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Ordem & Progresso

Brazil Country of Origin: Brazil

Ordem & Progresso
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: 1987
Label: Point Rock
Genre: Heavy
1. Tema Da Primavera
2. Rotina
3. Ordem & Progresso
4. Solidão
5. Brilho
6. Princesa Do Prazer (Dorsal Atlântica Cover)

Review by John B. on April 28, 2024.

Brazil’s prominence in the grimier style of thrash bordering on death and black metal overshadows the country’s contributions to other subgenres. And in the case of these classic heavy metallers Azul Limao, that’s a real shame. The instrumental and vocal talent shown here is astonishing, and they keep some strong social commentary in the lyrics too.

Ordem & Progreso starts with a cover of Vivaldi’s famous “Primavera” piece. Short and sweet, and it’s this blend of simplicity and high artistry that shines throughout Azul Limao’s EP. I would normally not be impressed with songs whose choruses are just the title repeated a few times. But Rodrigo’s piercing falsettos on “Ordem! Progresoooo!” more than make up for it. Simple yet powerful in its sarcastic take on Brazilian politics - “order and progress” is the nation’s motto. It’s clear the band thinks their leaders are sadly heavy on order and not so much on progress, with this verse: “Walking in obscurity, they maintain order. Can progress be achieved where dreams come to die?” Then his voice switches to heartbreaking in “Solidao” (loneliness). You really feel the anguish in the repetition of that one word. He reminds me of Dan Beehler from Exciter for sheer unrestrained over-the-topness.

Apart from the intro “Tema do Primavera”, I point to “Brilho” as the high point of the instruments on this EP. The speed of Marcos’ guitar coupled with the best jangly thumping of bass from Vinicius, make this song flashy (hence the title “brightness”) but also down-n-dirty in the best NWOBHM tradition. I’d put it right up beside “Murders in the Rue Morgue”.

“Brilho” also best shows off Azul Limao’s mastery of balancing an entertaining, technically dazzling sound, with a serious feel. On one hand, there’s fun fantastical 80s lines like “I feel all sped up when the light hits me at the end of the night”. But there’s also “free from this stage of life, I hope for an eternal world to meet you in Hell”.

If there’s one complaint I have, it’s that the cover of Dorsal Atlantica’s “Princesa do Prazer”, while executed very well as usual, just doesn’t fit the character of the rest of the EP subject-wise. A sleazy song about princess of pleasure, stands out from Azul Limao’s cool mix of energetic metal cliches and heavy social commentary. Maybe something like “Nosso Futuro” or “Complexo Urbano” by Metalmorphose would have been more up their alley.

Azul Limao are a shamefully neglected star in the wide constellation of Brazilian heavy metal. If you haven’t checked them out, get on it!

Rating: 8.5 out of 10