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Dorsal Atlantica - Canudos Award winner

Dorsal Atlantica
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 29 December 2017, 4:29 AM

In Brazilian history, there are sad and inspiring moments. One of those is about Canudos, a region on the interior of the state Bahia. In this region, a social/religious leader called Antônio Conselheiro began an alternative community, where all that was produced by its citizens was shared equally. But as always, the forces of the land owners from the farms pressured the federal government to end Belo Monte (the name that Conselheiro gave to the city). Four military expeditions were done in one year, in a war that ended with the complete annihilation of Belo Monte and the killing of 20,000 innocent. Their crimes: to try to live with dignity. The corpse of Conselheiro was taken out from his grave (he died of dysentery 20 days before the fall of the city) and beheaded. So, when you read and see some news about Brazil, have in mind that we are a people that suffer a lot under the merciless fist of corrupt employers and their friends, the politicians.Talking this history and comparing with our present social/politic scenario is the legendary trio from Rio de Janeiro DORSAL ATLÂNTICA on their latest work, “Canudos”.

Musically, their style didn’t change: it’s the same raw and powerful mix between the melodies and weight of Heavy Metal with the influences from Punk Rock and Hardcore. Nothing different from what they do since their first release, “Ultimatum” (from 1985), but always filled with some improvements (on “Canudos”, along with their raw and bitter musical structures, you’ll find inserts from regional rhythms from Brazil on some songs, as can be heard on “Favela”). Let me tell you something: their energy is something that will haunt all those who try to emulate the feeling that their music has.

The visceral and raw sonority that flows from the songs of “Canudos” fits with the band’s identity. This is because Carlos Lopes (the album’s producer) always searches for the most organic sound as possible. The instrumental tunes are simple, but you can understand perfectly what is being played. The artwork is amazing: the cover is like those from double vinyl discs from the past, with an art that portraits all the moments from “Canudos”, and it has two booklets as well: one with the lyrics (all in Brazilian Portuguese), and another with a poster on one side, and the name of those who helped the band to record and release the album, along with photos from tortures and other events that Brazilian government made throughout our history against the country’s citizens.

We can say that “Canudos” is a perfect album when we deal with its songs. The best ones are the fast and raw “Belo Monte” (that shows excellent guitars), the powerful impact that is shown on “Não Temos Nada a Temer”, the regional music elements along the melodies from “O Minuto Antes da Batalha” (that shows a slow rhythm, where bass guitar and drums show their weight and technique), the bitter atmosphere shown on “Sonho Acabado” (with that dense feeling that we can feel on 1986 “Antes do Fim”), the raw energy that flows from “Gravata Vermelha” (it’s on the same vein from what we heard on “Alea Jacta Est” era, with excellent riffs and vocals, and the name is a reference to the massive beheading promoted by the Brazilian army after the surrender of Belo Monte’s people, because “Gravata Vermelha” means “red tie” on English). “Liberdade” and “Favela” are filled with regional rhythms once more mixed with the aggressiveness of the trio, and “Ordem e Progresso” is permeated by the Hardcore fury. These three remind us all from the legacy of freedom that Antônio Conselheiro gave us (“Liberty”), along with the fruits from a government that is ruled by the ambition of the corrupt politicians and rich men (“Favela”), and the need to resist and fight a government that speaks of a god that smashes us all, but love the money and power. A government denounced many times by Antônio Conselheiro.

To end this review, I must say that “Canudos” is one of the greatest Metal albums made in Brazil that comes in the right time to accuse and condemn the political abuses of our politicians, and deserves to be heard at the loudest volume possible!

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

5 Star Rating

1. Canudos
2. Belo Monte
3. Não Temos Nada a Temer
4. O Minuto Antes da Batalha
5. Carpideiras
6. A Conselheira
7. Sonho Acabado
8. Cocorobó
9. Araçá do Peito Azul de Lear
10. Gravata Vermelha
11. Liberdade
12. Favela
13. Ordem e Progresso
Carlos “Vândalo” Lopes - Vocals, Guitars
Cláudio “Cro-Magnon” Lopes - Bass
Américo Mortágua - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 20 September 2019

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