Album Review – Ratos de Porão / Necropolítica (2022)

The iconic João Gordo and his crew show no mercy for the absolute disaster that’s the current Brazilian government, bringing to us all a true masterpiece of Punk Rock and Hardcore.

If you take a quick look at the current political, economic and environmental situation in Brazil, you’ll notice things are not going well. Quite the contrary, the whole situation is Brazil is beyond delicate and catastrophic, and that’s the main reason as to why São Paulo, Brazil-based Hardcore/Punk Rock veterans Ratos de Porão have just released the fantastic Necropolítica, or “necropolitics” in English, their thirteenth studio album and their first since the 2014 album Século Sinistro. Known for their rebelliousness and acid lyrics since their inception in the distant year of 1981, vocalist João Gordo, guitarist Jão, bassist Juninho and drummer Boka show absolutely no mercy for the nasty, disastrous government of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro throughout the entire album, dealing with topics such as the rising far-right movement in the country, the countless deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the strong negative impact of the influence of the country’s evangelical church in all of the decisions taken by Bolsonaro and his horde of ignorants, all wrapped up by a sinister artwork designed by Rafael Gabrio, who intentionally made it very similar to Black Sabbath’s cult cover for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, as personally requested by João Gordo himself.

The sound of a dying patient using a mechanical ventilator kick off the absolutely vicious Alerta Antifascista (“anti-fascist alert”), where Boka smashes his drums ruthlessly offering João Gordo exactly what he needs to vociferate the song’s austere lyrics, whereas Aglomeração (“agglomeration”) is a freakin’ awesome Punk Rock and Hardcore creation by the quartet where Jão is on absolute fire with his demented riffs, or in other words, simply slam into the circle pit and “pray for Jesus” to protect you in there (without a mask, of course). More melodic and dancing than its predecessors, Passa Pano Pra Elite (“cover up for the elite”) is an excellent option for their live performances where the bass jabs by Juninho complement Jão’s solos flawlessly, followed by the title-track Necropolítica (“necropolitics”), a fast and furious extravaganza that matches perfectly with the current actions of the Brazilian government, with João Gordo blasting his trademark roars nonstop. It’s almost like a new “national anthem” for the country, which can also be said about Guilhotinado em Cristo (“guillotined in Christ”), offering us all another round of their old school Punk Rock and Hardcore with Thrash and Death Metal elements while Boka once again hammers his drums like a beast.

The band once again adds hints of Rockabilly to their core sonority (and the final result is brilliant) in O Vira-Lata (“the mutt”), with Jão and Juninho being yet again in absolute sync with their stringed weapons while João Gordo sends all his “love” to Bolsonaro and his hideous family. G.D.O. actually means “gado”, the Portuguese word for “cattle” which is how the followers of Bolsonaro are called, and the music gets back to a more frantic, demented sonority while João Gordo talks about how harmful all fake news spread by those idiots can be to the society; followed by Bostanágua, or “bosta na água” (“shit in the water”), a play word with Bolsonaro’s name, a straightforward, in-your-face Hardcore tune where João Gordo keeps barking rabidly while Boka dictates the song’s electrifying pace. Entubado (“intubated”) is a song about the horrible situation that happened in the city of Manaus, in the middle of the Amazon, where due to a total lack of support from the government several people sadly died without oxygen during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the music is not only brutal but perfectly depicts all that despair; and lastly, Neonazi Gratiluz, with “gratiluz” being the combination of the words “gratitude” and “luz”, or “gratitude” and “light”, is a way to refer to the Brazilian white supremacist elite who believes they’re better than everyone else and who keep sending “good vibes” to everyone (when in fact they’re not). Needless to say, Jão slashes his guitar in great fashion accompanied by the classic beats by Boka throughout the entire song, culminating in the perfect conclusion to such meaningful album.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand a single word in Portuguese, Necropolítica is a must-listen for any fan of heavy music, and you can enjoy the album in full on Spotify, as well as show your total support to Ratos de Porão by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by purchasing their newborn beast from their own webstore or by clicking HERE. To be honest, based on the endless crimes committed by Bolsonaro and his henchmen and all the garbage he vomits everyday to the press, I think Ratos de Porão might need to record parts II, III, IV, and so on of Necropolítica, which despite being really sad news for Brazil as a country, it’s a good thing for the world of Punk Rock, Hardcore and Heavy Metal. Hopefully the evil Bolsonaro won’t be re-elected this year and Ratos de Porão can get back to their less obscure lyrics in their future albums, but we must all admit Necropolítica is a masterpiece of Brazilian rock music that will always remind us of the dark times Brazil is living right now.

