The Troops of Doom – Antichrist Reborn Review

Here’s an interesting release for you. The Troops of Doom (likely named for the classic Sepultura song) are a new Brazilan thrash/kinda-sorta death metal act, having only formed in 2020. Despite the project’s relative youth, the various members are grizzled scene vets with years spent in many other metal acts. On their Antichrist Reborn debut, they offer an interesting blend of classic thrash and death influences full of righteous nods to the big names that influenced them. The core sound is very much in line with early Sepultura material like Schizophrenia and Beneath the Remains, but vintage Slayer riffs percolate throughout and inform the writing, and the band’s deep Celtic Frost appreciation also becomes apparent on several tracks. This ensures a crap-load of nostalgia for olde bones like yours truly, as sizeable chunks of this sound like the late 80s reborn along with that Antichrist fella. But does the music bring enough raw intensity and fury to appeal to modern metal maniacs? That’s a tough question and I’d like to phone a fiend.

The Troops know how to open on a strong note, with the concussive thrash attack of “Dethroned Messiah” blasting the cannons of truth to each man of this earth. It’s like something off Beneath the Remains but with extra aggression and anger, and the pure Celtic Frost worship that interrupts the thrashing at 1:40 is Tom G. Terrific and made me smile muchly. It’s a powerhouse thrasher with trace notes of death metal and some top-notch riffage to flay the mind. “Far From Your God” takes the same formula but adds moments of goth-rock riffage for accents, and more Celtic Frosted flakes make welcome appearances, as do very Slayer-esque guitar lines. The mashup works very well and keeps you locked and loaded. From there you are dragged through the vaults of Sepultura‘s discography with many a nod to the best moments of the Cavalera brothers. “Altars of Delusion” could have appeared on Beneath the Remains and fit right in, and “Deserters From Paradise” sounds like it fell off the back of Chaos A.D.

The bulk of the material here is designed in such a way that it sounds like it’s from a time capsule buried in the earth in 1988, and not many modern influences find their way into the broth. When Troops isn’t aping Sepultura, they switch to South of Heaven era Slayer for inspiration, and tracks like “Pray Into the Abyss” marry the two influences better than one might expect. Closer “Preacher’s Prayer” is the most adventurous cut, taking more time to develop flavors and moods, spanning the various influences while adding a bit more death metal for added oomph. No track is bad, but the presence of two interludes feels unnecessary on such a hard-charging album, and neither adds anything to the overall impact. At a tight 39-plus minutes, Antichrist Reborn won’t cause you a time crunch and it rips by in an angry blur, encouraging replays on the strength of the hooks and sheer ferocity. It’s not showing you any new cards, but the tricks it does with the old cards are pretty entertaining.

Jairo Guedz and Mantus bring the riff thunder and then some. Antichrist Reborn is the tapestry upon which they fling all sorts of burly chugs, face-flaying leads, and discordant warblings. Every song is the beneficiary of several fat grooves and massive leads, and they’re very good at what they do. Alex Käffer is a dead ringer for Max Cavalera, adopting many of his vocal ticks and tricks. Sure, at times he tries to dial up his delivery to what some may call death vocals, but essentially, he’s just doing what Max did in the 80s and early 90s. It gives the material a massive dose of nostalgic charm, but it also makes it sound too much like Sepultura, almost approaching the level of cover act. Drummer Alexandre Oliveira deserves a shout-out for a heavy-duty backline beatdown. The guy is all over the place with fills and thunderous barrages and you will notice his presence.

There’s a lot to like about what The Troops of Doom do on Antichrist Reborn, and like it I do. It’s very polished and well developed for a debut and shows these guys know what they are all about. Would I like them to find some of their own identity next time? Absolutely. Am I going to complain much about something blending Sepultura, Slayer and Celtic Frost in interesting ways? Not bloody likely. Well worth a spin.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Alma Mater
Websites: | |
Releases Worldwide: April 15th, 2022

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