Brazilian thrash metal

Brazilian thrash metal

Brazilian thrash metal is a form of thrash metal music that originated during the 1980s in Brazil. Along with Bay Area Thrash metal, East Coast thrash metal, and Teutonic thrash metal, it was one of the major scenes of thrash metal in the 1980s. Though not as large or well known as the North American or European thrash movements, it is still a pivotal point in heavy metal, as it bridges the gap between the thrash of the mid-80's and the death metal scene later in the decade.


1980s: The beginning

During the early eighties, bands from the U.S.A., Germany and Canada, such as Metallica, Slayer (U.S.), Destruction, Kreator (Germany), Voivod (Canada) and Exciter (Canada) appeared. At the same time, Brazil had a growing scene as well, and were also influenced by the same music: N.W.O.B.H.M. and Hardcore.

Brazilian rock has its roots in the 60s, developing from the movement called Jovem Guarda, passing through the stages of progressive rock and finally transgressing into heavy metal. In 1982, the first Brazilian heavy metal LP was released by the band [ Stress] from the city of Belém from northern Brazil. The punk scene in São Paulo was emerging as well, with albums of bands such as "Restos de Nada" in 1982.

The European and North American heavy metal and hardcore have been a great influence on all these bands, but the first thrash metal (or speed metal) album released officially in Brazil was a split album between two bands in 1984. The split album Ultimatum, with bands Dorsal Atlântica and Metalmorphosis, came out around the same time as "Kill 'Em All" by Metallica, "War and Pain" by Voivod, and "Sentence of Death" by Destruction.

Dorsal Atlântica from Rio de Janeiro were pioneers because of their record being officially released, but there were other bands releasing demos, like Vulcano from São Paulo and Sepultura from Belo Horizonte.

Regional scenes

There were three regions where the Brazilian thrash metal was originated (Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro). The most prominent of the three scenes, was from the city, Belo Horizonte, where Sepultura came from.

In Belo Horizonte, the scene had some of the most extreme bands, close to what became to be named as death metal. Bands such as Sepultura, Sarcófago and Mutilator continued further and were in some ways more extreme than the German "Teoutonic thrash". The band Sarcófago has influenced most of the European black metal and death metal bands.

In São Paulo, the scene was closer to Crossover thrash or what is more commonly known as "American thrash". Bands such as Ratos de Porão and Lobotomia, played a style more akin to hardcore and started transforming into a more thrash metal sound, alongside the original thrash metal bands, such as: Korzus, MX, Attomica and Anthares.

In Rio de Janeiro, the bands sounded similar to European bands of the time. Important bands from this time period were: Taurus, Metrallion, Antitese.


The most influential bands in Brazil were Sepultura, Sarcófago, Korzus, Ratos de Porão and Dorsal Atlântica.

Albums like "Schizophrenia" by Sepultura, "Sonho Maníaco" by Korzus, "Cada Dia Mais Sujo e Agressivo" by Ratos de Porão and "Antes do Fim" by Dorsal Atlântica were the most influential in the scene, taking a lot of followers around the country.

The bands that had the most success out of Brazil were Sepultura and Ratos de Porão. In 1987 the album "Schizophrenia" was released in the United States and was well received, Sepultura attained a deal with Roadrunner Records and from this has risen to its present fame. Because of Sepultura, Ratos de Porão signs with the label too and records in Germany with Harris Johns (of Tankard and Voivod fame). Also, Sepultura became known around the world with "Beneath the Remains" in 1989.

End of the 80s and beginning of the 90s

Sepultura was making success outside of Brazil. Their last "true" thrash album was "Arise" in 1991. The last thrash metal albums to represent the "old-school" style of thrash in Brazil was "Mass Illusion" by Korzus (1991), "Rotten Authorities" by Executer (1991), "Disturbing the Noise" by Attomica (1991) and "The Laws of Scourge" by Sarcófago (1991). Afterwards, the scene diminished, with the album "Frozen Hell" by Siecrist from Espírito Santo being the last band to represent a record with "old-school" qualities.

The 1990s

Entering the 90s, thrash was mixed with alternative metal, grunge, industrial music and in Brazil specifically, with the Brazilian "roots" music. Sepultura and Overdose (from Belo Horizonte), mixed thrash with tribal sounds. Bands that didn't simply disappear from the scene, had to adapt the sound to the new genres that were appearing.

Korzus brought the NYHC influences to their sound with the "KZS" album. Sarcófago put a drum machine in their last studio album entitled "Crust". A band from Belo Horizonte named The Mist became an "industrial-thrash" band and Dorsal Atlântica turned into a hardcore/crust. Ratos de Porão experimented an approach with alternative metal before returning to a more punk-influenced sound.

During the 1990s, the most important bands to appear in the decade were Scars, Distraught and Zero Vision. But their sound had a greater influence from groove metal of Machine Head than that of thrash metal.

Bands of the scene today

In Brazil, bands; Vulcano, Executer, Attomica, Chakal, Sextrash, Holocausto had their "come back", and Max Cavalera's Soulfly released an album that is almost "old-school" thrash with the mixing of new and old styles, the band Ratos de Porão returned to the crossover style.

There are a lot of new thrash metal bands existing together with the old ones who returned. New bands since the year 2000 have been releasing albums on independent record labels. Bands such as; Apokalyptic Raids, Bywar, Blasthrash, Farscape, Sodomizer, Kremate, Violator, Torture Squad and Flageladör have been frequently touring across South America and Europe.

List of important bands from the scene

* From Belo Horizonte:
** Chakal
** Holocausto
** The Mist
** Mutilator
** Sarcófago
** Sepultura
** Sextrash
** Witchhamer

* From São Paulo
** Andralls
** Anthares
** Atomica
** Blasthrash
** Bywar
** Executer
** Korzus
** Lobotomia
** MX
** Ratos de Porão
** Torture Squad
** Vulcano

*From Rio de Janeiro
** Apokalyptic Raids
** Atomic Roar
** Diabolic Force
** Dorsal Atlântica
** Farscape
** Flageladör
** Hellkommander
** Metalmorphosis
** Politricks
** Sodomizer

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