Published Jul 30, 2019It's a common trajectory for longstanding bands to shift their sound and style, but rarely is there a case of a band looping back around to rekindle the fires of their own beginnings. But Brazil's Holocausto are one such case, having broken out in 1985 as a precursor to what Blasphemy would cement as a genre — bestial war metal — until adopting a more thrash-oriented sound that itself continued to change.
But Diário de Guerra sees the cult Brazilian warmongers return to their chaotic roots, exhuming a style of primitive, raw smashing that has become the stuff of worship in modern extreme metal.
Diário de Guerra is split between two faces of style and execution. The first os more akin to Blasphemy — blast beats and sawing riffs perpetually on the brink of falling off the rails, but the sheer energy the band conveys is magnetic. There is a lot here that will sound familiar, if not common, but that's only because Holocausto helped write the genre guidelines of the style.
The second half is starkly different in its technical polish, as well as taking things into primal thrash territory. The drums and guitar both seem tighter, as they dig into monstrous grooves and hellish riffs that excavate the very beginnings of thrash. The production remains perfectly gnarled and raw throughout, extracting the feeling of '80s metal.
Diário de Guerra feels like a return to form and a display of one band's spectrum of identity. Nothing here will break new ground or push forward. If anything, it does the opposite, but for those who revel in the past and appreciate the old guard, this is one you cannot miss. (Nuclear War Now!)