Cassio Audi: A Brazilian Heavy Metal Icon

The Golden Age of heavy metal music was definitely the 1980’s, with bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica and Judas Priest selling millions of records. While the genre is most associated with Great Britain, where it originated, and the United States, where it thrived, heavy metal was and is hugely popular in Brazil.

One of the pioneering bands in Brazilian metal was Viper. Active in the mid to late 1980’s, this was a band that combined the melodic approach of Iron Maiden with its own distinct brand of thrash energy. Key to the band’s sound was the drums, and the person behind the drum kit was teenage percussionist Cassio Audi.

From the start, Viper stood out on the emerging South American metal scene in a positive way. Because they sang in English, they embodied the best of the Brazilian metal world and the English and American scenes that inspired the act. Listening to Viper today, the songs have a 1980’s aesthetic to them, but they also have the flow and musicality of timeless metal anthems by bands of the era like Anthrax and Pantera whose work still holds up thirty years later.

Audi’s drumming was the engine of Viper, and it took songs such as “Soldiers of Sunrise” to the level of excellence. The drumming was fast, but always in time, and loud, but always in control. Viper was no mere studio band, this was a band that was able to put on a killer live show night after night, and Audi’s drumming was a big part of that.

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