Torture Squad was formed in 1989, in São Paulo city, having Cristiano Fusco as guitarist and founder, Marcelo Fusco on drums and Marcelo Dirceu as bassist and vocals. Playing in the underground metal scene in São Paulo, and with no recorded work until the beginning of the 90’s, all members leave the band except the guitarist. In 1993, Fusco recruited new band members and invited to join the band drummer Amilcar Christófaro (RTH), bassist Castor (Toxic Stage), singer Vitor Rodrigues (RTH) and guitarist Fulvio Pelli, giving to the band a new and real beginning.
Their aggressive metal, heavy and technical, can be heard in their works: A soul in Hell (1993, demo), Shivering (1998), Asylum Of Shadows (1999), The Unholy Spell (2001), Pandemonium (2003), Death, Chaos and Torture Alive (2004/2005, CD/DVD), Chaos Corporation (2006, EP), Hellbound (2008), Æquilibrium (2010), Esquadrão de Tortura (2013).
*Comments made by drummer Amilcar Christófaro
In 1993, with the line up established, they record the first band material, the demo tape A Soul in Hell, with five tracks. Soon after, guitarist Fulvio Pelli leaves the band. Since then, Torture Squad musically prefers only one guitar.
Shivering, the first album that should be released in 1995, after several third parties failures, is released only in 1998, with the band playing in all possible venues and always giving much importance to take their own equipment to the concerts. They knew that with all the sacrifice to carry the drums, guitar and bass amplifiers, people would understand their music the way it was composed. “I never thought about not taking my drum set. Only, of course, if there was no way to do so. If I wrote a song that has a fast execution using three toms of the drum, it has a reason why, it is not random, and with the guys it was related to the tone, so, naturally, we had this concerning on taking our own equipment. I remember when Cristiano bought a Marshall JCM 900; I was entranced by the heaviness of the guitar sound. Playing alive we had the sound, the same energy of the rehearsal, and it certainly made difference, bringing people to pay attention to our music.”
The first album was fast followed by their second work, Asylum of Shadows, of 1999, that was recorded in Sao Paulo at Mr. Som studio, and was produced by Pompeu and Heros Trench from Korzus. “Even with the delay in the release of Shivering, we didn´t stop to rehearse and write, even more at that time. We were on fire to write and to go out playing, that´s why the release of the first two albums was so close, and we had a lot of songs.”
In the following year, 2000, the band goes, for the first time to Europe, to the Who Wants Some Metal Tour to play on seven dates in Germany, as the result of an interchange with the German band Grin that would come to Brazil at the end of the year 2001. “With great sacrifice we made our first international tour; it´s very important to a band to know another cultures and have the feedback from headbangers of several nationalities. It made us grow, mainly in relation to confidence and devotion to the band and to our music.”
In 2001, Torture Squad released their third album, The Unholly Spell, that was chosen by the specialized press and the public as one of the best metal albums in Brazil released that year. The album was recorded at Da Tribo Studios, produced by Ciero and co-produced by Tchelo Martins.
In the same year, the band release their first video clip, for the music Abduction Was The Case, which was aired several times on MTV Brasil, on the excellent TV show Fúria Metal, presented by Gastão Moreira.
In 2002, the guitarist Cristiano Fusco leaves the band, being replaced by Maurício Nogueira (formely of Krisiun), who already started on the road, joining in Torture Squad´s first Brazilian tour, the Unholy Legion Tour 2002, alongside of Nervochaos. “We were going to out first Brazilian tour, to spend several days on the road, in other words, everything we always searched for. Even with the departure of the founding member, which might leave other band with no base, we were already writing for the next album that would come to be Pandemonium. Castor and me were in a huge excitement with the songs, because we felt that they had exactly the same feeling and we were, naturally, keeping the same attitude, but aiming to innovate and evolve in our style”
The year 2003 comes and the band releases Pandemonium, which was chosen as the best Brazilian metal album in 2003, by the readers of Roadie Crew Magazine, the biggest Heavy Metal magazine in Brazil. Torture Squad was voted to be the headliner of Brasil Metal Union Fest, one of the most important Brazilian metal festivals in Sao Paulo. The concert was followed by the Pandemonium Tour with 25 concerts to promote the album.
Between 2004 and 2005, the band released their first live CD and DVD, Death, Chaos and Torture Alive, and went on tour throughout Brazil for almost two years, promoting this first live record. “The truth is that we didn´t have the intention to record this DVD. It would be just a concert with the German band Desaster, in Sao Paulo, but Sérgio Tulula, owner of Mutilation Records and the promoter of the concert, was going to record Desaster´s DVD, and the equipment was already set up, so he came to us with the proposition and we thought ‘why not?’”
In 2006, following the Death, Chaos and Torture Alive Tour, the band returned to Europe to play on 18 concerts in Germany and Austria, including a concert at Musikmesse, the second largest music fair in the world and the largest in Europe, that is held in Frankfurt, Germany.
