Cirrhosis – Drinks From Hell
Genre: Death Metal

Label: Cogumelo Records

If you search for Cirrhosis on the internet, you’ll learn that it is a medical condition described as ‘scarring of the liver and poor liver function. It is the final phase of chronic liver disease’. You’ll also find out that that one of the most common causes of this affliction is long-term alcohol abuse, and so it’s not hard to spot the band Cirrhosis’s running theme with the album cover, title and lyrics: ALCOHOL, DECAY AND DEATH.

As suggested, Cirrhosis are a five-man death metal band from Brazil and “Drinks From Hell” is their 2008 and latest release. The band came as a result from the hiatus of the famous black metal underground icons Sarcófago, and featured some members of the band, most notably vocalist on Sepultura’s earliest releases, Wagner Lamounier. So, despite how unfamiliar anyone may be with Cirrhosis, there’s bound to be a hint of what to expect on this album to anyone familiar with metal (even though Wagner is no longer in the band).

Opening track Invasion Of The Faith hits hard, almost bordering on thrash more than death metal with divebombs and a sweeping solo. Flávio Monteiro’s opening lines in raspy, Jeff Walker-esque vocals grab your attention, before he goes into the lower, guttural range that stays for the rest of the song. Sadly, this is pretty much how the album pans out, rarely stepping outside the same formula or pushing the basic death metal boundaries.

The opening verse on Mirror Of Hate is just an example of the album’s general poor translation or just a very broken use of English in lyrics – which is a shame as it does ruin the seriousness of music once you realise what the lyrics are: “Angst explodes on your look / Fixed on nothing, imprisoned on the dark / Your life without value, walking on pain / For surviving in the middle of chaos”. Further along the album, it becomes noticeable that the band barely use choruses; which helps in this case of reiterating this unfortunately consistent flaw.

However, there are some pretty catchy riffs that echoes the 80’s/90’s death metal vibe, such as the riffs and progressions on Mirror Of Hate, Drinks From Hell and Empty Desires. But again, there is a slight problem with production at times, especially on the third track Lord Of Darkness, where the guitar tone changes so extremely between two coherent sections that the song sounds simply cut and spliced from two very different takes, ruining the atmosphere a little.

For the serious metalhead who looks for extreme depths, detail and brutality in his/her death metal, then it’s unlikely this album will change your life. However, with the flaws in mind and a perhaps entertaining mindset, this is a pretty fun death metal album, even if it might not have been intended to be. Instrumentally, the album is pretty tight and there’s some infectious riffs, solos and drum patterns, even if there is nothing outstanding or game changing here – but is every death metal album that’s considered ‘classic’  that way?

“Drinks From Hell” is, simply put, just a fairly solid death metal album. With lyrics like “Satanics, respect my look” (Restless Soul) and a repetitive approach, it’s hard to take it on a completely serious level, but that doesn’t mean it should be be cast aside. It’s straightforward, heavy yet entertaining and is enjoyable on that level. It’s worth a listen.

Favourite tracks: Drinks From Hell, Empty Desires.

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