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Reissue Review: VARIOUS ARTISTS Warfare Noise

Posted by on January 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm

We here at Metal Injection don't review a lot of reissues – the upcoming Black Metal History Month aside – but there's a reason for that: most reissues consist of either a well-known album (that may or may not have even been out of print to begin with) trotted out for an encore with disposable bonus tracks, or – even worse – is being reissued with no additional bells and whistles whatsoever, just for the simple fact that the rights to the album changed hands and the new label has a financial incentive to treat the re-release as event-worthy… even if fans themselves are unlikely to see it that way.

Then you have something like Greyhaze's edition of the 1986 Brazilian thrash comp Warfare Noise. Now this is more fucking like it.

Full disclosure: this does in fact fall into the no frills example of a reissue that I scoffed at earlier, with the notable exception that you've never heard of this fucking album, have you?. The "big" name here, of course, is Sarcófago, who score three tracks to the rest of the bands' two. Of that trio, only "Satanas" would appear (in cleaned up form) on 1987's career-defining debut, I.N.R.I. "The Black Vomit" is a classic, oft-covered Sarcófago track, of course, but by the time it was officially released on 1991's The Laws of Scourge the band had morphed into a cleaner, much more technically adept group, so comparing the two renditions is akin to the difference between early Bathory and Arise-era Sepultura.

That said, with all due respect to Sarcófago  the more thrilling discoveries here are the lesser known bands, and for my money Mutilator's "Nuclear Holocaust" is not only the best cut on this admittedly stacked compilation, but one of the more unsung classics from the mid-80's thrash scene in general.

Chakal owns the first two tracks here, and show themselves to be – in spite of their historical obscurity – nearly the equal of the more well-known Sarcófago. The only real blemish is the sloppy-in-a-bad-way soloing on "Mr. Jesus Christ", which is all the more odd considering the more-than-capable soloing on their other contribution, "Cursed Cross".

Finally we have Holocausto, who operate in that proto-black metal grey zone that's still identifiably thrash but well on its way to anticipating the likes of Mayhem. I'd say if they remind me of anyone it's probably early Bulldozer rather than their fellow countryment represented here.

According to the Metal Archives there were two more volumes released in 1988 and 1990, sporting the likes of other Brazilian thrash obscurities like Witchhammer, Razeforce, Megathrash and – no relation – Mayhem. It's your sworn duty as a professed metal fan to spring for this first volume so Greyhaze can afford to reissue the other two. With the exception of Sarcófago very little of this material was re-recorded for each band's respective debut albums, and even though they're technically demos it's that kind of well-recorded yet sloppy vibe that modern neo-thrash bands go out of their way to replicate.

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