Vênus were a Brazilian heavy metal group from Teresina, active during the 1980s. They were the first band from the Brazilian Northeast to record a heavy metal album and were very influential on the local music scene.
Vênus were a heavy metal band which played in the Brazilian music scene in the 1980s. The group was formed in early 1982 in Teresina, Piauí, with Pincel on bass, Kinha on drums, Nenê on lead guitar, and Thyrso Marechal on vocals and rhythm guitar.
Initially they played only cover versions of international bands. Soon, however, they began to write their own songs and started to perform them live, playing mainly their own songs from then on. In 1984, the band performed in the Festival Setembro Rock that took place in Teresina, in front of a crowd of 2,000 people (a very large number, considering the modest number of heavy metal fans at the time in Teresina). In that same year, guitarist Ico Almendra joined the band in place of Nenê, brother of drummer Kinha, who had to withdraw from the band for professional reasons. A year and a half later the first demo tape, with six tracks, was recorded. Once the band started to promote this demo tape, concurrently they started to search for a vocalist with a more aggressive vocal style. Soon they found Kleber, a former member of the band Wagark.
In 1986 they began to record their first (and eventually their only) self-titled album. At that time, shortly before the start of the recording, the new singer left the band and Thyrso Marechal took back the lead vocal duties and provided lead vocals on the album. In the cover art created for the album, the front cover featured the sunset seen from the Parnaíba River amidst the zodiacal table and the back cover showed a silhouette of the band members in gray, reflecting the concept underlying the lyrics: ecology, mysticism and anti-racism.
After recording the album, João Filho took over the vocals and with this new line-up the group toured the North of Brazil, and then went to São Paulo to promote the album. In São Paulo the band did two concerts officially captured on film, and the album received positive reviews from music critics, including a positive review published in a 1986 edition of the traditional Brazilian magazine Rock Brigade. The album features songs with blistering guitar duets and lyrics in Portuguese, and despite the scarcity of technical resources used in the recording of the album, it is currently recognized as one of the forerunners of heavy metal in Brazilian Northeast and one of the oldest heavy metal albums of that country sung in Portuguese, in addition to an amazing musical quality in the context of the style called by the fans, in that decade, of "metal nacional" (English: "national metal").
Also in 1986 the band played again in Festival Setembro Rock, alongside bands such as A Chave do Sol, Megahertz and others. After achieving some recognition singing lyrics in Portuguese, playing long duets of guitar and having influenced the Brazilian heavy metal scene, the band split up unexpectedly in the late 1980s.
Vênus reunited for several isolated performances in the years 1988 and 1989 with a final line-up that included the then unknown guitarist Erisvaldo Borges, who composed a few tracks for the band with influences of classical music, in the vein of the neoclassicism of Yngwie Malmsteen, but these tracks were never recorded. These reunions did not continue for long until the band broke up permanently at the end of 1989.
Both the group and the album are listed in one of the most prominent encyclopedic references of Brazilian rock: the "ABZ do Rock Brasileiro", by Marcelo Dolabela.
After the end of Vênus, guitarists Ico and Thyrso went on to form the seminal Brazilian band Avalon; Thyrso did not stay long and, after leaving Avalon, joined the first line-up (1991) of the band Scud, playing on the first recording of that group (called "Lampião") that is still active in the Brazilian rock scene. Currently, Thyrso is a member of the band "Radiofônicos", a rock'n'roll and blues-rock band.
Guitarist Ico Almendra in his turn played on all Avalon albums and then moved to the United States, where he lives with his family to this day. After some time away from music, he went on to compose and record. His first solo album was released in the U.S. in 2005 under the name of Frank Krischman. The second one was recorded in 2007 and called "Full Bloom", and for the recording of this album Ico teamed up with the paulistana singer Olivia. The distribution of this second album was good and it was critically acclaimed, earning a nomination for the Brazilian Dynamite magazine awards as Best Album of the Year. These two Krischman's albums are in the vein of acoustic folk rock. In Austin, Texas he has also participated in several music projects, all somehow involving Brazilian music. He was a member of "The Flying Club", a band from Texas with one released album (Far and Away – 2006), which mixes American pop with MPB. He is also a member of Ipanema, a jazz-bossa band, and of "The Batykum", a group of instrumental music that emphasizes Afro-Brazilian rhythms, led by percussionist Luiz Coutinho.
Erisvaldo Borges abandoned the use of electric guitars since the late 1990s and became a classical guitarist recognized in national and international scene, releasing eleven instrumental CDs and currently serves as the event manager for the Festival Nacional de Violão do Piauí – Fenavipi which takes place annually, with the performances of classical guitarists from various Brazilian states, as well as abroad.
So just Thyrso, Ico, and Erisvaldo Borges are still professional musicians. Part of the former band members still live in Teresina, where they have business enterprises. Kinha and Pincel become entrepreneurs in the field of haberdashery and building construction, working in the Mid North region of Brazil (Piauí, Ceará and Maranhão).
|Band Duties||Mark I||Mark II||Mark III||Mark IV||Mark V||Mark VI|
|Vocals||Thyrso||Thyrso||Kleber||Thyrso||João Filho||João Filho|
|Lead Guitar||Nenê||Ico (Frank Krischman)||Ico||Ico||Ico||Erisvaldo Borges|
- 1986: Vênus
- DOLABELA, Marcelo. ABZ do rock brasileiro. São Paulo: Estrela do Sul, 1987, p. 162.
- Avalon (BRA) – discography, line-up, biography, interviews, photos. Spirit-of-metal.com. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
- Portal SCUD http://www.scudband.com/index2008_eng.html
- Radiofônicos : Bandas. Rockwave. Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
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- CD Full Bloom http://www.tratore.com.br/cd.asp?id=7898369065760
- Olivia (cantora e compositora) » Visão Geral – Conexão Vivo. Olivia-cantora.conexaovivo.com.br (23 May 2009). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
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- Luiz Coutinho S (LUIZ.COUTINHO) op Myspace. Myspace.com (25 January 2011). Retrieved on 21 October 2011.
- VI FENAVIPI – Programação[dead link]