Best moments of the album: Aglomeração, Necropolítica, O Vira-Lata and Neonazi Gratiluz.

Worst moments of the album: Absolutely none.

Released in 2022 Shinigami Records

Track listing
1. Alerta Antifascista 3:31
2. Aglomeração 2:29
3. Passa Pano Pra Elite 3:42
4. Necropolítica 2:32
5. Guilhotinado em Cristo 3:09
6. O Vira-Lata 3:39
7. G.D.O. 2:08
8. Bostanágua 2:08
9. Entubado 4:10
10. Neonazi Gratiluz 4:06

Band members
João Gordo – vocals
Jão – guitars
Juninho – bass
Boka – drums

Album Review – Motorjesus / Hellbreaker (2021)

Let’s drive through the fires of hell together with one of the best bands from the German rock and metal scene to the sound of their fantastic newborn album.

4.5rating

motorjesus-hellbreaker-2021Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to rev up your engines once again to the sound of the first-class, undisputed fusion of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock brought forth by Mönchengladbach, Germany-based rockers Motorjesus, who have just unleashed upon us all their brand new studio album, beautifully titled Hellbreaker. Following up on the success of their 2014 album Electric Revelation and their most recent opus Race to Resurrection, released in 2018, the band comprised of Chris “Howling” Birx on vocals, Andreas “Andy” Peters on lead guitars and Oliver Beck on drums, supported by their buddies Patrick Wassenberg on rhythm guitars and  Dominik Kwasny on bass, truly stepped up their game in Hellbreaker, offering fans of heavy music the perfect soundtrack for crossing the fires of the underworld in the best rockin’ style together with the band.

A cinematic start is quickly joined by the scorching riffs by Andreas and Patrick in the electrifying feast Drive Through Fire, before Chris comes ripping with his trademark, soaring vocals, inviting us all to hit the road in the name of Rock N’ Roll, and if you think that was awesome wait until you listen to the Motörhead-infused hymn Battlezone, with Oliver smashing his drums in great fashion accompanied by the rumbling bass by Dominik. Put differently, this song will sound beyond perfect if played live, and Motorjesus keep driving way over the speed limit in the superb Hellbreaker, where Chris beautifully sings the song’s rockin’ lyrics (“This is the meltdown / Generation of the steel / When the worlds collide, together / Between the angels and the hell machine”) while his bandmates not only kick some ass with their sonic weapons but also with their spot-on backing vocals. Then it’s time for a Southern Rock and Metal party together with the boys in Beyond the Grave, a neck-breaking tune showcasing the dirty, furious riffage by Andreas and Patrick supported by Dominik and his classic bass jabs, whereas putting the pedal to the metal once again the saviors of Rock N’ Roll will put us to dance in Dead Rising, where all band members are in absolute sync while Chris takes the lead with his visceral vocal lines.

You better have some inner fuel left as the band’s rockin’ energy keeps flowing nonstop in Car Wars, another amazing tune by those German rockers where the riffs and solos by the band’s guitar duo are absolutely thrilling, also presenting hints of our good old Rockabilly; and the thunderous bass by Dominik kicks off the Heavy Metal mid-tempo extravaganza Firebreather, as melodic and groovy as it can be, being therefore perfect for some headbanging, beer drinking and horns raising, not to mention its stylish lyrics (“Got no place to call my own / Another journey starts now / As we’re marching on / On the path that leads, / but it’s too soon / You’re on the crossroads to your doom”). More of their trademark Hard Rock is presented to us in the form of Lawgiver, keeping the album at a high level of adrenaline with Andreas and Patrick once again stealing the spotlight with their refined axes, while Black Hole Overload is a heavier and denser creation by Motorjesus where the band’s stringed trio has all the support they need from Oliver’s pounding drums to shine with their Stoner Metal sounds. They still have enough stamina for another round of their frantic Rock N’ Roll in Back to the Bullet, once again inspired by the furious music by Motörhead, with Chris sounding truly enraged form start to fish for our total delight, flowing into the acoustic and smooth outro The Outrun, soothing our souls after such avalanche of incendiary heavy music.

