Album Review – HerezA / Death Metal Drunks (2019)

Join this horde of ruthless headbanging bastards in their quest for metal and booze, armed to the teeth with their brand new opus of straightforward Death N’ Roll.

Vodka, whiskey, gin, rakija, black tooth grin, tequila, Jägermeister and Jack Daniel’s, all mixed with humongous dosages of rebelliousness, depravity and violence. That’s the extremely combustible recipe found in Death Metal Drunks, the brand new album by Croatian/German Punk/Death Metal horde HerezA and a fantastic follow-up to their 2017 release I Become Death. As the band itself likes to say, there’s no “pre”, no “post”, no “tech”, no “prog” and not even any “swe” references or connotations in their new opus, but a straightforward Death N’ Roll attack highly recommended for fans of the demolishing music played by iconic acts like Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, The Exploited, Carcass, Kreator, Motörhead and several other relentless rock and metal entities.

Formed in 2014 in Beli Manastir, Croatia, but currently located in the beautiful Stuttgart, capital of southwest Germany’s Baden-Württemberg state, what used to be a duo comprised of vocalist Ivan Kovačević and guitarist Slobodan Stupar is now a full-bodied squad with the additions of bassit Holger and drummer Thomas Polder, which translates into not only a more dynamic musicality but also makes it possible for HerezA to tour a lot more, spreading their nihilistic, inebriate and boisterous creations to the four corners of our decaying world. Produced by Slobodan himself, recorded, mixed and mastered by Mario Marković, and featuring an absolutely superb cover art by Croatian artist Andrej Bartulović (All Things Rotten), perfectly representing what HerezA are all about, Death Metal Drunks is one of those albums that will put a huge smile on your face every single time you listen to it, inspiring you to join other metalheads into the sickest circle pits you can think of.

Wicked distortions and a menacing aura suddenly explode into sheer violence in the form of music in Back From The Grave, where Ivan’s roars sound even more enraged than in their previous album, while guest vocalist Adrie Kloosterwaard (Sinister) delivers deep, guttural Cannibal Corpse-inspired lines to make things even more brutal. Then Slobodan shows no mercy for our necks with his incendiary riffs in Genocid, where Thomas keeps hammering his drums frantically, therefore being recommended for fans of a thrashier and more hardcore version or our good old Death Metal; whereas Kopam Oči, Režem Jezik, Prste, Nos I Uši (“I dig my eyes, I cut my tongue, my fingers, my nose and my ears” from Croatian), featuring guest vocals by Igor Buljin (Gorthaur’s Wrath), follows a similar pattern as most songs in I Become Death, or in other words, it’s  an onrush of vicious sounds that will inspire you to slam into the pit like a maniac while Slobodan and Holger don’t stop slashing their stringed weapons mercilessly.

Blazing guitars and punk-infused drums dictate the rhythm in the boozy metal hymn Death Metal Drunks, by far my favorite song of the album showcasing utterly entertaining lyrics vociferated by Ivan (“We are back once again / To show you how it’s done / Pedal to the metal, full speed ahead / Breaks are for the weak / Head through the wall, we don’t care at all / Heading for selfdestruction / Give us booze, give us beer / We are ready for execution”), followed by Rak n’Roll, bringing forward less than two minutes of total sonic anarchy as if the Exploited and Napalm Death had a son (and if that son was trained by Cannibal Corpse), with highlights to Thomas’ crushing performance on drums. Horses bring the noise in Dullahan, a thunderous tune infused with badass Rock N’ Roll elements the likes of Motörhead, also presenting a great job done by Slobodan with his scorching riffs and featuring the third guest vocalist of the album, Aleister Kainulainen (King Satan), to give the whole song and extra kick. And if you think HerezA will slow down at any given point you’re absolutely wrong, as Do Kosti Bez Milosti (“to the bone without mercy”) is another overdose of violence, insanity and rage sung in their mother tongue Croatian, with Ivan’s demented growls and Thomas’ nonstop beats inspiring the listener to violently crack their spinal cords in half.

