CALIBRE 38, Calibre 38 (1988, Heavy Discos)
Look at this cover. See how dodgy it is. Now imagine that, 11 years later, it was released on CD with a very similar skull cover, yet even more dodgily rendered! (“Dodgily” is not a real word, but it is in the land of Big Dumb Skulls.) We’re sticklers here at BDS, so let’s examine the original: It would appear this skull has some blood left in it from the long-gone fleshly remains, enough to have sprayed “Calibre” on that white piece of driftwood (or chewing gum stick) above the skull. The gun (apparently a .38 caliber pistol) possesses the magical power of levitation. But what’s pulling the trigger? The lousily-drawn skull has no answers; he’s one of the dumbest and clueless specimens we’ve come across, so no point trying to get answers out of him. At least the “artist” added some fire and lightning. You can’t lose with fire, lightning, guns and blood.
You wanna talk about “dodgy,” you’ve come to the right place. This 37-minute album features 6 over-long songs that sound very much like the product of excited young heavy metal fans with barely-adequate talent hashing together riffs stolen from their favorite NWOBHM obscurities. The vocals are the worst part of this thing: yelping, ridiculous, impossible to appreciate. This is very much in the strictest NWOBHM tradition, complete with its rawness and naivete, although none of these songs make much sense, their arrangements ranging from haphazard to absolutely confused. (Kind of rare that a metal band from Brazil was playing anything but death/thrash/black metal in 1988.) Opener “Futura Passagem” benefits from being the shortest track here, in that they have less time to go astray. So it’s a good choice as opener. Closer “Tempestade” opens with the storm sounds of “Black Sabbath,” so similar that they might be sampled from the original 1970 recording, I’d have to A/B that to make sure (not that I’m actually going to waste anymore time with this thing than I have to). The opening riff in “Tempestade” sounds like they inverted the famous main riff to “Smoke on the Water.” I’m not saying “Tempestade” is a highlight of Calibre 38, I’m just saying stuff about it because there’s something to say. There are no highlights here. Don’t waste your time.
— Friar Wagner