Cover of Ultimatum Split
by Dorsal Atlântica and Metalmorphose, 1984
1980s: The beginning
During the early eighties, bands from the United States, Germany and Canada, such as Metallica and Slayer (U.S.), Destruction and Kreator (Germany), and Voivod and Exciter (Canada) appeared. At the same time, Brazil had a growing scene as well, and were also influenced by the same music: NWOBHM and hardcore punk.
Brazilian rock has its roots in the 1960s, developing from the movement called Jovem Guarda, passing through the stages of progressive rock and finally transgressing into heavy metal. In 1982, the first Brazilian heavy metal LP was released by the band Stress from the city of Belém from northern Brazil. The punk scene in São Paulo was emerging as well, the band Restos de Nada ("Remains of Nothing") were formed in 1978.
The European and North American heavy metal and hardcore have been a great influence on all these bands, but the first thrash metal (or speed metal) album released officially in Brazil was a split album between two bands in 1984. The split album
Ultimatum, with bands Dorsal Atlântica and
Metalmorphose, came out around the same time as Kill 'Em All by Metallica, War and Pain by Voivod, and Sentence of Death by Destruction.
Dorsal Atlântica from Rio de Janeiro were pioneers because of their record being officially released, but there were other bands releasing demos, like Vulcano from São Paulo and Sepultura from Belo Horizonte.
Late 1980s and early 1990s
Sepultura were making success outside of Brazil. The last thrash metal albums to represent the "old-school" style of thrash in Brazil were Mass Illusion by Korzus (1991), Arise by Sepultura (1991), Rotten Authorities by Executer (1991), and The Laws of Scourge by Sarcófago (1991).
Mid and late 1990s
Cover of Mental Slavery
from São Paulo, 1990
Entering the 90s, thrash was mixed with alternative metal, grunge, industrial music and in Brazil specifically, with the Brazilian "roots" music, often leading too hybrid music between metal and ethnic or world music. This subgenre is sometimes labelled as tribal metal. Sepultura and
Overdose (from Belo Horizonte), are credited to be the first and most important acts that mixed thrash with tribal sounds. Bands that did not simply disappear from the scene, had to adapt their sound to new genres that were appearing, such as was the case with Sepultura.
Korzus brought the NYHC influences to their sound with the KZS album. Sarcófago put a drum machine in their last studio album entitled Crust. A band from Belo Horizonte named The Mist became an "industrial-thrash" band and Dorsal Atlântica turned into a hardcore/crust variant. Ratos de Porão experimented an approach with alternative metal before returning to a more punk-influenced sound.
During the 1990s, the most important bands to appear in the decade were Scars, Distraught and Zero Vision. But their sound had a greater influence from groove metal of Machine Head than that of thrash metal.
In the 2000s, bands Executer and Holocausto had their "come back", and Max Cavalera's Soulfly released an album that is almost "old-school" thrash with the mixing of new and old styles; the band Ratos de Porão returned to the crossover style.
There are a lot of new thrash metal bands existing together with the old ones who returned. New bands since the year 2000 have been releasing albums on independent record labels. Bands such as Torture Squad have been frequently touring across South America and Europe.