Beneath The Wheels Of Death is hell on wheels once again led by the berserk grunts by Ivan while Slobodan delivers spot-on riffs and solos, and there’s no time to breathe at all as after a weird semi-acoustic intro the quartet blasts their own version of what can be called “Country Metal” in Necrobitch, Cowgirl From The Morgue, with its lyrics seeming like they were taken from a Steel Panther song but embraced by the heaviness and speed of Punk Rock. In addition to that, pay good attention to how Holger’s groovy and rumbling bass lines add a lot of electricity to the overall result. In Stupid Spoiled Whore the quartet once again brings to our ears very “classy” lyrics (“Spoiled, rich, little girl / You have everything in the world / Mommy and daddy love you so / They can’t see you’re just a / Piece of shit / You make me sick / An ugly boar / Stupid spoiled whore / Shit for brains / You leave stains / Everywhere you go / You’re stupid spoiled whore”), with the music being a feast of raw, razor-edged noises and tones that couldn’t sound more violent. And lastly, Monstrum is a beyond thrilling and deranged way to close such excellent album of extreme music where Thomas steals the spotlight with his frantic drumming while Ivan, Slobodan and Holger fill out every empty space with their respective growls, riffs and bass punches.

After all is said and done, I have only one very simple question to you, and I’m pretty sure your answer will be positive. Do you consider yourself a Death Metal drunk? Well, if you’re reading this review to the very end I believe you are, which means you’re more than ready to join HerezA in their quest for metal and booze by following them on Facebook, and especially by purchasing your copy of Death Metal Drunks (available for a full listen on Spotify and on YouTube) from the Godz ov War Productions’ BandCamp or webstore, as well as from Apple Music and Discogs. And after putting your hands on the album and hitting play, you know what to do. It’s booze, slamming, more booze, headbanging while slamming, an extra dose of booze, and so on.

Best moments of the album: Kopam Oči, Režem Jezik, Prste, Nos I Uši, Death Metal Drunks and Do Kosti Bez Milosti.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Godz ov War Productions

Track listing
1. Back From The Grave (feat. Adrie Kloosterwaard) 2:56
2. Genocid 1:58
3. Kopam Oči, Režem Jezik, Prste, Nos I Uši (feat. Igor Buljin) 2:53
4. Death Metal Drunks 3:10
5. Rak n’Roll 1:34
6. Dullahan (feat. Aleister Kainulainen) 2:42
7. Do Kosti Bez Milosti 3:15
8. Beneath The Wheels Of Death 2:10
9. Necrobitch, Cowgirl From The Morgue 3:23
10. Stupid Spoiled Whore 2:35
11. Monstrum 1:38

Band members
Ivan Kovacevic – vocals
Slobodan Stupar – guitar, vocals
Holger – bass
Thomas Polder – drums

Guest musicians
Adrie Kloosterwaard – vocals on “Back From the Grave”
Igor Buljin – vocals on “Kopam Oči, Režem Jezik, Prste, Nos I Uši”
Aleister Kainulainen – vocal on “Dullahan”

Album Review – Matanza / Pior Cenário Possível (2015)

Death, misfortune, arrogance, serial killers, the end of the world and an immensurable amount of dark humor. This is not the worst-case scenario, but the best Countrycore you can find in the world.

Rating4

coverWhen I mentioned HERE, in one of our Classic Albums reviews, that the music by Brazilian Countrycore band Matanza is an excellent option for learning Brazilian Portuguese, I was not joking. All their lyrics are insanely poetic, it doesn’t matter which of their albums or songs you’re listening to. However, they’ve truly stepped their game up in Pior Cenário Possível (or “worst-case scenario” in English), the seventh studio album in their inebriate and bad-tempered career, evolving from the usual “women-drinking-partying” lyrics to more introspective and dark themes.

This subtle but important change was the perfect match for the mix of Hardcore, Punk Rock, Heavy Metal and Rock N’ Roll brought forth by this talented Rio de Janeiro-based band, refining their acidity and ill temper even more. Not only that, this is their first album ever to feature two guitarists, Marco Donida and Maurício Nogueira, another significant improvement to their musicality. Unfortunately the album also marks the departure of longtime bassist Jefferson “China” Cardim, replaced by Dony Escobar, but if you take into account all the positive changes the “worst-case scenario” proposed by Matanza is far from being bad after all.

