(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Entre Tudo que e Visto e Oculto (2020), 7/10
Sem Proposito (2021), 5.5/10
Corpos Transparentes (2022), 5/10
No Ruidar da Mata que Mirra (2019), 7/10
Nascido Sob o Signo Incivilizatorio (2019), 6.5/10
So Quem Viu o Relampago a Sua Direita Sabe (2020), 6.5/10
Toda Historia pela Frente (2020), 6.5/10
Inpariquipe (2021), 7/10

Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Caio "Serafim" Lemos, formerly the vocalist of Born to Freedom which recorded Life Is Movement (2016) and Time To Change (2019), was the brain behind Kaatayra, that debuted with the black-metal suites of No Ruidar da Mata que Mirra (2019). Besides large doses of melody, the project differentiates from other black metal projects because of the screamed strangled vocals (instead of the traditional growling vocals) and of the galloping drums (instead of blast-beats). Ha mais do que refugio em mar profundo (10:34) also benefits from an atmospheric instrumental intermezzo before the final all-out charge. Das serras sapiencia e sumidade (11:47) opens with flamenco steps, while Clarividencia em xara (12:26), possibly the standout, opens with a furious eruption and plunges into a melodic sort of bongo-driven flamenco-ish intermezzo before the final demonic surge. Saudades florescem (13:43) builds up momentum with disordered drumming for five minutes before firing on all pistons, but then a pause kills the momentum, a case in which the ebbing and flowing is counterproductive. Valhacouto de lirios (11:23) opens in a dreamy state and slowly accelerates to a punk-rock slapping rhythm, eventually pierced by guitar riffs of street-metal quality while the singing becomes more and more desperate. Contra o delirio urbano um manipanso (11:34) opens with a synth beat that feels like it was stolen from a techno record, then suddenly turns into an infernal dance with the same techno beat but shaken by hysterical guitar tremolo. There is plenty of imagination and surprises to make Kaatayra a rather unique project in the world of black metal.

Eight months later Lemos had a second Kaatayra album ready, Nascido Sob o Signo Incivilizatorio (2019). The combination of extreme metal and acoustic folk is less spontaneous on the exhausting and repetitive Horizonte Abismo (14:28). It is more successful in the first half of Fogo! Na Babilonia, but the "sung" section is awkward. The longest piece, Chama, Polvora e Esperanca (18:11), is a frenzied polka with harsh dissonant sounds that implodes for five minutes in a magical folk soundscape and rises again with the same bursting delirium. Mata Mato (2020) compiles the first two albums.

Two Kaatayra albums appeared four months apart. Lemos abandoned the electric guitar and employed only the acoustic one to create fully acoustic black-metal songs on So Quem Viu o Relampago a Sua Direita Sabe (2020). Chama Terra Chama Chuva (9:45) indulges in trance-y acoustic strumming, then matches it with shamanic chanting and then with light percussion, then the guitar riff emulates a looping organ and the chanting becomes a sort of whispered religious hymn over more regular drumming: the whole development is mesmeric. The black-metal connection is more evident in Desnaturac„o de si-mesmo (14:38), where the acoustic guitar emulates the fast distorted riffing over tenuous blast-beats, but the raspy vocals tone everything down and the song becomes a tender Brazilian folk songs, save the last three minutes of rising rage. The post-rock aesthetic of ebbing and flowing, of ups and downs, here is being pushed to the extremes. Four minutes of desolate chanting over simple guitar chors open So quem viu o relampago a sua direita sabe (11:49) before the drums kick in and the vocals turn hoarse. Steering further away from the black-metal canon, Bom retorno (14:39) opens and closes with angelic synth drones and even incorporates a trumpet.

The second Kaatayra album of the year, Toda Historia pela Frente (2020), reinstates the electric guitar. Folk instrumentation takes a back seat in O castigo vem a cavalo (17:03). Blast-beats and tremolos bury the macabre melody of Toda magoa do mundo (11:43) in a way that would make this one of his top metal moments except that the second half is a completely different folk song, another case in which it would be more effective to split the song into two. The monster suite Miseria da sabedoria (26:00) fares better than its duration would augur, and in fact it seamlessly transitions from one style to the other: ten minutes of black-metal, four minutes of folk strumming, another four minutes of black-metal fury, then several minutes of folk-metal fusion, and finally five minutes of slow trance-y decay. It is the longer piece that rescues this album, whose first two pieces are mixed bags.

