If like me you grew up listening to Sepultura, the name Jairo ‘Tormentor’ Guedz aka Jairo T will no doubt be familiar. Jairo played on the Seps’ 1985 debut EP Bestial Devastation and 1986s Morbid Visions full-length before leaving. I always loved these two releases as there was an amateurish charm about them that their later, more technical and accomplished work lacked. The fact that they also took cues from Celtic Frost, Bathory and Venom was also never a bad thing in my book.
Jairo is joined by bassist/vocalist Alex Kafer, drummer Alexandre Oliveira, and guitarist Marcelo Vasco and The Rise Of Heresy marks their debut release. The EP consists of four original tracks and two Sepultura covers, while the cover art harks back to the two Sepultura releases Jairo featured on, a morbid vision (pun intended) of hell that was somewhat typical of death/thrash bands of that time ala Slayer and Possessed.
Whispering Dead Words starts in a filmic dramatic fashion reminiscent of Celtic Frost’s Innocence And Wrath from 1985s To Mega Therion before a riff recalling Escape To The Void accompanied by lightning fast drumming that Igor Cavelera would be proud of, batters you into submission. Think Reign In Blood on steroids. An acoustic guitar closes out the track with a riff that mirrors the intro. A savage and breathtaking opener.
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea was the preview track that, along with its accompanying video, made me sit up and take notice of this upcoming release. It starts off with a bang, grabbing you straight by the throat. Part of the appeal of this track is the band proving they’re no one trick pony by being unafraid of taking their foot off the gas at times. In fact this only helps to enhance the excitement and brutality of the speedier parts. The relentless quality of it reminds me of Teutonic speed metal bands such as Sodom and Kreator.
a hugely enjoyable listening experience that serves as an appealing precursor to (hopefully) a full-length release…
The Confessional has a definite South Of Heaven vibe in terms of pacing and atmosphere, and while the band haven’t completely abandoned their speed attack, the groove laden riffs offer up a nice change of tempo, helping to keep things interesting. The Rise Of Heresy is next and seeing as Jairo assisted with some of the songwriting on Schizophrenia before exiting the band, its unsurprising that album’s sound translates here. There is a more technical approach, as opposed to the full bloodied death metal wall of noise heard earlier on the EP.
The last couple of tracks are covers of Bestial Devastation and Troops Of Doom respectively. There isn’t really a lot to say about these; obviously the sound quality and production are vastly improved and a lot clearer. The tracks are also performed incredibly well, rendering them a lot more ferocious. For me though, I miss the muddy charm of the originals, but that may just be an old man’s nostalgia talking. The two covers do help serve as a decent reminder of Jairo’s past.
The promo notes state the EP ‘revisits the essence of ‘80s style death metal, exploring a more primitive sound that takes listeners back to that era, while remaining fresh and genuine’ and I would argue this has been achieved in spades. Comparisons will always be made to Sepultura and that is inevitable. However judging it on its own merits, it was a hugely enjoyable listening experience that serves as an appealing precursor to (hopefully) a full-length release and make old school Sepultura fans veritably weep with joy.
Scribed by: Reza Mills