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Expulser - The Unholy One (Reissue)

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The Unholy One (Reissue)
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 24 February 2018, 12:56 PM

Greyhaze Records have a knack for their dedication to reissuing classic Cogumelo catalog releases with a great deal of respect. Giving us a chance to experience high quality versions of these albums and not old, degraded mp3’s from 2004 gives these amazing extreme death/thrash metal releases the re-animation they deserve. EXPULSER’s debut full-length isn’t just a rarity but a classic example of the unique style of death/thrash coming from Brazil in the early 90’s.  Considering similar releases from Brazil’s underground death metal scene of the time a lot of bands took heavy inspiration from SEPULTURA in general, but in 1992 it was ‘Arise’ that dominated everything so you’ll hear clear nods to it on tracks like “Screams of Delight” but you’ll immediately notice the unique style of blasting that kicks in between additional nods to KREATOR’sPleasure to Kill’ and even an outro that invokes NOCTURNUS very briefly.

EXPULSER weren’t ‘me too’ posers so much as they were enthusiastic fans of death and thrash metal and the result is kind of a mix of unique ideas and familiar ones, close in style to THANATOS first record. The style goes heavily into classic thrash riffing as well as ‘Altars of Madness’ style MORBID ANGLE-esq, and even stretches its wings into Atheist style grooves on the opening track. I’d put this a step above releases from DORSAL ATLANTICA around the same time (who began to turn to groove metal) and similarly influenced Headhunter D.C. had barely found their rhythms on their second bestial death metal full-length. ‘The Unholy One’ reaps benefits from the SARCOFAGO influenced old school extreme metal drumming that reads today like a precursor to thrash influenced death metal like Mortem (Peru).

Those confident but sloppy blasting drums existed in a post-BEHERIT and BLASHPHEMY bubble but are too restrained to be considered war metal. It helps that most old school Brazilian thrash albums are long players, where the Tracklist is not typically front-loaded with all the best songs, so the album’s overall pace might get redundant towards the end but the style actually feels more intense as it plays. If you’re a fan of classic thrash metal and it’s extreme, bestial variations from South America then this is an absolute must-listen. If you likewise love death/thrash and old school death metal you’ll be even happier. “Screams of Delight” is worth the price of admission alone, but ‘The Unholy One’ does just as many interesting things across the 50 minutes of album here, which includes their original 1989 demo tape ‘Fornications’ as bonus tracks.

Even though EXPULSER’s first output sounded like an influenced death-thrash black-summoning. They might not have gone very far playing a personally liked previous style that has been done one over, with only mild song-writing antagonism and subservient allegiance. Lord of the Rings' fans will remember the mass spawning of war-mongering obedient orcs in the film recreations. They look cool, but once your eyes have scanned the 10th one, you'll start to see double and might forget which one was which. EXPULSER’s tale isn't an unfamiliar one. For example, the Brazilian band SEXTRASH placed their debut and then second album at an identical year placing as EXPULSER. On their first album, they played a highly influenced, yet more technical version of SARCOFAGO’s I.N.R.I. Then on their second album it had a more processed standard death metal sound, music and production wise. EXPULSER did likewise with an exception: this isn't too bad. I mean you might be disappointed if you liked the split they did with BRUTAL DISTORTION, and wanted a continuation of the same. But instead they play a worthwhile death metal style on here that works for them.

The music as well as the production took a different route. This sounds much more present and dirty, accompanied by an even studio production. The guitarist still retains his style of faster and higher pitched notes. Yet, he also uses a thicker and aesthetically death metal-oriented style of playing at times too. With more spaced, mid and slower palm muted sections. Together as a band, they use a lot of breaks and frequent timing changes, yet still sound tight and proficient. The drums definitely have a more present and boisterous production than the last recording. He didn't take the drum trigger path. And fortunately has a microphone per drum, which gives it a loud and present sound. The vocalist comes over top of the other instruments with a single lead vocal line this time. He primarily uses a deep growl, and sometimes a nasally, higher pitched attack when he wants to make an emphasis on a certain riff. Also, towards the latter part of the album he seems to switch between the two vocal types more often. It sounds like he gets more and more progressively pissed off.

You can also hear the bassist at various points swatting around, with a clean and medium tone, mixed slightly less loud than the guitars. Like their previous predecessor: SARCOFAGO, and previous musical parallel: SEXTRASH. EXPULSER’s ideology is no different with themes of alcohol, blasphemy, and obscene sexually related innuendos. I thought the record for the worst English goes to SARCOFAGO, but we do have a new contender with the song title 'Gore Pussy of Virgin.' They had to of done that one intentionally.  There are countless Brazilian extreme metal groups that have come to conception. But why do the more well-known one’s sound like only a few different bands that were conceived around the mid to late 80's? This release is a different direction than the first, but one can still hear their past influences mixed underneath. But with much more musical diversity and distinctness compared to the previous more death-thrash outing.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Praise to the Almighty God
2. Cirrhosis (Let's Get Drunk)
3. Bleeding at Cross
4. Fornications (At the Church)
5. The Unholy One
6. Screams of Delights
7. Christ's Saga
8. The Evil Orgasm
9. Gore Pussy of Virgin (The Rape)
10. The Slut
Lineup:
Alessandro Lima - Bass
Junior Espartano - Vocals
Vinicius Destroyer - Drums
Alex Evaristo - Guitars
Record Label: Greyhaze Records
     


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