Metal, Pernambuco-style


“Pernambucans have already assimilated samba (the sworn enemy since the 20s), axé music (rejected in the 1980s) and, today, welcome at the Galo da Madrugada, manguebeat, which has already been incorporated into the mainstream. One musical current, however, remains ignored: heavy metal (a term to encompass the many variants of the genre). HM groups are forced out of the vaunted cultural diversity of Carnival in Recife. And one can’t credit this to Anglo-Saxon Heavy Metal, because Jamaican reggae always had a place at the events organized with public money.

And thus heavy metal continues into the second decade of the 21st century as underground as it was in the early 1980s, when the first bands of the genre in Pernambuco started to appear, a story that until now had not been told in words. The idea ended up as PEsado, a book by journalist and HM persona of Pernambuco, Wilfred Gadêlha, which will be released next Tuesday (March 11th) at 7pm, at Rocket 48 (Carneiro Vilela Street, 304, in Espinheiro). At least the biography of Pernambucan heavy metal was funded by Funcultura, with public money.

Work began in 2009 with some research (also made ​​possible by Funcultura) initiated by Daniela Ferreira, Jorge Bezerra and Amilcar de la Barre. The research received the title of Transformations: The Metal Scene in Post-Mangue Recife. “I joined as a consultant and continued when the research was taken to the interior, to the cities of Caruaru, Surubim, Garanhuns, Victoria and Carpina,” Gadêlha recalls.


The research made ​​him start writing the book with 70% of the interviews ready to be used in his now-personal project: “Everyone said that if someone had to write a book about heavy metal here, I would do it, so I decided to write it,” says the journalist. The result was a light, entertaining and detailed narrative, which takes as its point of departure a legendary record store, and an equally legendary figure, Humberto Luiz de Brito, “ex-hippie, bodybuilder, lover of natural medicine, painter, and guru”.

At the house located at 97, Rua da Matriz, Humberto kept a record store, sheltered in the house where he lived with his parents. It was there that at least two generations had their first experiences with heavy rock, punk, and heavy metal music. From Zé da Flauta, in the times of Phetus, in the early 1970s, to Ervel Lundgren, or Alemão, a pioneer in the production of HM shows in town, they were the kind of people that would later open specialized record shops or start rock bands.

The only other store that came close to it, the Mausoleum, on Rua 7 de Setembro, decorated with a coffin and full of sonic goodies that delighted consumers, who only had access to them if they went to Sao Paulo or Rio. It was in such stores that people would meet up and, in an era without internet and where personal computers were still rare, they exchanged ideas, found out about news, got together to make a new band and got informed about shows in town.

Those shows didn’t necessarily all have to do with heavy metal, case in point was the first international rock concert in Recife, with the ex-Yes member Rick Wakeman, at the Geraldão (stadium) in 1981, watched by all the metal-heads – among them Fred Creder and Araken Accioly, of the pioneering Herdeiros de Lúcifer, a band that lit the fuse of HM in Recife.

Later came Terceiro Rech, Mosh, Cruor (still active today, with Gadêlha own as the vocalist). But PEsado isn’t just about who made or makes HM in Pernambuco, it’s also about the great metal shows in the state, with a special part on the premiere of mineiro Sepultura in Caruaru, brought there by the current-congressman Wolney Queiroz, who was then 14 years old.”

Jornal do Commercio (PT)

Read another article on the book release at O Grito (PT)


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