Meanwhile, Lemos had debuted a new project, Brii, with the four lengthy compositions of Entre Tudo que e Visto e Oculto (2020). The opener, Caos e Ordem Tiveram um Neto (15:15), is the manifesto of a different aesthetic project: a carefully calibrated fusion of black metal, acid rock and electronica. It opens with a trance-y melody, reminiscent of Pink Floyd's Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, and then launches into a Gong-like tribal rhythm. Blastbeats reaffirm the black metal citizenship, but are soon followed by a cerebral calm more typical of prog-rock; and the piece ends with a breakneck gallop. The various elements segue seamlessly, creating a suite in the manner of old-fashioned prog-rock. Sabedoria de Tudo que e Oculto (15:55) begins again in a relatively soft tone, with an acoustic guitar halfway between folk-rock and hard rock, like in Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick; but then explodes in a frantic circular dance with loud guitar noise, synth drones and growls, leading to a satori of tribal tom-toms, repetitive guitar chords and floating synth lines.
The careful balance of the first two compositions is not easy to maintain, and in fact Valias Desmanchando em Queda (16:16) is a more confused creature, a quasi-bossanova litany that is derailed by chaotic violence (save the last three minutes, where an orgiastic Brazilian batucada morphs into a Deep Purple-esque acceleration). A Hora da Morte (21:00) takes forever to get started and then intones a thundering crescendo. So far so good, except that then the song succumbs to trivial sound effects and trivial drumming. Nonetheless the first two songs are enough to justify the album.

(Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
(Translation by/ Tradotto da Damiano Langone)

Il multistrumentista brasiliano Caio "Serafim" Lemos dą vita al progetto Bríi pubblicando Entre Tudo Que É Visto E Oculto (2020), album contenente quattro lunghe composizioni. Tenuto conto della sapiente fusione di black metal, acid rock e musica elettronica, il brano d'apertura, Caos E Ordem Tiveram Um Neto (15 minuti), vale anche come manifesto programmatico e la sua struttura a suite, con le parti che si susseguono senza interruzioni, si rifą alla forma compositiva piĚ tipica del prog-rock. Si comincia con una trance melodica che ricorda i Pink Floyd di Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, a cui fa seguito un ritmo tribale che rimanda ai Gong, poi l'incedere della batteria rivendica con forza l'identitą black metal, fino a quando non si instaura una calma cerebrale che riporta tutto nell'alveo del rock progressivo, in preparazione del finale, uno sfrenato galoppo. Sabedoria De Tudo Que É Oculto (quasi 16 minuti) parte ancora una volta da atmosfere piuttosto rilassate con una chitarra acustica a metą strada fra folk-rock e hard rock (come in Thick As A Brick dei Jethro Tull), ma poi esplode in una frenetica danza circolare (con tanto di chitarre distorte, bordoni al synth e ringhi animaleschi) che sfocia in un satori di tamburi tribali, ossessivi accordi di chitarra e galleggianti linee di sintetizzatore.

L'equilibrio raggiunto nelle prime due composizioni non Ź facile da mantenere e infatti Valias Desmanchando Em Queda (16 minuti) Ź una creatura dai contorni meno chiari, una litania quasi da bossanova che si lascia travolgere da una violenza senza costrutto (a parte gli ultimi tre minuti, nei quali una orgiastica batucada si esibisce in una accelerazione alla Deep Purple). A Hora Da Morte (21 minuti) ci mette una infinitą di tempo per avviarsi e dare corpo a quello che poi risulta essere un roboante crescendo. L'idea non Ź male, solo che il brano finisce per soccombere sotto i colpi di effetti sonori e di un ritmo di batteria davvero banali. Comunque sia, al di lą dello scarso interesse che la terza e quarta traccia sono in grado di produrre, i primi due brani sono gią piĚ che sufficienti per giustificare l'intero album.

Brii returned with the two massive suites of Sem Proposito (2021) that alternates (but not quite fuse) new-age music, black metal and jazzy prog-rock (first suite) and adds psychedelic overtones to a techno beat (in the second suite). The 36 minute piece of Corpos Transparentes (2022) is even more confusing with rare moments of poignancy, background muzak at best, but too loud even to relax.

Lemos found a more personal voice on Kaatayra's Inpariquipe (2021), an album of lush, elegant and sophisticated textures that ignores the genre division between folk, metal, prog-rock and so on, and that leans towards the meditative and mystical side of his Brii project. It opens with the instrumental trance-folk of Tiquinde (8:39), quite removed from his black-metal roots: it's not just the adoption of acoustic instruments, it's the whole scaffolding that is not "metal" at all. The centerpiece Inpariquipe (10:31) seamlessly orbits from prog-folk with magical Celtic-tinged overtones to keyboards-driven minimalist repetition to frenzied drumming to evocative and cinematic Ennio Morricone-esque flute-driven soundscape, more closely related to Mike Oldfield's early suites (with an Amazonian twist) than to anything else. Dundararaie (8:21) feels like a philosophical treatise, beginning with rage and desperation, but then relaxing into sounds of the forest and ending with a robotic marimba and percussion pattern. Iasa (13:36) is a rhythmic experiment, shifting tempo and lead instrument all the time but basically maintaining a structure of breathless pounding. Lemos used to be impressive only as a guitarist. Here he proves he has also become a skilled arranger and producer.

Lemos also released the EP Bastao Cia (2022) as Bakt and formed the duo Vauruv„ with vocalist Bruno Augusto Ribeiro that debuted with Manso queimor dacordado (2021) and Por nos da ventania (2022).