Victor Rueda (voc), Luis "Barbas" Sposido (bs), Luis Linfa (git), Diego Garcia (dr)

format: LP Side A:
  1. Intro
  2. Freedom
  3. Eunuchs
  4. Reincarnation
  5. Perfidy

Side B:

  1. Kali-Yuga
  2. Of The Three Gunas Tamas
  3. Self Destruction
  4. Patala Loca
year: 1989
country: Uruguay
label: Orfeo
#: 910009-1
insert: yes, w/ lyrix
edition: ?
rarity: 10/10


When it comes to obscure 80's Black/Death, the elusive GRAF SPEE album can surely count as one of the rarest pieces ever released. Starting out already in the mid 80's as a more traditional Metal band, they developed into the most extreme Metal act in their home country of Uruguay. Before the end of the decade they managed to get their debut album out on the only record label in the country, which makes them label mates with the legendary ALVACAST, but there the similarities end.

GRAF SPEE didn't let a few lessons short of musicianship stop them from writing both brutal and intricate, rhythmically challenging music. Their sound is hard on the nerves at first listening, and it takes a few spins before you get into the songs and start to grasp their ideas. It's a mystery where they got their influences from, because "Reincarnation" does not sound like any other album of its time. The only comparison I can think of would be Colombians REENCARNACION, but without the violins and sound effects. I guess bands like MORBID ANGEL and NOCTURNUS also played around with this kind of musical perversions at the time, but GRAF SPEE still stood alone in their Lovecraftian 5th dimensional corner of Metal Space. Despite their weak playing. Despite the awful production. On the subject of the production btw: another confusing element of this record is the difference in sound on side A and B. Side B is the strongest one with a slightly more coherent rhythm section and less muddy mix. Here even their fast moments, like the excellent "Kali Yuga", sound like they could impress even those Deatheads not yet used to the chaotic South American primitive sound. On the other hand, when they (try to?) blast away in the beginning of "Freedom" it's really hard to tell if it's genius or incompetence that makes the rhythm of this opening song sound so dark and offbeat. Personally I find their doomy, twisted stuff the most interesting, like the sick titletrack and the epic "Patala Loca". With all those wailing riffs and chords feeling slightly out of place, Victor's alternating between high and low growling and the unconventional and foreboding cover art of the battleship Graf Spee in your mind, GRAF SPEE can be very disturbing. Like being bullied and pushed around by spiky black demons on your final bus ride down into the pits of Hades. Yes, it is definitely something you need to hear. I think you'll like it too.

Thanx to "professor" Rainer K. I also got hold of a later demo recording which somewhat clarifies the bands direction and aspirations. The "Mother Fucker" tape of '92 is a great improvement as far as production and musicianship goes, and fans of original, progressive but brutal DM should keep an eye out for it on those tape trading lists. Inevitably this recording doesn't reach the sick vibes of the LP, but I guess you can't both have the corpse and eat it at the same time

2015 update: Check out the page on the Brigada Metalica compilation LP, featuring 2 exclusive GRAF SPEE recordings!

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