ALTA TENSÃO
Portal Do Inferno

line-up:
Adilson C. Fernandes (voc), Edson C. David (git), João Bosco F. Melo (dr), Edson Kid (bs), Marcos Furuta (git)

format: LP Side A:
  1. Portal Do Inferno
  2. Silêncio
  3. Cortina De Ferro

Side B:

  1. Chacal
  2. Sacrifice
  3. Judas Iscariot
  4. Thanatous
year: 1987
country: Brazil
label: Rock Brigade Records
#: RBR-120/87
insert: no
edition: ?
rarity: 6/10
 
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It will only take a few bars of the opening title track for you to anxiously glance at your turntable and wonder if you forgot to reset the speed from 45 to 33 rpm since the last 7" session. Not because it's a particularly fast tune - it's actually one of the more restrained ones - but because the mix and especially the drums sound distinctly 45rpm'y. Yeah, it's Brazilian 80's alright, not the thundering Sodom/Bathory stuff of much kulticum, but their traditional HM school we know from the seminal S.P. Metal comps. As always (if you have at least a modicum of 'Exotic Metal' familiarity) your ears will have adjusted to the abuse by the second verse. "Portal Do Inferno" is not your typical Opening Title Track in that it's fairly unremarkable and I would even go so far as stating it's the weakest one on the album. Its quaint Accept-riffs and NWOBHM harmonies are solid enough keep you paying attention though, and serves as a logical bridge from their homely debut MLP from 2 year prior and this superior product. The tempo shifts down a gear on the more melancholic "Silêncio". Great vocal harmonies and touches of old Manowarian epicness, if ever so subtle. The latter spills over into the intro of "Cortina De Ferro", but the song quickly developes into more of a Speed Metal affair.

Side B opens with the highlight of the album, another speeder named "Chacal", delivering some delicious guitar noise over the aggressive chorus. And then there's the mystery track. I could spend weeks trying to figure out exactly which rock-laden NWOBHM-act they've chosen to cover here, but I could all be time wasted since it's entirely possible this more melodic English piece is just their way of showing off their wide repertoir. No special writing credits are present, but if I were to take a gander I'd say some lost Gaskin or early TOPT composition. To further prove my suspicions and the contrast between this one and their 'regular' songs, "Judas Iscariot" takes us back to prime AT-Metal. Man, they really sound like they're in a hurry here, and it's not even a Speed Metal tune. They wrap up with an instrumental and as often is the case it could have been an even better epilogue with some vocals. Despite the excellent guitar hamonies and tasty Manilla Road/Manowar-style riffing it kinda flies by and leaves you standing at the platform without a proper hand shake, Goodbye and Thanx-for-a-great-weekend. Heartless crooks...

So, is "Portal Do Inferno" a great album? Well, let's just say it's in the top-5 of Brazilian traditional HM releases of olde and weather that makes it a must-buy or not is more a matter of personal interest in 'Exotic Metal'-discovery and curiosity.


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