It seems like a large percentage of the albums we (or at least I) cover here at the Vault are of the ‘heavily nuanced’ variety – complex and/or difficult to unpack records that take several hundred words or more to even begin to scratch their surface.
Sermões Da Montanha (Sermons of the Mountain), the debut tape from Holocausto Em Chamas, is not one of those kinds of records. In fact, I could probably tell you everything you need to know about it in three bullet points:
- Raw black metal
- Recorded in a cave (seriously – an actual cave)
And with that, a certain portion of our readership has probably already scrolled down to the bottom of this article to hit play on the stream and find the preorder link.
And you know what? I’m totally with them. There are few things in this life that I enjoy more than kvlt Portuguese black metal, and Holocausto Em Chamas are another in a remarkable series of exemplary practitioners of the style unearthed (in this case, possibly literally) by Harvest of Death/Signal Rex. Sermões Da Montanha is the first taste fans will get of the mysterious outfit, and these 22-minutes of ugly, primitive blackness and blasphemy are more than enough to whet their appetites for their upcoming 10” split with Iceland’s Óreiða. And I’m not just playing up their kvltness when I say Holocausto Em Chamas is mysterious. They have no web presence whatsoever – not even a Metal Archives page.
Holocausto Em Chamas actually show a bit more stylistic range on Sermões Da Montanha than a lot of their contemporaries, even as their lyrical focus on “the judgment and condemnation of the bastard Jesus Christ” falls in line with what one would expect. The same can be said for the production, which is lo-fi and muddy, and the ghastly, half-buried vocals. Also: did I mention it was recorded in a fucking cave? Honestly, how can you get any more kvlt than that?
Musically, “Coroado Com Espinhos” and “Via Crusis” are both slower, almost doomed-out songs with eerie organ accents, whereas “Pregador” takes a more punkish approach. The whip accents on parts of “Death Messiah,” likely meant to represent the beatings Jesus took each time he fell on his way to Calvary, help give the track a half-theatrical/half-industrial feel. The highlight of the tape, though, is the slow building “Sermões Da Montanha.” With its decidedly post-punk vibe that sounds more than a little bit like Bauhaus, it acts as both a brief respite and a dramatic interlude before the epic, tortured closer “After The Crucifixion” drives the final nail into the record.
Sermões Da Montanha is available today via Harvest of Death/Signal Rex. Until then, let Indy Metal Vault’s exclusive stream of the full tape add a touch of pure evil to your Halloween.
Clayton T. Michaels (Senior Editor) is a mild-mannered college English teacher by day, and a craft beer drinking, black metal and grindcore loving misanthrope by night. He’s also an award-winning poet and rabid Red Sox fan. Send him your promos at [email protected] You can also find him posting pictures of black metal cassettes and beer can labels on Instagram as @ironhops.