Gruth – Futile Demise

gruthHaving been found guilty on corruption charges, Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva faces an arrest warrant tonight. This after da Silva’s request that he not be jailed while he seeks an appeal was rejected. The 72-year-old – a still-popular leader who began his career on a factory shop floor – is battling for both his personal and political life.

Things had been looking marginally better for the great South American nation this year. Not good enough to prevent the Financial Times from headlining a report “Brazil’s economy: from zombie to walking dead,” but the country does appear set to double last year’s anemic one-per-cent growth rate.

Against this less-than-carefree backdrop, you can hardly blame Brazilians for seeking out more solemn entertainment than the usual samba, bossa nova, etc.

Juha Puuperä’s Gruth project may be just the thing. Based in São Paulo, Puuperä’s work is more informed by Nordic black metal, U.K. sound systems and Italian horror flicks than anything closer to his new home (Puuperä is from Finland originally). A new four-track EP, out tomorrow, features a pair of collaborations with Ikola and another two with KuJo.

The song titles speak for themselves: “Severely Decomposed” opens the show with incessant, distorted percussion and electronics. “Kejawenan Desecration” has a similarly militaristic feel. These two collaborations with Ikola are more challenging than the rest of the EP.

The tracks recorded with KuJo ­– “Disgorged Viscera” and “Futile Demise” – are less dense, but darker and haunting. The energy is lower, but the detail is phenomenal.

Gruth is very much an international concern. The label behind this release – Tormenta Electrica Records – is headquartered in Urugay. Puuperä has performed in Germany and Norway, at the Berlin Atonal and Insomnia Festival. Next up, he’s planning “a sleep/nightmare concert where the crowd is invited to sleep” (good luck with that) and an experimental group featuring metal, grindcore and experimental musicians from São Paulo.

Kevin Press

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