SPEEDKILLER – Midnight Vampire (2021)REVIEW

The relatively large commerce-heavy city of Três Corações in southeastern Brazil has few claims to fame beyond a long-thriving cattle industry, the birthplace of legendary futballer Pelé, and now the launching pad for a young and malevolent spirited speed metal band named Speedkiller who’ve spent just a couple of years gearing up for their debut release, ‘Midnight Vampire’. The Castlevania lookin’ artwork and sharpened thrasher logo with its mandatory inverted cross don’t necessarily burst with the cemeterial spirit (or grind) of classic Brazilian speed/thrash metal mania at a glance but the band and this ripping first EP certainly invokes its distended ghost.

The lightspeed vomit-sloshing d-beaten extremity of early Sarcófago might yet be slightly out of reach in terms of tempo here but the Teutonic “witching metal” instilled wrack of early Mutilator and especially Vulcano offer a nail for Speedkiller to hammer mercilessly for the duration of this ~half hour disc, which landed on CD and cassette in early December of last year. Waiting an extra month and a half for the vinyl release date has allowed plenty of extra time for consideration though I’m not sure months of deep thought are at all warranted in this case: Speedkiller crank out an exemplar swipe of first wave blackened speed metal, pure and simple stompers front to back with just a few atmospheric breaks on slower pieces. The ‘Midnight Vampire’ experience is guided by punkish tunnel vision for swinging speed metal riffing and soaring solos but that won’t stop you from admiring their 80’s extreme metal attuned vocals, sick with reverb and growling into the chasm their riffs create. Pure ‘old school’ evil speed metal energy sells itself.

Chopping away at bloody-knuckled uncomplicated evil thrash metal while the band is still in a pretty “green” state allows their taste for the sub-genre to shine through whilst showcasing a knack for swinging and urgent early 80’s influenced guitar work — The sort of shredding we’d hear the world over after ‘Show No Mercy’ hit broader distribution. It isn’t meant to be deep or dead serious, the themes aren’t elaborate, and the band’s intentions are entirely transparent. No need for a track-by-track, they’re all ~4-5 minute headbangers that kick hard and fuck off. The one exception being the Bathory-esque “Shadow People”, which ended up being my favorite piece after several spins. A solid first outing for a band with all the right taste, attack and brutal vibe. Moderately high recommendation.

Moderately high recommendation. (70/100)

Rating: 7 out of 10.
TITLE:Midnight Vampire
LABEL(S):Edged Circle Productions [LP]
Helldprod Records [Cassette/CD]
RELEASE DATE:January 29th, 2021 [Vinyl]
December 11th, 2020 [CS/CD]
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp [ECP], Bandcamp [HDP]
GENRE(S):Black/Thrash Metal

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