Discipline Of Hate
posted on 8/2010 By:
Korzus formed in Sao Paolo in the early 1980s as a typically feral Slayer-indebted Brazilian-thrash outfit. By 1991's Mass Illusion, they'd refined their approach into a more controlled Bay Area-styled attack, and then by the mid-1990s, they made a move towards a groovier sound, incorporating a simplified approach heavily influenced by hardcore punk. So it’s safe to say their career has closely followed that of their better-known countrymen in Sepultura, just with less globally successful results. (Historians may also note that long-time Korzus guitarist Silvio Golfetti—now departed—was briefly a part of American power-thrash maestros Agent Steel in the late 1980s. Golfetti was a friend of Agent Steel’s Brazilian-born singer John Cyriis.)
Discipline is the fifth Korzus full-length, not counting their two live albums, one of which is their debut. (Coincidentally, they’re the second Brazilian thrash band I’ve reviewed who came out of the gate with a live album—Vulcano did the same in the same year as Korzus. Economic constraint or musical statement? Probably both.) To their credit, in the new millennium, they had the good sense to stop following Sepultura’s lead before that band’s decade of decline—Discipline at least rips circles around last year’s abhorrent A Lex. Where Sepultura splintered and sank, Korzus stepped back a bit and then settled in at a point somewhere between Arise and Chaos A.D.
On the production and performance side, Discipline is certainly tight and polished, shiny and crisp and filled with chugging modern thrash riffs that invariably invoke their influences. For the most part, these riffs are textbook examples from The Modern Guide To Thrash Riffing by Kisser, King, Hanneman, Holt and Flynn. Korzus rides well-worn Slayer / Exodus-esque riffs buoyed by energetic performances (witness the giddy speed of "2012"); their thrash blasting is interspersed with the more-than-occasional Machine Head monster-mosh moment usually 'neath the time-honored shout-along chorus. These tunes are custom-made for the stage—I can see the circle pits from here—but after about the third track, the whole lot of them start to blur together, a loop of "ooh, Slayer bit" or "oooh, Machine Head bit." Vocalist Marcello Pompeu sounds a bit like Tom Araya and a bit like Max Cavalera, shouting his head off most of the time, his voice strong but not brilliant. Guitarist Antonio Araujo tosses off the requisite fleet-fingered soloing, but as with his riffing, his whammy bar dives and arsenal of arpeggios points right back to Kerry and Gary. (Not surprisingly, Antonio is described as a younger version of Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser. Really? You don’t say?)
If you’re interested in pursuing Korzus’ reliable (and reliably copycat-ish) career, there’s some buried-treasure merit in what I’ve heard of earlier efforts Mass Illusion and Sonho Maniaco—copies they may be, but the source material from which those records borrow was the golden era of thrash, if nothing else. Depending on how predisposed you are towards groove-thrash, I’d take Discipline Of Hate with a grain of salt—it can be enjoyable, but it’s redundant, both within itself and without. In its best moments, it’s a solid (if decidedly knuggle-dragging) modern-Exodus-meets-Machine Head-meets-Sepultura crossbreeding, a professionally executed effort that, overall, is still a middle-tier record whose primary fault is the band’s near-trademark appropriation of other bands’ sounds.
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