Heavy, thrashy, groove metal seems to be endemic in Brazil. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the tropical nature of the weather, the environment, the political situation, or likely all of the above, but some really heavy bands have come out of Brazil and the metal and punk scenes appear to be thriving. Obviously, Sepultura comes to mind but also some lesser known bands like Skin Culture and Doomsday Hymn are ones that deserve attention.
Doomsday Hymn initially started out with Gil Lopes and Jarlisson Jaty, musicians from different genres – power metal and metalcore. In the early days, the overall sound of Doomsday Hymn was being created with heavy riffs, screaming and growling vocals, downtuned guitars and a variety of other influences all came into play. Around the time of the first show in May 2013, guitarist Kerim Serri was brought in and the temporary lineup was established. At the end of 2013, the band released a three song ep and played shows in Brazil. In early 2014, guitarist Angelo Torquetto and bass player Allan Pavani arrived to replace Rodney Lopes and Fernando Frogel who left on personal reasons and the current lineup was established.
Some of the songs on Mene Tequel Ufarsim are a bit difficult to describe for me as I can’t think of any band in particular that comes to mind and the title track, which opens the album is one of those. Vocals on the album are all in Portuguese, but when songs are good, they are good, regardless of language. In terms of style, they are mostly shouted, reminds me a bit of Jay Costa (Thy Will Be Done), crossed with the heavier Corey Taylor (Slipknot), and maybe some Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) thrown in for good measure. Drums and percussion play a big role in the overall sound of Doomsday Hymn so it is fitting the first song starts out with drums. One thing I did notice on the album is a bit overuse of the double bass for my liking but I have heard similar bands abuse the double bass much more than this, so it’s not a big complaint. Guitars are downtuned similar in general tone to many metalcore bands. One thing I miss in the mix is a bit of the low end from the bass.
“Poderoso” starts out with a heavy riff that sounds familiar from a metalcore standpoint, but then the song picks up a groove that takes it in another direction. The groove speeds up and slows down and there are some breakdowns tossed in but they also don’t detract from the overall song or become a focal point. Briefly the song veers into a clean section both guitars and vocals but that is a short lived respite from the intensity. There might even be some hints of Pantera thrown in here and there.
There is a good bit of variety to the metalcore on this album. Overall, I am reminded of Slipknot without the clean singing as some songs have that level of intensity and then there are small flourishes in the music, like some of the intricate riffing in “Levante E Viva” that brings the regular song into something better.
When the tempo picks up, the songs seem to enter another realm and become something special. The guitar riffs become better, the double bass works within the songs better and the vocals gain another level of intensity. Some of the songs like “Guerreiro” and “Liberdade” almost seem to transform when this happens. Influences abound and there are even hints of Bay Area thrash in some of the riffs and transitions in songs like “Medos” and “Recomecar”.
Listening to the album all the way through I almost feel as if it was building for the last song “Reposta” as that song has some of the craziest, fast vocals I’ve heard in a long time. To be able to clearly enunciate while shouting at that rate of speed is certainly impressive, and best of all there is a cool groove going along with the vocals. The song slows for a chorus piece and then guitar solos trade off before the insane vocals come back in. This is one of those songs that could quickly become a trademark live song with a crazy pit and bodies flying around and a lot of people piling on near the front to shout along.
Music when done well transcends language. I can’t say that I speak much (any) Portuguese but I can appreciate the heart, passion, and talent put into these songs. For a debut full length album, this is quite impressive and Doomsday Hymn now joins Skin Culture in heavy bands from Brazil you should check out. Sounds I hear in these songs cover many different bands that I like and as is the case with Metanoia (Spanish), Malchus (Polish), Angel 7 (Ukrainian), the language barrier fades into oblivion.
Written by John Jackson
01 Mene Tequel Ufarsim – 3:42
02 Poderoso [Powerful] – 3:51
03 Levante e Viva [Raise and Live] – 3:11
04 Guerreiro [Warrior] – 3:25
05 Liberdade [Freedom] – 3:32
06 Medos [Fears] – 2:35
07 Recomeçar [Restart] – 2:57
08 Destruidor [Destroyer] – 3:25
09 Gigante [Giant] – 3:06
10 A Resposta [The Answer] – 4:11
Gil Lopes – Vocals
Karim Serri – Guitars
Angelo Torquetto – Guitars
Allan Pavani – Bass
Jarlisson Jaty – Drums
Record Label: Rottweiler Records, April 2015
Video below “Mene Tequel Ufarsim” (Teaser)