motorjesus-2021I guess I don’t need to say that Hellbreaker, which is by the way available in full on Spotify, is a mandatory addition to your rock and metal collection, right? It’s undoubtedly one of the best albums of the year, and it will surely inspire you to bang your head and sing along with the band every time you hit the highway. Hence, don’t forget to give the guys from Motorjesus a shout on Facebook and on Instagram, to stream more of their gasoline-infused creations on Spotify, and above all that, to buy or stream your favorite version of Hellbreaker by clicking HERE or HERE. The one and only “Motorjesus”, perhaps the coolest guy you’ll ever find out there, is ready to break through the fires of hell armed with his undisputed Rock N’ Roll. Having said that, what are you waiting for to join him in his awesome adventure? Simply hit play, raise your horns, and enjoy the ride.

Best moments of the album: Battlezone, Hellbreaker, Dead Rising, Car Wars and Back to the Bullet.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 AFM Records

Track listing  
1. Drive Through Fire 5:52
2. Battlezone 3:36
3. Hellbreaker 4:07
4. Beyond the Grave 3:40
5. Dead Rising 3:47
6. Car Wars 3:35
7. Firebreather 4:28
8. Lawgiver 5:05
9. Black Hole Overload 4:35
10. Back to the Bullet 3:51
11. The Outrun 1:55

Band members
Chris “Howling” Birx – vocals
Andreas “Andy” Peters – lead guitars
Oliver Beck – drums

Guest musicians
Patrick Wassenberg – rhythm guitars (live/session)
Dominik Kwasny – bass (live/session)

Album Review – Lucifer Star Machine / The Devil’s Breath (2020)

Raise your horns to the high-octane, hard-hitting fusion of Rock N’ Roll, Punk Rock and Hardcore blasted by a German squad armed with their brand new album.

Are you ready for a feast of high-octane, hard-hitting Rock N’ Roll, Punk Rock and Hardcore blasted by the tattooed, white trash bastard sons of the devil, collectively known as German Punk N’ Roll squad Lucifer Star Machine? Telling tales about love, pain, death and religious atrocities, Lucifer Star Machine will unleash hell upon us once again with their fourth full-length opus titled The Devil’s Breath, a 42-minute long road to hell that lures the listener with huge choruses, infernal riffs and monstrous melodies presented with the band’s trademarked straightforward, no-bullshit attitude, and perfectly visualized in the album cover art by Polish artist Łukasz Jaszak, giving the album a a vintage horror magazine look which complements the music and pays homage to the big boys of Rock N’ Roll such as Motörhead, Ramones, Social Distortion, Volbeat, Misfits and Turbonegro.

Formed in London, England in 2002, but based in Hamburg, Germany since 2014, the hometown of lead singer Tor Abyss, the now all-German band comprised of the aforementioned Tor Abyss on vocals, Mickey Necro and Marshall Speed on the guitars, Benny Zin on bass and Jay Impact on drums has outdone themselves in The Devil’s Breath, resulting in an album full of honesty, heart and soul with a fantastic storyline captured in every song. Setting a new standard for the band itself, The Devil’s Breath brings to our ears a high-energy mixture of classic rock and punk with a touch of metal and hints of 50’s Rock n’ Roll, combining raw, heartfelt music with great musicianship and addictive hooks and, therefore, being highly recommended for fans of the dancing and electrifying music of all aforementioned Rock N’ Roll icons.

