Thursday, April 17, 2014

Despot-Satan in the Death Row


With a trio of EPs due for release starting sometime later this year, "Satan in the Death Row", which was the first full-length release from one-man project Despot, is worth investigating if only so that it can serve as some sort of foundation/introduction to this Brazilian black metal project. The biography of Despot seems simple enough. Formed in 2008 by sole member Marcelo Murrer (formerly of Necrocult and Unholy Massacre Marcelo takes care of all of the music here incl. vocals and instruments), Despot hails from Belo Horizonte, Brazil (the same sinister area that brought us Sepultura and Sarcofago among others!) and while this might just have been the group's first full-length release it wasn't Despot's first foray into the studio as three demos were issued between 2009 and 2010! With "Satan in the Death Row" the oddity doesn't simply begin and end with the cover artwork (no idea about that one friends...) seeing as Despot enjoys a hearty breakfast featuring just about all kinds of meaty metal! There's hints of  German thrash (early Sodom and Destruction) as well as the music of Despot's hometown (Sepultura, Sarcofago and even Mutilator). There's (of course) the black metal influences (Celtic Frost, early Rotting Christ and Bathory) and even death metal influences such as Immolation, Angel Corpse and Morbid Angel. But then there's also influences and sounds that you just can't quite put your finger on. As the drum parts here are programmed, which is the (unfortunately) one of the chief complaints about "Satan in the Death Row", there's a slightly off-setting mechanical vibe to the material but even beyond that the music of Despot is just....different. Sole member Marcelo Murrer obviously knows what he wants by this point in time it's just that Despot (even for a eclectic black metal band) bring so much to the breakfast table to devour that there are occasions when it gets downright messy! Still, there's just something about "Satan in the Death Row" that makes you want to hear more from Murrer's project so I'll be keeping an eye out for the new EPs so that we can further explore the music and the madness that lies at the heart of Despot. Until then, should you feel adventurous and in need of some simple mind expansion that is, give this album a workout of your own. You never know, but you just might find yourself as keenly drawn in by the odd appeal of this Brazilian one-man project as I and many others have been!

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