Macumbazilla – …At A Crossroads

...At A Crossroads Album Cover Art

Macumbazilla – …At A Crossroads
Self-Released
Release Date: 15/11/2021
Running Time: 56:00
Review by Victor Augusto
8.5/10

Very often I catch myself thinking about what make us get involved with Heavy Metal music, especially those of us who are part of a band or the press (both magazines and webzines). In Brazil, both activities demand a lot of time that we were supposed to be using to make money to live and if you are in a band, for sure you are losing time and money together constantly. Not to mention all the many idiots we have to face along the way sometimes. Of course, there are many good things which motivate us to be crazy enough to keep working at it and the friendship and loyal people we meet on this path are a big part of all many reasons that keep us going.

Inside this complex environment, it is not unusual to see bands spending years working towards releasing a new or a debut album. For Macumbazilla, it took between 6 or 7 years between their first EP to this album and despite not being commercially orientated, it’s awesome in terms of the maturity of the compositions on offer. By the way, this is material that doesn’t even feel like a first album for a band.

If you take a time to listen to them, maybe you will have a first impression that they are a Thrash Metal Band very Metallica oriented. OK, you are right about the Thrash masters’ influence, mainly due to the voice of André Nisgoski, who has a quite similar vocal timbre, but musically it goes way further. The band mix plenty of genres and all of them received an extra dose of heaviness for good measure. Imagine a group free to combine Stoner, Rock n’ roll, Heavy Metal and Blues influences, but they combined under some pretty heavy arrangements that keep the word Metal in first place. 

Let me exemplify. The song ‘Zombie’ has guitar work from André which reminds me a little of Black Sabbath; the song ‘Feeling’ brings an old Judas Priest style on its intro. The track ‘Blondie Phantom’ has an interesting arrangement from its very beginning and it easily can make you think you are hearing a Black Metal band just from the guitar sound. What’s most intriguing for me on this track is how André goes deep in a Danzig vocal style – a great change in style after that introduction piece. Now think about all the styles above and don’t forget about that extra layer of heaviness I’ve mentioned, and maybe it will give you a spotlight on what this band’s make up is.

If you thought that it there be a great Blues reference based on the album’s title, then you are right. Not only does the cover art connect to the history of Blues musician Robert Johnson and his historic devil pact at a crossroads. Every demon’s pact in the history of popular culture ends with hellhounds coming to drag your soul to hell, and guess what – we have this a track called ‘Hellhounds’ right here (complete with a great blues harmonica part by the way).

It is not the main subject on the album, but there is also an amazing song here that just talks about hang outing with your beer in the single ‘Leave My Beer Alone’. And if you are asking where the Thrash Metal influence is, like I’ve said before, just go to the ‘Slow’ song and there you have it. 

The bass work of Carlos “Piu” Schner helps with this versatility, considering there is only one guitar on the band, and you can hear what a great job he does on ‘Ladies from Mars’, using a few pedal effects on his bass. Let’s not forget of the good work on drums from Júlio Goss (in particular the interesting drum fills on ‘Blondie Phantom’), all of which made me positive about this band’s synergy.

Synergy and versatility are the key words that define “…at a Crossroads”. When I hear the beautiful closing track ‘Morningstar ‘, I just have to say congratulations for the persistence and all work needed to reach this level of delivery. Although I am sure that Macumbazilla haven’t make any pacts with the devil, because we already live in a hell called Brazil, so let’s us drink, party and bang our heads hearing to Macumbazilla, so we can forget all the pain! Cheers!

‘Leave My Beer Alone’ Official Music Video

TRACKLISTING:
01. Colossus
02. Leave My Beer Alone
03. Hellhounds
04. Ladies from Mars
05. Zombie
06. Feeling
07. Seize the Day
08. Blondie Phantom
09. The Enemy
10. Poor Devil
11. Dark Hordes
12. Slow
13. Lies
14. Morningstar

LINE-UP:
André Nisgoski – Vocals / Guitars
Carlos “Piu” Schner – Bass
Júlio Goss – Drums

LINKS:

Macumbazilla Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Augusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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