The Troops of Doom, The Rise of Heresy review (Blood Blast Distribution 2020)

The debut release from Troops of Doom is a Heavy Metal eruption that will be heard in every corner of the Earth.

The band is from Brazil: Jairo “Tormentor” Guedz (guitar), Alex Kafer (bass and vocals), Marcelo Vasco (guitar), and Alexandre Oliveira (drums). You certainly recognize the first person on that list as an original guitarist for Sepultura. The sound of The Troops of Doom has its starting point in early (classic) Death Metal, and from there it grows into its own beast.

The new EP has four original songs and two covers of well-known Sepultura songs. First the originals. “Whispering Dead Words” has an orchestral opening with big brass horns and the full complement. The strangling starts right past the one minute mark. “Inspired by hate / Existence fades away / Burn those bastards / To Infernal flames.” “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” is a ripper – fast and furious, with a catchy clomping riff in the middle. “The Confessional” has that steady head banging momentum as well, leading into the title song, which is the track that’s stands out the most for me. “The Rise of Heresy” displays punishing percussion and fierce rhythm riffs standing shoulder to shoulder with the grizzly vocals.

The covers are “Bestial Devastation” from the Bestial Devastation (1985) EP and “Troops of Doom” from Morbid Visions (1986). The new versions certainly sound better given the more recent recording capabilities and the covers are consistent musically with the originals. It is nice to hear them updated and they ring as true in their new incarnations as they did back in the mid-1980s originals.

The Rise of Heresy is available now in the digital and you can get it at Amazon Music and stream it at Spotify. Physical versions are on the horizon and are popping up in various forms around the globe. Think of tracking them down as a quest. Whatever way you consume this music, if you are a fan of Sepultura, you are bound to like The Troops of Doom. Recommended.


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The Troops of Doom, The Rise of Heresy review (Blood Blast Distribution 2020)

Concrete, Free Us From Existence review (Black Voodoo Records 2020)

Concrete, the hardcore band from Albany, returns with devastating aggression on Free Us From Existence.

The first music I heard from Concrete was the 2014 split they did with Hammerfist. The song “Born Lost” made a big impression on me especially, but all four of them smoked. Deadlock was before the split and Everything Ends Now came after in 2017. Over the years the band has been accumulating an impressive catalogue and gaining attention and respect from fans and the heavy music community at large. Free Us From Existence casts a sharp eye on the dismal situation that exists now and condenses it into loud bursts of disapprobation and condemnation in the form of ravaging hardcore music.

The new album opens with “Executing Vengeance” which sounds like climbing a ladder that is airborne and swirling in a tornado. “Starving Serpent” starts with heavy thumps and reveals twisting urgency in the tempo, cadence, and voice: “Fed to snakes / In the abyss / Left to rot / Starving serpent, oceans black / Take my eyes, take my eyes.” The menace and threat in the guitar line that runs along beside the vocals in one of the choruses tightens in your throat when you hear. “Path of Fire” has big doom riffs at the front with rolling rapid percussion, then a shift to thrash-speed before going back to heavy thumps like a stomping sauropod.

The landscape is broad and differentiated with Black Metal, Death Metal, and hardcore throughout. It is notable how much ground the band covers in just under thirty minutes, all the while keeping their own brand of menace intact and the thematic focus narrow. This overarching dispatch is demonstrated perfectly by the back-to-back entries “Psychological Crucifixion” and “World Tomb.” Listen to it all the way through and then hit it again because you don’t want to miss anything.

Available now for download at Bandcamp, with physical versions on the way from Black Voodoo Records. This album is going to be on a lot of Best Of 2020 lists. Recommended.

Band photo by Chantel Roberts.


Concrete, Free Us From Existence review (Black Voodoo Records 2020)