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Album Review

As expansive as Brazil's extreme music scene has become in the third millennium, grindcore has never been among the most popular of styles in South America's largest nation. But São Paulo's Desalmado (Portuguese for "soulless") clearly hope to change all that, beginning with an eponymous 2012 release (though another self-titled and self-released, out of print album preceded it in 2006) steeped in all of the genre's key sonic components and, intriguingly, sung in Portuguese. This is worth noting given grindcore's admirable legacy for yielding controversial but often topical anti-establishment rants, because there's obviously much for Brazilians to rail against in their socially and financially lopsided third world existence, so by all rights this should be done in their native tongue. Religion, as always, offers the easiest target — see "Cegueira Santa" ("Holy Blindness), "Falso Profeta" ("False Prophet"), "Herege" ("Heretic"), etc. — followed closely by poverty — "Sem Nome" (Without a Name"), "Sofrer, Morrer e Apodrecer" ("Suffer, Die and Rot") — political corruption, societal injustice, you know the roll call. The fact that the musical backdrops surrounding these screeds don't offer much in the way of innovation, just commonly used ingredients of thrash, death metal, and d-beat, is also worth noting, but not screaming about (there's already plenty of that going on here!), as their combinations are imaginative enough to keep the blood boiling for all 30 minutes required to guzzle these 15 tracks (including a Japanische Kampfhörspiele cover, translated to "Cozido para Animais"). So grab a lyric sheet and an online translation tool, prepare yourself for aural punishment, and before you know it, you too could be fighting the power alongside Desalmado, whose members, based on the evidence contained herein, are anything but soulless.

Desalmado, Desalmado
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