Thursday, April 14, 2011
Poisonous - Demo
Poisonous hail from the death metal hinterlands of Brazil, and have this two song demo released before their debut LP by Genocide Productions, a label which seems to have a knack for releasing very interesting South American bands such as Mystifier, Mausoleum and Impetuous Rage. Poisonous seems to be their newest attempt to push a band into the death metal stardom. So, this Demo from 2009 was most likely a cheap teaser to garner interest for the label who, I'm sure, knew they would be putting out a full length from the band a year after this little cardboard promo thing. As much as I hate these cardboard promos, which never fit anywhere, be it CD binders, CD cases, with my CDs on the shelf - they seem to disappear between everything (I'm pretty sure I lost my Ravage promo this way) - and they are easily destroyed by practically any kind of mishap. Still, Genocide have a nice little promo here with some cool old school styled demo artwork and a nice back cover as well. Campy sticker on the disc to set it apart from... non-stickered cardboard promos as well... Whatever.
The music is strong, supported by a covenant of musicians who know exactly what they want the band to be. Michael Hellriff and Fabio Ramos have delivered some crusted over, Swedish styled riffs, coated with Brazilian murk and aggression. The Brazilian atmosphere really is best heard in the ultra low, reverb bogged growls and snarls, similar to Headhunter D.C. Hellriff supplies these additional abilities as well as his guitar gruntwork. E. Evil on bass and Alex Rocha round out the unit, with strong rhythm, heaviness and simplicity. While some extra effort would have been nice in the buried area, Poisonous' style doesn't seem to lend a whole lot of care for dynamics on this demo - they go one speed, and in a bevy of 16th notes at that. The mix on this lends good instrument separation so were Mr. Evil to leave the shadow of the guitars and show some reckless abandon, my claim of simplicity would be borderline remiss but nevertheless still valid.
The demo leads off with an atmospheric intro which seems to last too long, some eerie piano sounds under what must have been Hellriff wandering between his house and the local watering hole on the other side of the Amazon rain forest - deep bellows and screams and cadaverous undead animal mating calls soak the intro in a shallow atmosphere. With first track, the not so anonymously titled "Poisonous," we get a showing of standard if not enjoyable nor memorable death metal but the band is impassioned in their approach and easily likable. It's like the kid in high school who was much smaller, nor as strong as the other guys but you would want on your side in a fight anyway, just because he would jump in and mess crap up without any real interest or care for consequences. Poisonous are like the rapidly wing flapping moth flying directly into the spiderweb totally unconcerned. Poisonous may even break through most webs. The title song comes complete with a classic death metal sounding solo if not exactly classic in its composition entirely, some bloody keyboard moments, and a cup of coffee to keep you awake.
Last track and closing bomb run, "The Black Vomit" is a bit thrashier and less mature. Once again there is your classic sounding solo which I at first thought was a carbon copy of the solo in "Poisonous" but I did notice one or two slightly different notes tossed in between the sweeps and runs. In place of the keyboards and the coffee, "...Vomit" digresses into the entire band doing their best attempt at being scary and yelling and screaming obscenities drunk into a toilet positioned directly in the center of a giant gymnasium. The song resolves in, for me, a total "fuck it we're done" moment. Pretty much like Metallica's Battery except without the whole "we can sit back and watch everyone worship us now machismo." Not a bad demo, with Poisonous showing promise. I'll actually probably check out the full length but if the whole thing is the same riff, different pattern for forty-five minutes, I'm giving that disc the same shelf time I've awarded Megadeth's Risk.