Drowned, the Death/Thrash Metal band, are one of many Metal bands to come out of Brazil. Proving that Metal is very much alive in Brazil, along with bands like Sarcofargo and Sepultura. Though the aforementioned bands have become household names there are still many like Drowned, who are still just beneath the surface. 7th is the appropriately titled 7th album by the band in their over twenty years of extreme Metal.
Drowned make for some fast and precise drum work with all the energy that comes with a Thrash Metal album. The rough edged vocals and distorted guitars have a messy quality to them that favours power over production. Their deep tones and similarly deep vocals lend them a sound closer to Death Metal in a similar way to Sepultura or Death. Despite this rather generic sound, Drowned keep things interesting and don’t let 7th fall into the trap that a lot of Thrash can – that speed is everything. In fact ‘Rage Before Some Hope’ and songs like ‘Violent March of Chaos’ feels like a perfect example of the speed relenting for some chants and more melodic and slow guitar lines. This sets itself as integrated with the more Thrash-ier songs, as it is partnered with short bursts of drums and guitars.
This is a quality that befits the rest of the album, songs don’t forget to breathe some melodic and life into the extreme brutality that they play. In this way they expertly keep the album alive throughout. ‘Murder, Sex, Hate and More’ and ‘Elitist Heaven Ruled by Devil’ take this methodology and applies it to the album as a whole, as they keep to a more traditional Thrash speed throughout. Here the stop start riffs, that complimented the melody of other songs, takes a forefront – whilst the melodic aspects never really leave.
7th describes a band in their pride, unafraid to keep things messy and atmospheric, whilst knowing how to offset brutality with melody. It makes Drowned into one of the more interesting of lesser known Thrash Metal bands. If they are to become bigger, it would be a shame to see some of these qualities – namely the chaotic but refined production values – leave them. However, this is likely a lesson learnt years ago, letting Drowned be confident to bring out more of these powerful albums. 7th is likely everything they wanted it to be, and it shows for an audience ready to eat up the more extreme sides of Metal.