I have been listening to a lot of thrash bands recently in preparation for a project that I am involved in, so feeling very primed to have the pleasure to present to you the groovy riff fuelled thrash exploits of Tsavo Inc, and their debut full release entitled, “When The Lions Are Hungry”.
Now they are not entirely new on the scene, this Brazilian band was formed in 1995, playing several concerts around Brazil, releasing a demo album plus a split before deciding to take a break in 2003, reforming somewhere after 2008. Fast forwarding to 2012, Tsavo Inc have released an album that is groove-liciously thrashy, packed with the energy and spirit of punk.
The album opens up with a slam dunk intro entitled “Welcome to Tsavo”, filled with atmospheric sound, pounding war like drum beats and great lead guitar work, that entrench thoughts of being on a battlefield at the final moments before the initial call to charge is sounded.
That charge begins with the “Tsavo”. It starts with a energy filled ‘yell’ and continues to release that energy with riff laden guitars by Rinaldo Macedo, and jugging bass by Julio Macaco kept in step by impressive drumming by Regis Melo , through-out the song. The vocals sung by Julio Macaco, bring to mind a combination of bands like D.R.I., Kreator and Slayer.
The title track, “When The Lions Are Hungry”, comes in with slow groovy driving jugg, mixing up some black metal type vocalizations and some deep yells and screams. The Riffs are heavy and pulsating, supported by some great solo guitar work. As engaging as the 2nd track, and when they burst into a frantic thrash embrace, lets just say my dinning room table almost saw its end, and left me wishing I had a few friends over to mosh along with.
The songs are very similar through out, but each on its own are a worthy listen . The groovy thrashy riffs are catchy and melodic, and the album sweats energy. The guitar solo’s throughout are amazing and fit nicely with the power jugging momentum that fuels each of the tracks.
“Reborn” has a great intro part, and some dynamic drumming parts, a well executed song…..and so tightly played. Again the jugging machine gun type thrash groove is their staple diet, and I can envision a sea of people bobbing in unison to the groove at a live show. “Humanity” is also a great song utilizing their signature jugging groovy thrash filled riffs, exploring some vocal distortion and energy inducing screams. Some people might skip the noteworthy prayerful spoken word track, “Take me out of this prison” after one listen, but it affirms to the listener of their faith, and from whom they draw their hope from. I think this short prayer is great, and does not distract from the momentum of the album. “The Solution” runs on the same road as tracks like “Reborn”, and “humanity”, but is one of the weaker tracks, it comes across a little boring for me when comparing it to the other tracks on the album.
The album in my opinion reaches its climax with “Immununodeficiency”. Injected with powerful driven drumming, that is wonderfully meshed with exciting guitar riffs and bass combinations. A wonderful integration of thrash and hardcore sown together with some groove metal. If you to pick a song off this album to listen too, I’d say start here, it won’t disappoint.
“Savana” an instrumental/outro piece, is another great song by Tsavo Inc integrating atmospheric playing with great riffs, and amazing solo guitar work that tidies the album nicely off. If you are like myself, who enjoys a good thrash album every now and then, guaranteed this piece of work would leave one’s expectations or curiosity certainly satisfied at the least.
The album includes three demo’s recorded in 2003 which gives a nice D.I.Y. aspect to the otherwise well produced album.
Conclusion: First impressions are lasting impressions, is more the case than not, and on first impression, “When The Lions Are Hungry” tickles all the right bones in my body. It is an album that reaches beyond the average thrash excursion, as they mix genre’s up to create something that is only Tsavo Inc. If there is a single thrash bone in your body, you’ll enjoy what this album has to offer. It may not be the most diverse or brilliant thrash album you have heard, but diversity aside, its got all the right ingredients for a satisfying listen. I believe its thrashy, groovy, punk infused energy has the ability to cause a moshpit outbreak where ever its played. Keeping on thrashing!!!
Written by Donovan de Necker
1. Welcome To Tsavo (1:53)
2. Tsavo (4:02)
3. When The Lions Are Hungry (4:31)
4. Unborn (4:38)
5. Reborn (4:35)
6. Humanity (4:09)
7. Take Me Out Of This Prison (1:29)
8. The Solution (3:47)
9. Immunodeficiency (4:16)
10. Savannah (3:00)
11. Tsavo (2003 Demo) (4:07)
12. Unborn (2003 Demo) (4:05)
13. Humanity (2003 Demo) (3:49)
Rinaldo Macedo – guitars
Regis Melo – drums
Cleiton Magno – vocals
Julio Macaco – bas
Record Label: Metal For A Dark World, 2012