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I first came across Carlos Barbosa’s black metal export Patria while record hunting in a large mall in Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 2011. My cousins, Brazilian nationals, had graciously decided to indulge my metal fandom and shuttle me around the city for some sightseeing, including Bolao, the Italian restaurant where Sepultura played their first show, where the gold Chaos A.D. record hangs on the wall. By the time we tracked own an actual record store that carried underground metal, the hour was late, which left me no time to sift through the racks, so I turned to the store clerk for advice with my cousin acting as translator. Keep in mind, my cousin at the time loved The Black Eyed Peas and thought Iron Maiden was a little extreme, so her patience in this endeavor meant the world to me.

The exchange went something like this.

Store Clerk: American?

Me: Half.

Store Clerk: American. Behemoth?

Me: No. Something Brazilian.

Store Clerk: Sepultura?

Me: No. Do you have The Mist?

The clerk looked up from his magazine. He wore more bullet belts than I thought his fame could support.

Store Clerk: I can order.

Me: No time. Something new?

Store Clerk: Black metal?

I pointed to my Watain shirt.

Me: Something kind of like this.

He picked Patria’s album Liturgia Haeresis.

All of which goes to say first that black metal elitism knows no national boundaries and also that Patria used to sound, yes, a bit like Watain, i.e. riffy, speedy black metal with a chip on its shoulder. All of that carries over to their latest album, Magna Adversia, with some new elements thrown in. The performances as a whole are a bit tighter, which is to be expected with Asgeir Mickelson of Ihsahn and Borknagar behind the drum kit. The sound is clearer, and a few progressive odds and ends show up. Which is to say, more than some exotic curio, Patria are a just plain great black metal band. Submitted as evidence, the song “Heartless”

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Magna Adversia will be released on March 3 by Soulseller. Follow Patria on Facebook.

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