Torture Squad

Time To Kill Records - Torture Squad

Country: Brazil
Style: Death / Thrash Metal

Mayara Puertas - Vocals
Rene Simionato - Guitar
Castor - Bass
Amilcar Christófaro - Drums

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). Amilcar brought from your old band the singer Vitor Rodrigues (RTH) and guitarist Fulvio Pelli (RTH), giving to the band a new and real beginning.

In 1993, with this 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 to keep with only one guitar.

Shivering, the first album that should be released in 1995, after several third parties failures, come out 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 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 our 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 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 show to release it in 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 already, 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 bigger in Europe, that is held in Frankfurt, Germany.

After all the hard work, the band got the attention of the German manager Hansy Heyder who, since then, would start to manage the band, mainly in Europe.

Returning to Brazil, the band played at Porão do Rock, a respected festival in Brasília (Brazil´s capital city) in front of a big crowd.

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. At the same time, the band was already working on their next album and, on November, 2006, they release “Chaos Corporation EP”.

The EP has two new tracks, “Chaos Corporation” and “The Beast Within”, plus three remastered tracks from of 1993´s demo-tape, “A Soul In Hell” as bonus. 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, and 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 an ok to participate. We had nothing to lose, and, lucky us, everything went fine, we were in a great moment. 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 to the set 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. Plus GAMA BOMB from Ireland.

The tour started on February 20th, in London (TS first time in England), adding more 40 concerts in countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland, Switzerland and Czech Republic. On January, 2010, TORTURE SQUAD played on Argentina, making 5 concerts in Greater Buenos Aires.

“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. In this new release, the band recorded a new version of the title track of their third album, “The Unholy Spell”, which is included as bonus track with the title “The Unholy Spell 2010”.

The album was recorded in Sao 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 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 Æquilibrium European 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 till that moment.

2011 was a crucial year for the band´s career. For professional reasons, the band decided in no longer work with Hansy Heyder, having as new manager Tomas W. Morriello, from Crash Bang Management, who already has worked with ONSLAUGHT, GAMA BOMB and GIRLSCHOOL.

Returning to Brazil, the band had a full schedule, with two highlights: the first concert on Brazilian territory would happen in homeland Sao 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 to the band, and it was what happened.”

Life goes on with important concerts such as with ANTHAX 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: “Esquadrão de Tortura” (“Torture Squad” in Portuguese), and reprising the work 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 lyrical 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 official release date was November 15th, the Brazilian Republic Day.

“With no doubt, “Esquadrão de Tortura” is one of the most important albums of our lives. We had to keep our strength. We had to show with our music that the power of the band was there and I think we got it.”

In 2014 in July/August, the band do their second South American tour with thirteen shows in four countries; Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Paraguay. Finishing the year in their hometown Sao Paulo/SP on December, 20th, recording its show to be released on dvd and cd intitled “Coup d´État Live”, set to be launched in the middle of 2015.

The band was also composing new material for the next studio album, which will be the eighth in the band’s career, planned to be recorded in the second half of 2015 and due for release the beginning of 2016.

In September 2015, vocalist / guitarist André Evaristo leaves TORTURE SQUAD to pursue other personal projects, therefore, the band back to its traditional line-up as a quartet bringing Mayara “Undead” Puertas on vocals and Rene Simionato on guitar, continuing the tour of the cd/dvd “Coup D´État Live”.

Already with their new line up, and feeling the need to show the “new face”, the band goes to studio to record the EP “Return of Evil”, with four songs: the new “Return of Evil”, “Swallow Your Reality” and “Iron Squad”, and a new version of “Dreadful Lies”, originally released in the 1998´s first album “Shivering”. The EP will also have a multimedia track with the video clip from “Return of the Evil” and a mini documentary from the recording sessions of the ep, and videos from “Dreadful Lies” and “Iron Squad”, exclusively made for the EP, which was released on March, 2016.

On September 2016, the band made a historic tour in Brazil playing 28 gigs in 32 days throughout the country from north to south. Soon after the Brazilian tour, the band goes to an european tour doing 19 gigs passing by 7 countries.

The Return of Evil tour finishes in February 2017, doing 13 shows during 16 days in the country side of São Paulo and Paraná.

With Wagner Meirinho and Tiago Assolin, the same producers from the previous work, the EP “Return of Evil” (2016), the band entered Loud Factory and Orra Meu studios in São Paulo from April to June, 2017, to record their new album entitled “Far Beyond Existence”, that has nine songs featuring three bonus tracks.

Band and producers chose for the heaviest and crystal clear sound, which allied with their demands, combined with the great quality of both studios, their equipment, and the precisely performance of the musicians on the recordings, it can be clearly felt on the aggressiveness, heaviness and musicality of the album.

