Vulcano - Tales From The Black Book
I Hate Records
Thrash Metal
13 songs (42:31)
Release year: 2008
Vulcano, I Hate Records
Reviewed by Goat

Originally released in 2004, Brazilian horde Vulcano’s fifth full-length was a comeback of sorts, being the first release from them since 1990. This is the first time that Tales From The Black Book has been released outside South America, and it’s immediately apparent that I Hate has once again done the Metal world a favour with their championing of obscure cult acts like Root and these guys. Formed all the way back in 1981, Vulcano were one of the earliest Extreme Metal bands, and retained that spirit here. After lightning crackles and a narrator says something unintelligible, Gates Of Iron kicks off like Sodom on speed, headbanging riffs coming at you hard and fast. This could be from the early eighties, the production clearly dated yet enhancing the sound immensely – you don’t listen to this sort of thing for technicality, after all, you listen to it to bang your head until it bleeds, and then you bang it some more.

Songs are, as you might expect, pretty much all the same, raging blasts that go by at the speed of sound with the odd pause for a Slayeresque chug. The soloing is surprisingly good, considering the rawness of everything else, but it’s still far from amazing. Vocally, this is throat-shredding stuff, a pissed-off growl that’s clearly influenced as much by cigarettes and whiskey as it is by Venom. Moments like the descending riffs on Face Of The Terror are about as complex as things get, yet it doesn’t hurt the album at all, as long as you know what you’re going to get beforehand. The bass is just about audible, although it’s overridden much of the time by the thick rhythm guitars, and drums are mostly blasts, with the odd slightly more technical part. True Vulcano fans will be interested to see that new versions of Guerreiros de Satã and Total Destruição are included here, originally only on 1985’s Live! – although if anyone reading is a true fan, then kudos for even knowing about them.

That’s it, pretty much. Even the slower, more atmospheric track in the form of The Sign On The Door gives up any pretence partway through and Thrashes out, and the closing track, Bestial Insane, is nearly eight minutes long and is pleasingly Doomy at first, although by the sixth minute it does drag a little. The answer is, of course, to start the album again, and rock out all again. This is for a very select audience, but if you like your Thrash sounding as though it was recorded by a bunch of Brazilians in a crappy little studio in the eighties, then this is definitely worth your time. It’s not pretty, but it is meaty, full-on Thrash for those in despair of the new wave of rubbish Thrash rip-offs that all sound the same. Honestly, Trivium fans need not apply; a few notes of this and they’ll be cowering in the corner whilst the men destroy the place.

Killing Songs :
Gates Of Iron, The Bells Of Death, Priestes Of Bacchus, Fall Of The Corpse, Face Of The Terror
Goat quoted 77 / 100
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