“Males Infestus”, the debut EP of Brazilian death metal trio Cauterization, mostly sounds torn between two worlds. On one hand it relies heavily on the template set by Krisiun while infusing it with a dose of thrash – and groove sections. Cauterization was formed in 2008 in Presidente Prudente, São Paulo. The band consists of Maysa Rodrigues (vocals, lead guitar), Wesley Moia (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Mauro Trojillo Jr. (drums). For the most part the EP upholds the tried-and-true formula of typically ravaging and uncompromising South American death/black metal yet the parts where it deviates from the norm is what make it ultimately more interesting.
Brazilian death metal today is still mostly associated with Krisiun, the only combo to survive the great South American signing spree of the late 90s, and before them the country's most famous export was death/thrash metal mavens Sepultura. While Krisiun continues to tour and release new music in a consistent manner there’s an entire subbranch of the underground comprising of female-fronted genre bands. The most popular example of this movement currently being popular thrash metal trio Nervosa. In terms of underground death metal outfits however Cauterization appears to be the leading force, followed closely by the likes of Necromesis, and bands of similar ilk.
The band is closer related to Rebaelliun circa “Burn the Promised Land” in that they are rhythmically more diverse than the very rigid Krisiun. Similarly there’s more of a pronounced early Slayer influence and unlike its forebears Cauterization doesn’t exclusively focus on speed. What the band would benefit from would be the inclusion of a rhythm guitar (either in the studio, or live) as the band tends to lose steam whenever Rodrigues changes from rhythm to lead playing. Cauterization seem confused on the subject as ‘Infernal Battlefield’ would have benefitted tremendously from an extra rhythm track during its lead section, whereas there is a rhythm guitar track present during the title track’s solo section, as is the case with the closing track. The bass guitar is vitally important as it picks up where Rodrigues is limited by her being the only guitarist. Wesley Moia’s bass guitar not only has a warm and deep tone, but he also plays around, under and in between the thrashy guitar riffs instead of simply doubling them.
The single most identifiable trait for Cauterization is the impressively deep growl of the petite Maysa Rodrigues. She is backed up, in prime era Deicide fashion, by the tortured rasps and shrieks of bass guitarist Wesley Moia. Cauterization deviates from the usual Brazilian death metal template by being choppier, and having less of a focus on inhuman levels of speed. Most of the EP’s atmosphere is created by the minute-long opener ‘Unpurification Ov Sacred’ that is both tribal and horror-influenced. If the band could find a way of integrating a segueway like that into its actual songs it could easily match itself with Jeff Gruslin-era Vital Remains in terms of atmosphere. Interestingly, the band covers the classic Dissection song ‘Night’s Blood’ fairly often in its live set, which is interesting in itself because with a band like this you’d expect them to try their hand at Angelcorpse, or one of the earlier Australian practitioners of the war-metal subgenre.
“Males Infestus” was recorded, mixed and mastered at Oasis Studio by Éder Muchiutti in the band’s home province of Presidente Prudente, São Paulo. The guitar tone is fittingly crunchy and clear but not the most concrete sounding. The bass guitar provides the band with most of its heaviness, bottom-end and otherwise. The drums aren’t overly digital or sterile sounding, but the EP would probably have sounded a good deal heavier would be the band been able to recreate a drum sound as on Immolation’s “Close to A World Below” or “Unholy Cult” records. The artwork by Marcelo Vasco fits wonderfully with the band’s anti-religious conviction but isn’t very remarkable otherwise. In order to give the EP the required marketing push a promo video was shot for the track ‘Infernal Battlefield’. Initially “Males Infestus” was released independently by the band in 2011. It was re-released a second time on cassette format by Polish label imprint Till You Fukkin Bleed in 2012. It was re-issued a third time on CD by Metal Music Austria subsidiary Morbid Syndicate in 2013, this time including the promo video as bonus content.