Formed in 1998, Brazil’s FARSCAPE helped lead the charge for the neo-retro thrash resurgence in their homeland, which continues unabated to this day. A slew of releases came in 2001 – two demos, and respective splits with Atomic Roar and Vexed – but it was the 2003 debut album Demon’s Massacre where FARSCAPE first (and fully) stamped their name on the international metal map. While their contemporaries took slicker or more technical routes with their thrash, the quartet’s defiantly flew the flag of hate raised by Kreator during the mid/late ‘80s; in fact, vocalist/guitarist Witchcaptor could be a dead-ringer for classic Mille. During all this, all four members – amazingly, THE SAME LINEUP to this day – pursued other equally archaic metals with the likes of Diabolic Force, Atomic Roar, Apokalyptic Raids, Sodomizer, and later Whipstriker, further sowing the seeds of influence in their native Brazil and abroad. Two more albums followed, 2006’s Killers on the Loose and 2013’s Primitive Blitzkrieg, as well as a handful of short-length releases, but FARSCAPE essentially went on hiatus following that third album.
Now, a full decade since their last official recordings, FARSCAPE return with arguably their best album yet, Purged and Forgotten. After an eerie (and quite surprisingly melodic) intro, the fire & fury of classic Teutonic thrash is felt – and, by proxy, which they helped shape in a way most Brazilian so many years ago – but equally burning are some new, ever-so-subtle twists on that noble idiom. Without ever quite going fully “slick” nor “tech,” FARSCAPE here manage to honorably defy the Teutonic template: a more pronounced emphasis on leads, alternating between the eerily melodic and the tensely harmonic; tiny touches of atmospheric synth underneath the ripping riot of violence, further emphasizing the eerie; and in Witchcaptor’s charismatic snarl, an equally surprising number of thinking-outside-the-box patterns as well as layering, giving Purged and Forgotten an unusual, almost-“hall of mirrors” aspect. Elsewhere, the quartet’s songwriting locates that sweet spot between the linear and the twisted, not quite resorting to standard verse/chorus structures nor going overboard into the overly complicated. Simply, the red-eyed & rabid rush of classic FARSCAPE is accounted for, but these discerning veterans aren’t short on honorable ways to wind their characteristic sound. Purged and Forgotten? Not fucking yet!