August 24, 2012 | | 3.5

Desalmado, Desalmado

Desalmado: Desalmado

After first hearing Sao Paulo’s Desalmado on their re-released EP, Hereditas last Fall, I was pretty psyched for what they could potentially do with a full-length effort. Well, they’ve finally delivered that offering, a self-titled slab of crusty, death-infused grind, but the fifteen tracks (including a cover of Japanische Kampfhörspiele) don’t fully deliver what I was hoping they would.

Desalmado isn’t a bad album. The grind held within its 31 minute run-time is solid enough, but it feels as though the band is playing it safe. Sure there are moments of pile-driving riffs and blasting drums, but there’s no fire stoking the engine, just a glowing ember. I’m not one to place blame on any single element of an album (much like any professional sports team, it takes all elements of an album working together for it to be successful), but I’m a bit sceptical of Jean Dolabella (former Sepultura drummer 2006-2011) acting as producer. Sepultura haven’t had the same sound in decades (especially in the same time-frame of Mr. Dolabella’s tenure) and perhaps that’s rubbed off on this album some. Desalmado certainly sounds nice — it’s clean and polished, that’s for sure.

That said, there is still plenty of aggression and some solid moments that stand out. “Canibal Social” is one of the more infectious tracks that is packed with plenty of vehemence and tempo shifts (the video for the song is embedded above). “Cegueira Santa” has a galloping groove to it’s pummeling riffs as the band shows more urgency here than on many of the other tracks. “Juizo Dos Fracos” isn’t a classic grind track, but it’s one that showcases a variety of vocal deliveries (many layered) to great effect. “Herege” and “Ceifador” actually have a little latter day Sepultura influence in the guitars which I found intriguing. I’m not entirely sure who the hell Japanische Kampfhörspiele is, but at least the cover provides a little change of pace from the rest of the album.

Desalmado is an enjoyable album. You can put it on and just sort of let it fade into the background, providing a little momentum to what ever task you have at hand. That’s all nice and well, but I want a grind album to grab me by the balls and swing me haphazardly over it’s head with little regard to my well being. This album just doesn’t do that. Sure it’s got all the required elements of a death/grind album, but it’s lacking that something extra to fully grab my attention.