Simbiose - Naked Mental Violence review


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Band: Simbiose
Album: Naked Mental Violence
Release date: 2002

01. Fake World
02. O seu lugar
03. Naked Mental Violence
04. Zoo(não)lógico
05. Em nome da ordem e da lei
06. Lavagem Cerebral
07. Excrementos de ódio
08. Wise Up
09. Contraste
10. Control of a Re-Action
11. Escada da vida
12. Parem com a violência
13. Against the White Man Race
14. It's Not Your Business
15. Torturado pela traição
16. Don't Fool Yourself
17. Lugar no Céu
18. Portugal em chamas
19. Unconsciousness Is Perfection
20. Life's an Irony
21. Que motivos para celebrar
22. Same Skulls Same Race
23. Agent Orage [Sodom cover] [Special edition bonus]

Portugal has quite a tradition in the ''core'' scene (Hardcore, Metalcore, Screamo, Hardcore punk...). Ho Chi Minh, More Than A Thousand, Twentyinchburial, For The Glory, Hills Have Eyes are a few examples. Simbiose on the other hand, mix their punk influences with death metal and crossover thrash, sounding close to a heavier form of crust punk. British crusters Doom would be one good example. Naked Mental Violence is their debut full-length but it could very much be seen as a mere compilation since all these twenty two tracks come from previous EPs, demos and splits released between 1994 and 2001, comprising the first half of Simbiose's career. It was re-released by Major Label Industries in 2009 with Sodom's ''Agent Orange'' as bonus cover track.

Judging by the political, social awareness and self preservation lyrics, we get traditional Simbiose all the way through. And while the music should sound chaotic due to the aforementioned mix of genres, Naked Mental Violence only reaches the level of a bunch of crazy caged primates brawling in the zoo because some tourist didn't feed them bananas. Why? It feels like if the band only worried about playing as fast as they could, repeating the same riffs over and over again with song structures literally equal to each other. There's a ridiculous feeling of lack of effort all along. What should also be drilling our ears like jackhammers would be Hugo R's and João's vocal duties. Yes, Simbiose features no fewer than two screamers and this should sound totally interesting except the vocals seem the same with almost no variation at all from track one all the way to track twenty two. Dry production spoils the fun a bit too, ruining even more the impact that two singers would have had. The result? Pretty close to failure. On the other hand, ''Life's An Irony'' or especially ''Parem Com A Violência'' are a few exceptions and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Simbiose would later release material just a bit better shaped than this, but to be honest, they never quite left the simplicity out of their songs. Naked Mental Violence is just a rawer version of what they're releasing nowadays. What Simbiose accomplishes here is headbanging music with barely no instinct. If you're going to throw a party in your place with Tragedy or Dropdead as the soundtrack and you love mindless headbanging, destroying furniture, sticking your fingers into electrical sockets while masturbating or beating the crap out of some moshing demented fellas you might invite over, then put this in, crank the speakers up full blast, and the furious primates inside Naked Mental Violence just might be perfect for you. Might.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 5
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 4
Production: 7

Written by Tiago Rocha | 22.12.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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