Let’s ignite some serious mosh pits with the sick bass lines by China in the opening track A Sua Assinatura (“your signature”), where its solid instrumental gets impregnated by the band’s acid lyrics and attitude, always boosted by one of the strongest characteristics of their music, Jimmy London’s grumpy and rough vocals. O Que Está Feito, Está Feito (“what’s done, is done”) is pure Countrycore, with its rhythmic drumming and poetic lyrics tailored for enjoying a pint of a strong Irish beer while listening to it, while the hardcore riffs and beats in Matadouro 18 (“slaughterhouse 18”) showcase how brutal and fun Matanza can be at the same time. Moreover, I love how they manage to turn a horrifying story or situation into thrilling music, just like what they do with this song.

matanzaWhen they slow down and focus on a more Stoner Rock musicality they sound as awesome as their faster songs, which is exactly the case in A Casa em Frente ao Cemitério (“the house in front of the cemetery”), with highlights to its angry chorus and the heavy guitar riffs by Marco and Maurício. Sob a Mira (“under the gun”) sounds almost like Country Metal, with one of the best lyrics of the whole album about how some men are capable of defying death no matter what. Its exciting rhythm is enhanced by a nice slower break, including a good guitar solo, and of course by Jimmy wishing all of you good luck when you go down to hell. And the title-track Pior Cenário Possível (“worst-case scenario”), a slow and somber tune, is not happy at all. Quite the contrary, it’s about things getting worse and worse for a poor sailor at the sea even if that seems impossible, with only the bad-tempered vocals by Jimmy being able to translate all that misfortune into words (“Quando vê a tempestade se formando no horizonte / A nuvem carregada vindo em sua direção / Gira o botão, mas o rádio não responde / Água subindo de nível / Pior cenário possível / Casco na proa esta rachado / O barco já está adernado / Teria alguma sugestão? / Não!”).

The last part of the album keeps kicking ass, starting with O Pessimista (“the pessimist”), an authentic Countrycore track with great performances by drummer Jonas Cáffaro and bassist China, and yet another song where lyrics go beyond poetry so actual they are, followed by Chance pro Azar (“chance to bad luck”), the worst of all tracks where its bland instrumental and lackluster chorus do some serious harm to the final result. What about the awesome Orgulho e Cinismo  (“pride and cynism”), a very exciting tune that will undoubtedly generate some sick headbanging and circle pits during their live performances, where the bass lines by China keep rumbling inside your head while Jimmy flawlessly sings about the end of our arrogant society? Its riffs get a lot heavier and faster like what we usually find in Thrash Metal, just like the galloping hardcore sounding in Conversa de Assassino Serial (“serial killer conversation”), the perfect soundtrack for a pub fight with highlights to the powerful beats by Jonas and its climatic ending. In addition, this is how they depict two serial killers peacefully discussing about their demented actions (“Eu cometi o mesmo erro que você tempos atrás / Me colocaram na cadeia, mas eu consegui fugir / Me escondi numa cabana na montanha por um mês / E não é pra me gabar, mas eu matei bem mais de seis”). Do I need to say more?

You can purchase this ode to death, misfortune and arrogance at the official Deckdisc website or on iTunes, and don’t forget to check Matanza’s official Facebook page for their latest news and tour dates. The worst-case scenario in case you don’t acquire Pior Cenário Possível? Well, let’s say that not only you’ll be deprived of the best Countrycore you can find in the world, but you’ll also be taking one more step towards the inevitable end of the world together with the rest of our egotistic and devious society.

Best moments of the album: Matadouro 18, Sob a Mira, Orgulho e Cinismo and Conversa de Assassino Serial.

Worst moments of the album: Chance pro Azar.

Released in 2015 Deckdisc

Track listing
1. A Sua Assinatura 3:28
2. O Que Está Feito, Está Feito 2:40
3. Matadouro 18 2:47
4. A Casa em Frente ao Cemitério 3:49
5. Sob a Mira 4:01
6. Pior Cenário Possível 3:32
7. O Pessimista 3:08
8. Chance pro Azar 3:04
9. Orgulho e Cinismo 3:20
10. Conversa de Assassino Serial 5:27

Band members
Jimmy London – vocals
Marco Donida – guitar
Maurício Nogueira – guitar
Jefferson “China” Cardim – bass
Jonas Cáffaro – drums