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Sunday Old School: Korzus

Thrash metal and Brazil go together like black metal and Norway, death metal and Sweden or moaning and Britain. Throughout the history of Sunday Old School, we’ve seen plenty of bands from Brazil take thrash metal and put their own spin on it, from the global stars, Sepultura to their crossover friends Ratos de Parão to their first wave black metal enemies, Sarcófago. This week, the column will once again be looking at some more boys from Brazil who could thrash with the best, a band by the name of Korzus.

The group began life in 1983, coming from Brazil’s most populated city, São Paulo. They released their debut album two years later, which was something of an oddity as it was a live album, simply entitled, "Korzus Live," before their first studio full length, "Sonho Maníaco" followed two years later. It was a harsh album, exploring the darker side thrash much like Slayer, Possessed and Dark Angel had done before them, though their next release, "Pay For Your Lies," a six song EP, would feature a sound more akin to Bay Area thrash metal and has been cited as a stand out release in South American metal music.

By this time, Korzus had become one of the biggest metal bands in their home country, delivering a degree of fame and allowing them to hobnob with celebrities, which led to the group becoming friends with national hero, Ayrton Senna, one of the most legendary names in Formula 1 racing who tragically died in a crash in 1994. They cemented their position as one of Brazil’s best metal bands in 1991 with the release of their second full length album, "Mass Illusion." The record is widely considered to be the best of their career and earned them the attention of metal fans outside of Brazil, along with producing their first music video for the song, "Agony."

Though the band were doing very well, they were dealt a blow when guitarist Marcelo Nicastro left the group, along with drummer Beto Silesci, with the former going on to become a popular Samba musician while Silesci formed a group with his wife, as well as trying out for Ratos de Porão, who rejected him on the basis that his style was too metal. After recruiting Fernando Schaefer on drums and a guitarist known only as Soldado, Korzus changed their sound quite drastically, resulting in the 1995 album, "KZS," which was more in line with the New York Hardcore sound, with some groove metal elements thrown in. Though they joined Biohazard and Stormtroopers of Death on a North American tour, the album received some backlash from fans and critics were unimpressed.

For a good while after the release of the album, Korzus focused on live performances, releasing the live record, "Live at Monsters of Rock" in 1998. Fans faced quite a wait for new material, as their fourth studio album, "Ties of Blood," was not released until 2004 to something of a mixed response. Their first DVD, "Video Historia" hit the shelves two years later, before the band filled another lengthy gap in new material with the release of a new album, "Discipline of Hate" in 2010. The record was considered their best since "Mass Illusion" and featured a forceful style which was carried over to their next album, "Legion," which was released only last year.

While Korzus may not have reached the highs of Sepultura or quite earned the cult status of Ratos de Porão, with whom they invaded a dressing room to fight with another Brazilian underground favourite, Sarcófago, they have certainly earned their place amongst their country’s elite. They’re still very popular in Brazil and seem to focus their energy on their home country, but anyone seeking more metal bands from around the world will find Korzus at the top of the list.

Korzus - "Guerra Nuclear"

Korzus - "Agony"

Korzus - "Internally"

Korzus - "Guilty Silence"

Korzus - "I Am Your God"

Korzus - "Bleeding Pride"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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1 Comment on "Sunday Old School: Korzus"

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1. Testament fan writes:

Korzus rules! Great band from Brazil!

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