Released: 2000, Independent
And the parade of indies runs on…thankfully, they've all been good so far, so how about Drowned? All I can say is BLARRRRGHHHHHHHH DIE DIE DIE! This band absolutely smokes! I can honestly say that this is one of the best damn demos that I have ever reviewed, Drowned blasting out some of the tastiest, most evil bleath (black/death - work with me here) metal ever put to tape (how about a CD next time boys?). Vocalist Fernando and the boys shred through three tracks of the best death/black hybrid metal that has come down the pike in a long time. Yeah, yeah, I know, it has become cliché to play this style now, with tons of bands trying it, but Drowned are one of the few that actually make it work.
Indeed, it is this crossing of styles that is most intriguing about the band. Take Fernando fer instance. In album opener "Learn To Obey", he screams like a possessed forest troll who is, ahem, taking it dry for the first time. Later in the song, he switches to a death-y croak that mixes up the song nicely. Brutal, brutal vocals, but admittedly, slightly standard. However, come second track, "Words From The Pit", the vocals, which start out switching off like the first song, are effected so that the death growl comes out underneath the black screams. The effect is absolutely horrific! More bands need to try out vocals like this and add some substance to their wailings. I can't let this song pass without mentioning the fantastic riff that guitarists Thago and Marcos whip out about halfway through. It's a melodic riff played so franticly that it sounds like Kai Hansen on heroin. Again, sick.
As for the rhythm section of the band, drummer Beto is a whirlwind on the kit, his drumming suiting the blasting of the band quite nicely. Extra marks go to bassist Rodrigo for his work. His bass sounds like Steve Harris' glory years (y'know, that galloping sound), but played with the death intensity of David Vincent's best days. Yes!
Last track, "Where Dark And Light Divide" is the most thrashed song and also the most intriguing. Again, about halfway through the song, a weird distorted voice (inlay says its Marcos!) comes in behind Fernando. Sounding like a…well, I don't know, but damn it is cool! This is one of the best acts to come out of the quickly crowding Brazilian scene for quite some time. Now, where is that full-length boys?!?!? Contact 'em at: firstname.lastname@example.org.