Excerpts from “not-so-good” TV news ignite the frantic and electrifying The Void, blending the best elements from Punk Rock with the badass Rock N’ Roll by Motörhead. Moreover, Tor is berserk on vocals while Jay doesn’t stop smashing his drums not even for a single second, and after such demolishing start to the album it’s time for more melodic and dancing punk music in Dwell In Misery, where Mickey and Marshall are on fire with their razor-edged riffs, being therefore recommended for admirers of the music by the Misfits and Social Distortion. Jay keeps hammering his drums in Cruel Hearts, and if you enjoy a good mosh pit with your friends this is the perfect soundtrack for that, not to mention how Benny’s rumbling bass makes the earth tremble, feeling like the Misfits and Volbeat had a bastard son; followed by Baby, When You Cry, a great song presenting an old school vibe without sounding outdated or obsolete at all, perfect for lovers who want to dance the night away together, while the band’s guitar duo continues to kick some serious ass with their riffs and solos.

A strident riffage and a headbanging rhythm are the main ingredients in The Night Is Young, with Tor leading his henchmen with his raspy vocals in this never-ending party while Benny extracts insane sounds from his bass; whereas more rumbling bass punches and endless electricity fill out every empty space in Eat Dust, originally released in 2015 as a single, with all band members being in perfect sync delivering a vibrant Punk Rock extravaganza for our total delectation. In A Touch Of Death the band adds nuances of Rockabilly to their music just the way Volbeat would do, but of course keeping their Punk Rock core essence intact, resulting in another great option for slamming into the pit, while El Camino Real definitely feels like a song that could be used in a Quentin Tarantino movie, with Tor impersonating a classic singer the likes of Elvis Presley while Jay brings forward tons of groove with his precise beats. And their Rock N’ Roll party goes on in Pretender, showcasing a solid job done by both Mickey and Marshall on the guitars (despite getting a bit tiring after a while).

Then putting the pedal to the metal the quintet pierces our ears with the frantic and vicious Evil Blood, blasting nonstop action with highlights to Jay’s awesome performance on drums and with Tor sounding even more rabid and demented on vocals. And as there’s no such thing as getting tired of Rock N’ Roll, the band delivers another fun composition titled Midnight Crawler, where their crisp guitar riffs are effectively boosted by Benny’s thunderous bass, with more high-speed dirty pounding rock music filling our avid ears in Your Love Remains, where Jay and Benny show no mercy for our heads with their menacing low-tuned roars. Put differently, this song will certainly please all fans of classic punk music the likes of the Misfits without a shadow of a doubt. And lastly, their personal “tribute” to the devil comes as the title-track Devil’s Breath, starting in an acoustic way in great Spaghetti Western/Johnny Cash fashion and continuing on that obscure and very entertaining vibe until the very end, with Tor having an amazing and introspective vocal performance.

Having said all that, what are you waiting for to join Lucifer Star Machine and their best buddy, the devil himself, in their quest for Rock N’ Roll? Simply follow them on Facebook for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about the band, and grab your copy of The Devil’s Breath directly from their BandCamp page or from their official webstore, as well as from other locations such as the Season of Mist webstore and the Bilocation Records webstore. And you know what to do after putting your hands on such incendiary album of Punk N’ Roll, right? That’s quite a simple and very pleasant task. Grab a cold beer, slam into the circle pit together with Lucifer Star Machine and, above all that, always raise your horns.

Best moments of the album: The Void, Cruel Hearts, Eat Dust and Evil Blood.

Worst moments of the album: Pretender.

Released in 2020 The Sign Records

Track listing
1. The Void 3:40
2. Dwell In Misery 3:12
3. Cruel Hearts 2:57
4. Baby, When You Cry 3:33
5. The Night Is Young 3:50
6. Eat Dust 2:32
7. A Touch Of Death 4:00
8. El Camino Real 2:33
9. Pretender 3:46
10. Evil Blood 2:18
11. Midnight Crawler 3:44
12. Your Love Remains 3:22
13. Devil’s Breath 3:15

Band members
Tor Abyss – vocals
Mickey Necro – guitars
Marshall Speed – guitars
Benny Zin – bass
Jay Impact – drums

Album Review – Floating Widget / The Sounds of Earth EP (2017)

One of the most celebrated bands from the Canadian independent scene is finally back in action after 13 years with an electrifying EP of old school Stoner Rock and Metal.

