Blaspherion – ‘Restus Corpus’

By Jay Hampshire

When most people picture Rio de Janeiro, they probably think of flawless beaches, joyful people dancing in brightly coloured carnival costumes, or massive statues of Jesus. They probably don’t think of  blistering old-school death metal. But, if four piece Blaspherion have anything to say about it with their debut EP ‘Restus Corpus’, they probably should.

Originally released back in 2017, ‘Restus Corpus’ comprises four tracks of pleasingly low-fi riffing that sound like they’ve been siphoned straight out of a ’90s Florida sweatbox. Opener ‘Transmutação das Almas’ (Transmutation of Souls) samples rushing water and monastic chants, with a spidering and unsettling off-kilter riff serving like an extended song intro. ‘Causa Mortis’ (Cause Of Death), the first track proper, bolts out of the gate with skipping kick drums and grinding guitars, Victor Marroquim’s guttural vocals adding a decent layer of filth. The track switches between grooves and riffs on the fly, keeping things punchy, never resting on its laurels.

‘Restos Corpus’ (unfortunately their typo, not ours, honest!) builds with a rattling snare roll, dropping into a familiar DM groove before snapping into pulsing blast beats and layered shrieks. A messy breakdown devolves into a slower, meaner riff that you’d be hard pressed not to head-bang along to. Closer ‘Queime a Igreja’ (Burn the Church) revolves around a triplet heavy, high energy riff, backed by some scuzzy bass punch, slowing down and opening out before ending on the sounds of crackling flames and more chanting.

In a genre where bands are constantly trying to reinvent the format and keep things fresh by adding influences from thrash, prog, black metal or similar, Blaspherion take a pleasingly old-school stance of back to basics brutality.  There’s nothing wholly original here, and the patchy mix leaves the guitars of Danilo Macedo de Lima muddy at best (and the bass of Odailton de Araujo barely audible). It’s a weird choice on a four track EP to only have three full songs, with the opening track seeming to just take up space, but with MVP Rafael Thédiga breathless performance behind the drum kit, and their instance on keeping things grounded in death metal’s beginnings, you can forgive them these trespasses. Good, filthy fun.

JAY HAMPSHIRE

Three more album reviews for you

Graphic Nature - ‘Who Are You When No One Is Watching?’

Northbound - 'Juniper'

LIVE: Download Festival 2024 - Sunday