A Mass to the Grotesque

The Troops of Doom

And the Brazilian Death/Metal Lords are back with a true masterpiece"
May 22, 2024

People usually ask when a band has a turn in its career (in the view of its musical genre) what things should be if the band kept on its original ways and evolved. That’s a good point to think what would be of acts as SODOM, KREATOR, DESTRUCTION, SLAYER, POSSESSED and others if they kept in the trenches of their initial works. The same could be said about SEPULTURA when the band left Death Metal to embrace Thrash Metal. But such question has a real answer (and not an endless debate), and can be found on THE TROOPS OF DOOM. And by the way, here they are with their latest full-length, “A Mass to the Grotesque”.

The band did a change on the production, this time having André Moraes on the production (the same one who did the production of “Dante XXI” of SEPULTURA), and did the recordings at Audio Porto Studio in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (the same region that was flooded by rains in the early days of May of this year), but the songs were mixed and mastered at Morrisound Recording, Tampa, Florida, USA, by the hands of Jim Morris (the same one who worked with acts as MORBID ANGEL, AGENT STEEL, ANGELCORPSE, SAVATAGE, CANNIBAL CORPSE, ASHES OF ARES, BEYOND FEAR, ICED EARTH, JAG PANZER, CRIMSON GLORY, DEATH, DEICIDE, KAMELOT, MORBID ANGEL, NASTY SAVAGE and others, so the band had someone with different visions on Metal genres sonorities). The result is something clean and defined, organic and more polite (without tearing apart its natural rough and aggressive outfit), allowing some melodies arise in the middle of brutality. And to state what they’re up to, the artwork of the master Dan Seagrave is amazing, giving a classic/Old School touch to the album.

To compare the band with SEPULTURA isn't fair, because as a second album, “A Mass to the Grotesque” shows maturity in the view of the past releases: it’s still furious and thunderous, but now with a more refined outfit (even with a clear melodic care in some moments, as clearly heard on “Dawn of Mephisto”). Yes, the same Death/Thrash Metal is here, but with the individual technique of each member appearing and being turned into a solid group effort that resulted on a personal insight on an old Metal genre (and some influences inherited from their own musical background can be felt in a subjective way). So it means that the album sounds coherent, different and spontaneous, but it’s a step ahead in the same ways of “The Rise of Heresy”, “The Absence of Light”, and “Antichrist Reborn”, but what the fans could expect of guys with names as SEPULTURA, THE MIST, MYSTERIIS, EMINENCE, OVERDOSE, HELLSCOURGE, I GATHER YOUR GRIEF, LE CHANT NOIR, ENTERRO, EXPLICIT HATE, ANSCHLUSS, COLDBLOOD, IMPACTO PROFANO, SONGE D’ENFER and others on their shoulders? Be prepared, because the massacre is about to begin!

“Solve Et Coagula” is a disturbing intro to create the right ambience for the album, then the apocalypse is unleashed by “Chapels of the Unholy” (the first Single of the album), a massive Death/Thrash strike based on impacting guitar riffs in an Old School way, with a hooking chorus. Then comes “Dawn of Mephisto”, one of the Singles of the album, a fast song rich in contrasts and fine arrangements of the guitars (even some melodies can be heard), with clear influences of German Thrash/Black Metal (and what very god work on bass guitar and drums).

On “Denied Divinity”, the band presents a more simple and straightforward song in an Old School Death/Thrash Metal sense (but some rhythmic contrasts can be heard, a specialty of the band), with sharp aggressive vocals (with tunes near normal ones, without low grunts or shrieks). And with adornments of Blackened Death Metal (pay attention to the guitars) comes “The Impostor King”, a song full of energy that will work perfectly on their live shows.

“Faithless Requiem” keeps creating link between the past and the present, with very good guitar leads, and it’s a promise for aching necks. Using a slower set of tempos (where the valuable playing of bass guitar and drums are evident) “Psalm 7:8 - God of Bizarre” starts with nasty guitar riffs clear influences of SLAYER and CELTIC FROST on the picking, and it’s grotesquely beautiful (pay attention to some nasty melodic arrangements), and lays on catching slow tempos too.

Back with a fast and furious storm, “Terror Inheritance” mixes influences of the past and present in the same proportions, and such energy is hard to resist (another song perfect for the shows). And the “The Grotesque” brings something more technical and is full of contrasts between faster and slower parts, but without boring the hearers (and what very good vocals are fitting on the instrumental sheath).

With agonizing melodies comes “Blood upon the Throne”, the band uses contrasts fast guitars with slower paced parts of the drums in some moments, creating an oppressive ambience, with excellent guitar strikes (but again: the quartet does not rely on only one rhythm on a single song). And the album closes with “Venomous Creed”, again using fine changes between tempos’ speed, and some arrangements depicts how German Thrash/Black Metal School influenced Brazilian extreme Metal scene (the slower moments are really amazing).

Although the members have well-known pasts, the fans can be sure that THE TROOPS OF DOOM isn’t relying on them (again: they're not any band where the members played in the past). “A Mass to the Grotesque” is a clear proof of it, and surely is one of the best releases of this year.

10 / 10









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"A Mass to the Grotesque" Track-listing:
  1. Solve Et Coagula
  2. Chapels of the Unholy
  3. Dawn of Mephisto
  4. Denied Divinity
  5. The Impostor King
  6. Faithless Requiem
  7. Psalm 7:8 - God of Bizarre
  8. Terror Inheritance
  9. The Grotesque
  10. Blood upon the Throne
  11. Venomous Creed
The Troops of Doom Lineup:

Alex Kafer - Vocals, Bass
Jairo “Tormentor” Guedz - Guitars
Marcelo Vasco - Guitars
Alexandre Oliveira - Drums

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