One of the most celebrated bands from the independent rock and metal scene from Montreal is finally back in action after 13 years with brand new material and the same rebellious attitude that made then famous among the Québécois fans of alternative music. I’m talking about Stoner Rock/Metal druids Floating Widget, who are ready to crush with their new EP The Sounds of Earth, their first original release since their 2004 debut album Praises To The Riff Monolith and a lesson in how our good old Rock N’ Roll sounds even better when the right amount of extra heaviness, speed and groove is added to the music.

Formed by vocalist and bassist Vincent Peake, who’s also the founder of the first Alternative Rock band in Quebec called Groovy Aardvark (which existed between 1986 and 2005) and who also played with bands such as GrimSkunk, Sabbath Café and even Voivod, Floating Widget are more than ready to regain their momentum with The Sounds of Earth, playing in the renowned Montebello RockFest this year with Queens of the Stone Age, Rammstein, At the Drive In, The Offspring, and many other bands, and there’s no secret formula for the band receiving all that love from the underground scene. Featuring a classy artwork displaying a “ceramic astronaut” by artist Brett Kern, The Sounds Of Earth exhales pure Stoner Rock and Rock N’ Roll, getting straight to the point without any shenanigans or artificial elements.

Vicent and his crew don’t waste a single second and begin blasting piercing Rock N’ Roll that will put everyone to dance in the opening track Rock & Roll Jubilee, just like in its official video, with guitarists Alex Leclerc and Stéphane Vigeant exhaling pure electricity through their metallic strings. And their guitars ignite another rockin’ chant, titled Psy Walker, with Vicent not only delivering awesome harsh vocals but also thunderous and groovy bass punches, while Matt Demon makes everything more rhythmic and appealing with his beats. Matt keeps the momentum going by kicking off the Stoner Rock tune I Am the Temple, with hints of Rockabilly and Hard Rock added to its upbeat rhythm, also showcasing another great performance by Vincent on vocals, as well as the perfect sync between Alex and Stéphane with their riffs.

Groovier and more melodic, Albatross (Nobody Loves an) is a solid Stoner Rock and Metal chant with a Blues-ish twist where Matt delivers some traditional, steady and sluggish beats while Vincent tells one of those fun, odd stories only found in this type of music. In other words, this is a song highly recommended for banging your head while enjoying a cold beer during the band’s live performances. And lastly, featuring the iconic Snake from Voivod as a guest vocalist, we have the very rhythmic and modern Stoner Metal tune Spiderzilla closing the EP on a high note, with longtime friends Vincent and Snake making a great vocal duo (which ends up enhancing the song’s taste even more), not to mention Vincent’s low-tuned rumbling bass.

Let’s hope it doesn’t take another 13 years for Floating Widget to release new material, because based on the amazing quality of the music found in The Sounds of Earth (which can be enjoyed in its entirety on YouTube or on Spotify), Vincent and his crew have all it takes to quickly reclaim their status as one of the most electrifying names in the underground rock and metal scene hailing from Quebec, and to remain sitting in their throne of Rock N’ Roll for many years to come. And if you live in Quebec or by any chance are going to visit the province anytime soon, keep an eye on their Facebook page for their live dates and all things Floating Widget. You can purchase The Sounds of Earth in digital format through the band’s own BandCamp page, on iTunes or on Amazon, as well as the cassette version through the GBS Records’ BandCamp page, with this version bringing on its second side 19 minutes of the famous recordings named “Sounds Of Earth” that NASA sent into space aboard Voyager 1 in 1977.

Best moments of the album: Rock & Roll Jubilee and I Am the Temple.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2017 Independent

Track listing 
1. Rock & Roll Jubilee 2:52
2. Psy Walker 3:16
3. I Am the Temple 3:26
4. Albatross (Nobody Loves an) 4:05
5. Spiderzilla (feat. Snake) 2:40

Band members
Vincent Peake – vocals, bass
Alex Leclerc – guitar
Stéphane Vigeant – guitar
Matt Demon – drums

Guest musician
Snake – additional vocals on “Spiderzilla”