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Ratos de Porão - Necropolítica Award winner

Ratos de Porão
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 13 May 2022, 9:14 AM

Being born in Brazil and living here is extremely hard. But since the actual president was elected, things are the worst possible, because he is a conservative idiot that makes jokes with many social causes and even with those who died during the COVID-19 pandemic (you just have to look for it on the internet, and you’ll see the gross and inhuman pattern of such an idiot). Many Christian leaders swimming in blood and money gives him support, his fanatics look for excuses to not damage his figure… It’s the worst scenario possible, even worse than what happened in the USA with Trump. And this is what feeds the new RATOS DE PORÃO album, “Necropolitica”.

Since the 80’s, their musical formula is far known: a wise and brutal mix between influences of Hardcore/Punk Rock with Thrash Metal/Crossover outfit (they’re one of the pioneers of the genre in the world). And be prepared, because they’re still being filthy and aggressive after all these years, with songs filled with a massive aggressiveness and many sets of hooking moments (a courtesy of Jão’s excellent riffing, combining Hardcore and Thrash Metal features on his playing). And even with lyrics in Brazilian Portuguese (I’ll try to translate the names of the songs for a better understanding below), one can feel the old Hardcore/Crossover spirit and unconformity pulsing with life in each of the album’s songs. But it’s a mature album, because the old ironic point of view used on the lyrics is absent, focusing on the evil that is tormenting Brazilian people by now.

The sonority of the album is very good point. It is ‘tosca’ (a nasty word in PT-BR for ‘clumsy’), because the band music can’t be expressed in its best way if it’s extremely clean. But pay attention on one fact: being ‘tosca’ doesn’t mean that’s not excellent, because it’s defined and one can understand what’s being played without problems (and it’s a good work of Fernando Sanches on the mixing). The artwork is amazing, using simple contrasts, and it’s a reference of the habit of the president to use poses that reminds some paints of Christ (remember: this monster is a conservative, supported by many Christians).

As a veteran of the genre, RATOS DE PORÃO (that can be written as RDP as well) knows exactly what to do with their songs, and to be honest, “Necropolítica” (a term created by the Cameroonian theoretical philosopher Achille Mbembe to describe a form of politic that focus its energy on killing poor people) is extremely faithful to the spirit of works as “Brasil” (1989) and “Anarkophobia” (1991). But it can be said as a conceptual album that deals with all the evil that is reigning in Brazil since 2018 (and high number of the dead here by COVID-19, above 600,000, depicts such thing).

The album opens with a massive and brutal “Alerta Antifascista” (“Antifascist Alert”), a fast and sharp song filled with Old School Crossover influences and catchy guitar riffs and nasty solos. “Aglomeração” (“Agglomeration”) brings elements heard on “Brasil”, with fast Hardcore tempos and choruses, and João’s vocals are excellent as always (the lyrics remember the nightmares of fake news, ineffective medicines used to prevent COVID-19, and even with many religious leaders preaching such thing).

“Passa Pano Pra Elite” (it’s a Brazilian form of saying that one accuses one wrong thing, but doesn’t speak about other that’s worse for particular profit) brings the old Punk Rock slower approach, and it’s great to see as the band is faithful to their roots (because one can’t hear rhythm guitars during the solos). On “Necropolítica” (“Necropolitic”), the band brings back many Hardcore and Old School Thrash Metal elements with fast and easy rhythmic conductions (the work of Juninho on bass guitar and Boka on the drums is always excellent). Being almost and Old School Crossover song in the vein of German bands, “Guilhotinado em Cristo” (“Guillotined in Christ”) is abrasive with catchy guitars’ arrangements and some contrasts between fast and slow parts.

“O Vira-Lata” (“The Stray Dog”) is another song with slow tempos and abrasive ambiences, with bass guitar and drums doings a very good work again, and with excellent vocals. “G.D.O.” (these initials means “Gabinete do Ódio”, or better saying, “Hate Office”, the parallel organ on the government that spreads fake news and hatred to the illiterate people) is a brutal song with fast moments and an oppressive ambience based on Hardcore and Crossover outfit (and again, the vocals are doing a great work).

Being based on Punk/Hardcore essence (what means that’s a hooking song that is able to make the bones of everyone shake), “Bostanágua” (an ironic way to say the name of the president and his family, and means “Shit in the Water”) is filled with excellent simple guitar riffs. Bringing back some elements from “Vivendo Cada Dia Mais Sujo e Agressivo” (1987) with some abrasive touches of modern Thrash Metal tendencies comes “Entubado” (that means “Intubated”, and is a reference to all those who had to deal with the clinical phase of COVID-19, with many losing their lives during the pandemic, and things came to a point that people were intubated without anesthesia, almost an impalement). And closing the album comes “Neonazi Gratiluz” (it’s hard to translate what the name means, but’s a reference to the president’s fanatics electors, here in Brazil ironically named ‘minions’) is a pyroclastic song base once more on a solid playing of bass guitar and drums, with massive guitars and drilling vocals.

In the end of all, it’s easy to assume that “Necropolitica” is a manifest against this president, his family and followers. But it can be said as well as a message of hope for the future. And you can hear it here:

And it’s great to hear that RATOS DE PORÃO is still nasty, aggressive and relevant after all these years. Thank you, João, Jão, Juninho and Boka, for such excellent work.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Alerta Antifascista
2. Aglomeração
3. Passa Pano Pra Elite
4. Necropolítica
5. Guilhotinado em Cristo
6. O Vira-Lata
7. G.D.O.
8. Bostanágua
9. Entubado
10. Neonazi Gratiluz
João Gordo - Vocals
Jão - Guitars
Juninho - Bass
Boka - Drums
Record Label: Shinigami Records


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