“Far Beyond Existence” featured many special guests, such as Dave Ingram (HAIL OF BULLETS, former BENEDICTION and BOLT THROWER) in “Hate”; Edu Lane (NERVOCHAOS) in the narrative on “Cursed by Disease”; Luiz Louzada (VULCANO and CHEMICAL DESASTER) in “You Must Proclaim”; Alex Camargo (KRISIUN) in “Just Got Paid”, a tribute to the Texans from ZZ Top; Marcello Schevano (CARRO BOMBA, GOLPE DE ESTADO e CASA DAS MÁQUINAS), playing Hammond in the instrumental track “Torture in Progress” and Fernanda Lira (NERVOSA) in “Divine Step”, a tribute to the Swiss band Coroner.

The lyrics kept the tradition of expressing about different topics, such as the questions of life that are beyond human comprehension (“Far Beyond Existence”), passing by inspiring messages of attitude (“Steady Hands”), “ lovely” words to the Brazilian politicians (“Don’t Cross My Path” and “You must Proclaim”), and even the life philosophy of Bruce Lee (“Hero for the Ages”).

The cover art work was created exclusively for the album by Rafael Tavares, and contains several details which refer to the theme of the album. The image of the skull represents all that we humans have in common (so, we are equals); the serpent, the animals; the sky and the rocks, the universe, and the reptilian eye symbolizes portals to worlds that are far beyond our knowledge, “more questions than answers”, as it says in an excerpt from the title track.

The album was released and licensed by the label Secret Service Records in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Russia and European Continent till this moment.
The tour started in Brazil on August, 2017.

2018, in partnership with the American label Brutal Records, Torture Squad signed with the record companies Sony Music and Megaforçe for the worldwide release and distribution of all discography on digital platforms.

In the middle of the second half of 2018, Torture Squad held a special tour called “Hellbound – 10 Years Celebration Tour”, due to the 10th anniversary of their 8th album Hellbound (2008). The year ends at the Backstage Fest, on December 15th, at the Carioca Club in São Paulo, a concert that Torture Squad performed alongside with Korzus, Nervosa and Carro Bomba.

In October 2018, Torture Squad is announced in the cast of Rock in Rio 2019, October 4th. The band performed on the Sunset stage, together with longtime friends Claustrofobia and also with a really special guest : thrash metal legend Chuck Billy from Testament. On the same day, performances of Nervosa, Anthrax, Slayer, Sepultura, Scorpions and Iron Maiden, turned that day into one of the heaviest of Rock in Rio’s history.

In November, the band travels to their 1st tour in Central America, including Mexico, Guatemala, El Savador and Costa Rica. In Mexico, as one of the headliners at the renowned “Mexico Metal Fest”.

2020 starts off hectic and unexpected. The album, Torture Years – 1993 / 2020, is released in two formats, streaming and cd. On digital platforms, the album contains eighteen songs, with half of the songs chosen via online voting, and the other half, by the band itself. The release on cd, by the label Sound City Records, that has a smaller number of songs which are a mix between online voting and the choice of the band, also brings a brand new single, the song “O Doutrinador/The Awakener” .

In February, the band enters Bay Area Studio in São Paulo to record their ninth album, but after recording the drums, guitar and bass, the unexpected happens. The Covid-19 virus, which has already caused many victims in Asia and Europe, is declared a worldwide pandemic by WHO (World Health Organization).So the band and producer Diego Rocha, decided to pause recordings. Studio sessions were only retaken at the end of 2020, finishing recordings in September 2021.

At the end of 2020, the single “Generation Dead” is released in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the album Aequilibrium (2010).

2021 comes to its conclusion with the band performing live, after almost 2 years off stage, the entire 3rd album “The Unholy Spell”(2001), celebrating 20 years of its release. Torture Squad is one of the main features of “Over Metal Fest”, that happens in December 2021 at Fabrique venue in São Paulo, Brazil. The fest also features Attomica and Troops of Doom in the line up.

TortureSquad logo

A soul in Hell (demo 1993)
Shivering (1998)
Asylum Of Shadows (1999)
The Unholy Spell (2001)
Pandemonium (2003)
Death, Chaos and Torture Alive (2004 – cd)
Death, Chaos and Torture Alive (2005 – dvd)
Chaos Corporation (2006 – EP)
Hellbound (2008)
AEquilibrium (2010)
Esquadrão de Tortura (2013)
Coup d´État Live (2015)
Return of Evil (2016)
Far Beyond Existence (2017)
Devilish (to be released on Sept 22, 2023)

Torture Squad online: