Whipstriker - Troopers of Mayhem - (8/10)
Published on November 8, 2014
Stalking the wild lands of Rio de Janeiro since 2008, Brazil’s Whipstriker has been steadily pumping out releases, becoming the paradigm of dirty and grimy South American metal. Spearheaded by bassist/vocalist Victor Whipstriker, the band seemingly rotates session members from other well known Brazilian metal acts (Apokalyptic Raids and Farscape, both of which Victor has played in as well). The band’s brand of heavy metal focuses on dirty speed metal and thrashing belligerence, with blackened edges all around, giving more than a few nods to the likes of Tank, Motörhead and Venom. The band’s second full length album, Troopers of Mayhem, sees Whipstriker continuing their brand of crude rock ‘n’ roll, yet with a much stronger production this time around.
Bringing a healthy mix of fast paced thrashers, in the form of “Troopers of Mayhem” and “Backward Progress”, and mid-paced rockers like “Murder in VM Street”, Whispstriker sets a diverse offering in which the music never gets stale. While the band’s debut, Crude Rock ‘n’ Roll, was certainly a fun album, Troopers of Mayhem takes the same formula and beefs it up with more confident performances and just plain better songwriting. From the Motörhead-inspired speed metal of “Streetrap” with its furious yet melodic riffing to the catchy as hell, rollicking mid-paced “Lucifer Set Me Free”, Whipstriker’s sound is energetic, dirty and a freaking blast to listen to.
Despite the rather traditional sound that Whipstriker seems rooted in, a few surprises abound; most notably the organ fill on “Lucifer Set Me Free”. The album is a barrel full of fun with its raging speed metal riffs and proto-black metal attitude, but it’s not without fault. The production is certainly stronger than their debut, but the mix is fairly rough, even for the style. Whipstriker’s sound is rooted in the grime and filth of the South American scene, so you really shouldn’t expect a pristine and polished production, but cutting through the fog a bit could possibly work wonders. Victor Whipstriker’s vocals, which strike a balance between the gruff, whiskey soaked style of Lemmy and the vicious snarl of Midnight, are soaked in muck and mud, making following along a bit of a challenge at times.
Fans of sleazy, grimy South American metal will no doubt find a new favorite in Whipstriker. Chock full of solid throwback riffing and influences full worn on sleeves, Troopers of Mayhem isn’t anything groundbreaking, but hot damn does this rock pretty hard. Victor Whipstriker and crew have struck Brazilian gold and will no doubt become forerunners of one of the hardest hitting scenes in metal. From the wild lands they came, and as Whipstriker put it, “so loud, god cannot hear it”.