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Brazilian death/thrash metal band TORTURE SQUAD finished new album, "Aequilibrium," recorded, mixed and mastered by Brendan Duffey and Adriano Daga at Norcal Studio in São Paulo, Brazil.

Bassist Castor comments, “The result of that work was perfect and like we’re imagine, heavy and clean. We got to put all our ideas for the album, and with a help of Brendan and Adriano, our songs were bold and highlighted.”

"Aequilibrium" is the sixth studio album by TORTURE SQUAD and will be released in South America, USA and Europe early in the second half of this year by Wacken Records.
- www.metalunderground.com


Well this is a fucking nice surprise for a change. Torture Squad is a Brazilian Death Metal act, one of the most popular nationally and only recently began getting some acknowledgment from the rest of the world. One could say a major breakthrough was the band winning a competition and being featured in the Wacken cast of 2007. So, yeah, I’d say they’re on the right track.

Concerning the music Torture Squad has released so far, it has always been solid death metal with a lot of eighties thrash metal influence, “The Unholy Spell” and “Pandemonium” being the most noteworthy albums. I’ve always liked the band, but never really listened to it in my leisure time. There were just so many other good bands to hear. Then came “Hellbound”.

Well, fuck me silly, this is one brutal, monstrous, criminal, murderous, venomous, vicious assault of an album. Torture Squad have suddenly gone from the “hey, these guys are pretty fucking good” level to the “holy mother of god, rape me, sodomize me right now because I can’t take this fucking brutality” pantheon.

Now what exactly made these guys so awesome is a mystery to me. Maybe it’s the production, which finally highlights everyone’s talents masterfully, particularly the amazing drumming of Amilcar Christofaro (the guy is a beast) and the sinister vocals of Vitor Rodrigues (who has a great snarl, but never sounded as good in the studio as he did live). Maybe it’s the songwriting that just reached that particular level of ass kicking after experience, talent and fury all mix. Maybe they made a deal with Satan, who knows?

What I do know is that “MMXII” is a good, albeit unnecessary intro, but it’s fitting to give way to “Living For the Kill”, which shows us a thrashier Torture Squad. Even though their music is now more comprehensible, they haven’t become any less aggressive, though, and that’s highly commendable. And the riffs! Killer fucking riffs, straight out of Lucifer’s anal cavity.

“The Beast Within”, “The Fall of Man”, “Chaos Corporation”, god damn, the band just keeps knocking them out of the park like there’s no tomorrow. There is not one fucking filler on this album.

“Man Behind the Mask” then totally throws me off the horse with its initial narration, slower initial riffs that break down to evil death metal mayhem. “Twilight for Mankind” is equally surprising with its acoustic beginning (and passages throughout), it’s an epic monster and just might be one of the coolest Torture Squad songs ever. I fucking love the guitar work here. The title track has some a great Arabian style guitars, which sure, have been overdone to death, but they sound fucking cool, so who cares?

The only thing I didn’t like here is that there’s one track (I can’t remember which one) that speaks of global warming. Now, theoretically there should be nothing wrong with that, but for some reason it made me laugh and think it was cheesy. Maybe I’m just an asshole.

If you don’t know who these guys are, this is the perfect opportunity to get to know them. Trailing steadily the bloody path of the death metal underground, Torture Squad have quite a gem here, an album to be cherished and remembered, the most appropriate soundtrack possible for dying and going to hell. Get this.

The cover: What do ya know, even the cover is cool. Weird, Giger/Beksinski/Silent Hill-like creatures floating in a desolate background with an evil looking mountain. Creepy.

9 absurdly unknown Brazilians out of 10.
- www.globaldomination.se


Any thrash band coming out of Brazil will no doubt be compared to the mighty export that is Sepultura and it's subsequent related projects. This would be an injustice to Torture Squad's first release with Wacken Records because it's an album that sits very comfortably with the rejuvenated thrash scene. Although 'Hellbound' neither pushes the boundaries nor stretches the musical wings beyond the realms of thrash, what the band have delivered is a consistent and entertaining slab of metal from start to finish.

The band came over to Europe in 2006 (mainly Germany and Austria) and has supported such renowned acts such as Kreator, Anthrax, Overkill, Exodus and Sepultura themselves. From the first four bands in that list you can automatically guess that Torture Squad have their creative ear rooted in the late eighties. The band are planning a more extensive European tour upon the release of 'Hellbound' and, if you're a fan of thrash and if this album is anything to go by, it maybe worth your while going to see them.

It's not completely mind blowing and there's little that immediately grabs you by the knackers and swings you round the room, you need Machine Head for that. But after a couple of listens the intricate and technical riffery contained within the album start to worm their way into your sub conscious. The main reason for this is the tidy production. It may be heavy and brutal but it's all kept in check, and although not produced by Andy Sneap, it has that slick feel about it, albeit with a little more bottom end.

What we're dealing with is an overall feel of Death Angel mixed with some Sacred Reich and the frantic pace of early Anthrax. The band aren't afraid to mix up blast beats with dose of mid tempo head nodding chugging. In fact track 5 'Chaos Corporation' manages this all in the one song. But this doesn't mean the band are a ten changes a minute bore-a-thon, each song naturally progresses into such changes with frightening ease.

'Man Behind The Mask' could be a thrash classic complete as it is with a priest at confession at the start and 'The Beast Within' is as traditional as you're going get. 'Twilight Of The Mankind' incorporates some tasty acoustic lines and 'The Four Winds' naturally carry this on to the epic 'Hellbound' which any modern thrash band would be proud of writing (fast rhythm guitars and slow drum beats…I love em)

This release took me by surprise. With a name such as 'Torture Squad' and hailing from Brazil, I was expecting a Seps copycat. What I got was a solid thrash album that is getting better on each listen (it's still in my stereo). It's not as good as the Evile album or the new Testament disc, but if thrash is your vice then this could an excellent addition to your collection.



Track Listing
01 - MMXII
02 - Living For The Kill
03 - The Beast Within
04 - The Fall Of Man
05 - Chaos Corporation
06 - Man Behind The mask
07 - In The Cyberwar
08 - Twilight Of Mankind
09 - The Four Winds
10 - Hellbound
- www.roomthirteen.com


Brazilian metallers Torture Squad have been confirmed for this year's edition of the Wacken Open Air festival, set to take place August 4-6, 2011 in the small town of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany.

Wacken Open Air was first held in 1990 as a small event for local German bands. By 1998 the event had become the major festival on the European metal calendar and has included over 70 bands from all over Europe, North America and Australia.

Wacken Open Air is usually held at the beginning of August and lasts three days, during which the festival-goers camp on several large camping grounds surrounding the actual festival area. The 70 or more bands perform across four separate stages over the course of the event.

The 2009 edition of Wacken Open Air set a sales record; it sold out on December 30, 2008. All 70,000 tickets were sold over 200 days before the start of the festival.

Wacken Open Air, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, was honored with a Live Entertainment Award in 2008 in the "Festival Of The Year" category. This award recognizes distinguished achievements in live entertainment and is given out by Live Entertainment Award (Lea) committee.

- www.metalrage.com


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