New Book Brings “United Forces” Zine Back to Life

In the 1980s, or anytime before the internet, you could say that metal had separate tiers of exposure. Logically, the most mainstream bands got the most media exposure via television, radio and print magazines. One tier down, the thrash metal bands made it into the more niche print magazine focused on metal and with a smaller circulation. Anything further down, like early death metal and black metal, had to rely on tape trading, word of mouth, and zines. Seeing as death metal didn’t start creeping into most metal mags until the dawn of the 90s, and black metal would have to wait until the legendary 1993 issue of Kerrang, this made independent zines indispensable for extreme metal fans.

Decibel readers are probably familiar with zines like Slayer by Metalion and other scribblers from Europe and the United States. But Brazil played an important role in the development of extreme metal as well, and this extended to zines as well. This includes United Forces, which ran from 1986-1991, headed up by Marcelo Batista, whose scene credentials include vocal duties for Rot and runs Extreme Noise Dicsos. (I’m assuming he came up with the name via the S.O.D classic.) For those who want a ground-level view of the underground in Brazil, he’s compiled all 9 issues into a new compendium, which include early coverage of bands like Darkthrone, Mystifier, Carcass, Sarcófago and, of course, Sepultura.

The book comes out in two weeks, and you can go to the Extreme Noise Dicos site to purchase it once it’s available.

Check out the video below to learn more- you’ll have to fiddle with YouTube’s translation settings if you can’t decipher the Portuguese, though most of it is pretty self-explanatory. And don’t forget to follow United Forces on Instagram to get some cool photos of the zine, posters, tapes, letters and other memorabilia from that formative age.