, but not standoutish.

All together, “The Pentagram” is a solid offering from our metal brethren in Brazil. Who would have thought that Black Metal would thrive in the home of the Samba and the Bossa Nova? So the next time you head to Rio for some sun and Carnival, don’t forget to pack some corpse paint and catch a show or two of hellish Black Metal.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Necromaniac (Is Back)
2. Satan Laughs
3. Victory Beyond Imagination
4. The Ghost of the Hammer
5. My Triumph
6. Occult & Real
7. Letter from Lucifer
8. Keep My Grave Open
9. The Story of Pope Joan 
Leon Manssur ‘Necromaniac’ – Vocals, guitars
Pedro Moraes Rocha ‘Skullkrusher’ – Drums
Vinícius Canabarro ‘Hellpreacher’ – Bass
Record Label: Hell’s Headbangers


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Edited 28 January 2023

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