SKULL355

KORZUS, Korzus Ao Vivo (1985, Devil Discos)

The skull:
While the reissue of this album recolors it to make the background black (and obviously 50% more evil), I prefer this original from a time when metal aesthetics were not quite as hidebound as they are now. Granted, it’s a little harder to make out the skull here (and the logo is also less conveniently placed on this version) but it’s not like you won’t notice this giant yellow skull sitting on some rocks. For those not fluent in Portugese, “ao vivo” means “live” (this is a live album), lending the skull a pleasing bit of irony, but there’s not otherwise a whole lot going on conceptually here: just a skull, some stone, and a Warholian palette.

The music:
I don’t know what the Council is trying to say to us lowly Friars, who have lately been absolutely inundated in Brazilian thrash. Are we being punished or rewarded? Only the Council, the ultimate arbiters of the Skullection, can say for sure, and we who serve are not about to ask. Not directly, at least. We’re pretty sure the Council doesn’t even read these posts. They have bigger fish to fry, after all. Anyway, Korzus are one of the original Brazilian thrash bands, and Korzus Ao Vivo is their first vinyl release. You can imagine exactly how awesome a Brazilian live thrash album from 1985 sounds, I’m sure. Korzus at this point were not too dissimilar from Show No Mercy-era Slayer, which is to say, they’re just fast and raw enough to be a thrash band and not NWOBHM disciples. And I’d make this comparison even if they didn’t include a cover of “Evil Has No Boundaries” on this platter. Exciter probably also figured prominently in Korzus’s list of influences back then, but for a South American band, Korzus show surprisingly little interest in German thrash. That’s fine by me. These are actually pretty decent tunes, all things considered, and I might actually enjoy this album, if not for the shitty sound. The crowd sounds intimate and into it, which is cool, but audience enthusiasm can only go so far to redeem what basically amounts to a low-grade bootleg. Also, I’m not a huge fan of Portugese as a lingua metalli. But, crusty oldschool thrashers should probably at least check these guys out, if only to name-drop them on their buddies who think they’re underground because they have Sarcofago patches on their denim vests.
— Friar Johnsen

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