Following on from the 2020 The Rise Of Heresy and 2021 The Absence Of Light EPs comes this long-awaited debut full-length from The Troops of Doom, featuring Sepultura legend Jairo ‘Tormentor’ Guedz, bassist/vocalist Alex Kafer, drummer Alexandre Oliveira and guitarist Marcelo Vasco. The album cover by Sergio ‘AlJarrinha’ Oliveira keeps the Sepultura connection alive (along with the album title), as he was responsible for the Bestial Devastation EP artwork.
I would even go so far as to describe it as iconic, up there with Iron Maiden’s Number Of The Beast, Slayer’s Reign In Blood, and Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion, leaving you in no doubt that this is a metal album. Antichrist Reborn also features guest appearances from João Gordo of hardcore punk legends Ratos de Porão and Alex Camargo & Moyses Kolesne of death metal band Krisiun.
Dethroned Messiah opens the album in traditional The Troops Of Doom fashion with a spooky intro before launching into a sound that recalls Escape To The Void from the Seps’ Schizophrenia album as well as Celtic Frost’s more ominous tones during the slower doomier passages. Both Far From Your God title and sound recalls vintage Slayer and will provide some small comfort for that band’s fans who have been mourning their break-up ever since.
Altar Of Delusion wastes no time whatsoever and goes straight for the jugular ala Teutonic thrashers Kreator. There is however a slight ‘symphonic’, melodic streak to the track offering a bit more variety and which you may hear from latter day Rotting Christ. Thankfully unlike certain black metal bands from Norway, this is handled so subtly that it never feels awkward or cheesy at any stage.
there is something magical about the way The Troops Of Doom deliver their music that manages to put a big goofy grin on my face…
A breather is definitely welcomed and comes in the form of Grief, a short minute-long interlude before we reach the album’s halfway point with Pray Into The Abyss. The track nicely balances breakneck blackened thrash and what can only be described as mid-paced groove metal. The latter may conjure nightmare visions of Skinlab and Pissing Razors, but luckily it is handled more deftly by The Troops Of Doom boys with no toe-curling forays into nu-metal. The Rebellion has me reminiscing New Yorkers Nuclear Assault’s Critical Mass and like that band, there are definite shades of crossover present, even the track’s name carries a punky association with it.
Deserters From Paradise is another slice of crunchy goodness that alternates with crushing death metal, ala Possessed, to forge a sound that is akin to being run over by a Shinkansen (bullet train), absolutely unstoppable. Apocalypse MMXXII is a moody instrumental that offers another brief respite before reaching A Queda (The Fall). The track is in Portuguese and makes interpretation a little challenging (to say the least), however, the accompanying video is suitably dark and hellish and the music so thrillingly unrelenting that it really doesn’t matter.
The final number Preacher’s Paradox makes it abundantly clear that the band are not necessarily the biggest fans of organized religion. At over six minutes, there is a grandness about the track that reminds one once again of Celtic Frost and it’s interesting to note that some editions of the album in fact conclude with a cover of The Usurper.
Metal isn’t a genre I cover all that often for The Shaman, however, there is something magical about the way The Troops Of Doom deliver their music that manages to put a big goofy grin on my face, making for an album that can’t help but delight all who listen to it.
Scribed by: Reza Mills