RETALIATOR, Comando das Trevas (2005, demo)

The skull:
Quickly hand-drawn in black crayon, cut out and pasted onto black construction paper, the Retaliator skull is not at all happy about this. Nor is he pleased with the Egyptian headdress he was forced to wear. It’s very uncomfortable. And so hot. He’s sweating underneath it, which is remarkable considering his lack of skin and pores. He was promised to be the central figure on a cover “that would rival the Egyptian majesty of Powerslave!!!” Clearly, this was an empty promise. It’s no wonder his expression is all “good grief…” We hear ya, buddy. We’ll use our connections in the skull world to find you an agent who can maybe secure a better gig for you, maybe with Krokus, or maybe if Crossfire reunites…we’ll do what we can, man. We feel for you.

The music:
Also known as Retaliador, these Brazilians wear Angel Witch, Hellhammer and Possessed shirts, and are exactly that old-school in their own musical approach. They sound very Brazilian, and very 1985, and they rip ass pretty well, sounding like early Destruction in both riffing and production style. It’s like an alternate-world version of the Sentence of Death EP, although some of the attempted melodic vocals would have never come from Schmier’s throat. In fact, there’s a decidedly Sarcofago-ish bent to the vocals, which means they sound completely untrained, unchained, and insane. The other reference point would be, surprise surprise, Sodom! And lo and behold…It’s not like we needed another cover of Sodom’s “Blasphemer,” but Retaliator have delivered one anyway. Yes, we’ve heard all of this before, and this is basically useless and pointless, but hey, if you dig the earliest crud by Destruction, Sodom, and Sarcofago (and I say “crud” with great affection, because I’m one of those), then this is worth one spin. But probably only one.
— Friar Wagner