Returning to Brazil, the band played at Porão do Rock, a respected festival in Brasília, Brazil´s capital city, for more than ten thousand people.
Still in 2006, Torture Squad played for the third time at Brasil Metal Union, in Sao Paulo. This time they co-headlined the festival that had Krisiun and Angra as main attractions. The Death, Chaos and Torture Alive Tour stretched through South America, passing by Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama.
On June, 2007, was held in Brazil the Metal Battle, a contest of bands, in which the winner would play in world’s biggest open air metal festival, Wacken Open Air, which takes place in the village of Wacken in Germany.
Torture Squad joined the contest and was chosen by the judges to represent Brazil in the festival in August, 2007. On Germany, the band joined the Metal Battle with the finalists from several countries and, once again, the band wins, having as prize a contract with the German label Wacken Records, having their next album being released in Europe.
“I will never associate music with competition, never. But we saw in Metal Battle a chance to reach what we always searched for: a contract with a foreigner label. Even before joining this event, we constantly promoted the band to labels outside Brazil, sending CDs, videos and releases by mail, and as until the day of the event we haven´t signed with any label, it was ok to participate. We had nothing to lose, and, lucky us, everything went fine. Finally we had a contract with a label to release our albums in Europe.”
On January, 2008, Maurício Nogueira leaves Torture Squad and Augusto Lopes (ex-Eternal Malediction) takes his place. In the same year, the band goes to the Hellbound Tour with 60 concerts throughout Europe, including another concert in Wacken Open Air that same year, with more time on stage and being one of the headliners of W.E.T. Stage, one of the four stages of the festival.
The year 2009 had a great start to Torture Squad. After releasing Hellbound album, which had an excellent repercussion worldwide, the band went on the second part of Hellbound Tour in Europe, but this time alongside of two thrash metal legends: Overkill and Exodus. The tour started on February 20th, in London, with the band playing for the first time in England, adding more 40 concerts in countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland, Switzerland and Czech Republic.
Æquilibrium album was released on August, 2010, in Europe, by the union between Wacken Records/ H’art/ Zebralution/ SAOL, and in Brazil, on September that same year, by Laser Company label. The album was recorded in São Paulo, at Norcal Studios, produced by Brendan Duffey and Adriano Daga. “We wanted a more clear and heavy sound in Æquilibrium, with focus on the drums and bass, but with heaviness. I believe we got it. I really appreciate the production of this album.”
On January, 2011, guitarist Augusto Lopes leaves the band and is replaced by André Evaristo (ex-Magister Ludi and Sounder). Even with the line up changing, the band doesn´t stop, remaining on the road until July of the same year. One month later, the band cross the ocean one more time, for the European part of the Æquilibrium Tour 2011, with more than 40 concerts in 12 countries until the end of October, including the third concert on the German festival Wacken Open Air, turning Torture Squad into the only Brazilian band to play three times in the festival.
Returning to Brazil, the band had a full schedule, with two highlights: the first concert on Brazilian territory would happen in homeland São Paulo, as special guest of Overkill, having been invited by the American band; and first concert on Amapá state, as headliner of Quebramar festival, on Macapá, the state capital city.
On March, 2012, after 19 years in the line up, singer Vitor Rodrigues leaves the band. With that, the band becomes a trio with André Evaristo performing the lead vocals along with the guitar. “Our first thought was to say to André to perform the vocals as well. He had already played and sung on former bands, so it was just a matter of regaining the practice and independency to reactivate the functions. I´m very well aware that his task is very difficult, but if he would agree and it worked, it would be perfect for the band, and it was what happened.” Life goes on with important concerts such as with Anthrax and Misfits in São Paulo, and the first concert in Palmas, the capital city of Tocantins state, as headliner of Tendencies Festival.
On August 10th, 2012, the band is headliner of Quito Fest 2012, one of the most renowned festivals in South America, which is held in Quito city, the capital city of Ecuador, for an approximate audience of 25,000 people.
In 2013, the band celebrates the 20th anniversary of the release of the demo-tape A Soul in Hell, their first studio record, which was celebrated in the Twenty Years Torturing People Tour 1993-2013, that started in May in Europe, alongside Artillery, Gama Bomb and Tantara, with 18 concerts in 20 days.
From April to August, 2013, the band chooses, again, Norcal Studios to record their 7th studio album, reprising the association with Brendan Duffey and Adriano Daga as producers. Esquadrão de Tortura is the first work recorded by the band as a trio and the first concept album, narrating, in chronological order, the period in which Brazil was governed by a military regime (from 1964 to 1985), being also the first album to have a title in Portuguese.
The new album was officially released in November 15th, the Brazilian Republic Day.
“With no doubt, Esquadrão de Tortura is one of the most important albums of our lives.”
The band goes on 2014 spreading the newest album with the tour TORTURE ON THE ROAD.
TORTURE SQUAD’s tracks