The Absence Of Light, the latest release from Brazil’s The Troops Of Doom, is a clear-cut and concise collection of cranium splitting Metal that’s not to be missed this year. Born from the creativity and drive of original Sepultura guitarist Jairo “Tormentor” Guedz, The Troops Of Doom takes that Brazilian Thrash that Guedz help engineer and combines it with an aesthetic much like Slayer’s base DNA to make something that’s leaner, meaner, and undeniably heavy.
“Introduction” is symphonic and sinister conducted by Dave Deville and sounding much like something Danny Elfman would score at his more macabre (Think Nightbreed especially) before bleeding into “The Devil’s Tail” which is fierce and ferocious with an opening onslaught from Alexandre Oliveira’s drumming and riffs by Guedz and Marcelo Vascodrum that sets the pace for a menacing five and a half minutes. For me, it’s like Tom Araya circa Show No Mercy (Coincidentally or not, The Troops Of Doom also has their own vocalist/bassist in Alex Kafer although Borknagar’s Lars Nedland played bass on the first 3 tracks on TAOL) fronting Seps at their height in the ’90’s (The drumming by Oliveira especially reminds this reviewer of Iggor Cavalera’s vicious, unhinged battering on the Under A Pale Grey Sky live album).
Like the greatest Metal mixtape ever, “The Devil’s Tail” nicely segues into “The Monarch” which is even more potent thanks in part to Possessed’s Jeff Becerra who lends his distinct pipes to this brutal bath of heaviness. Then The Troops Of Doom go back to the beginning with “Antichrist”, their “cover” (In the old air quotes because is it really a cover if you were in the band at that point?) of a song originally found on Sepultura’s 1986 Morbid Visions album. While MV was ahead of its’ time 35 years ago, this updated version by Guedz and co. makes the track seem amateurish by comparison. Hell, the remaining songs (Demo versions of both “The Monarch” and “The Devil’s Tail”) on The Absence Of Light are light years beyond not only that record but most of what’s out in the current Thrash scene today.
The Absence Of Light lands on September 17th through Blood Blast Distribution. Get yer digital on by clicking here, click here for vinyl editions and more, and click here for cassette copies. For more from The Troops Of Doom, follow the socials by heading here, here, or here.