Rio de Janeiro’s hardcore punks Malvina released a new single ‘Thanatos,’ in the wake of the new election in Brazil and possibly Bolsonaro‘s re-election.
‘Thanatos’ is a heavy punk rock song blended with elements of metal. It depicts the darkest moment of the Brazilian 2016 coup d’état follow-up: the Covid-19 pandemic amid socioeconomic disintegration, under the Bolsonaro regime. The concomitance of plagues – coup, fascism, and a pandemic with its implications – are associated with the predominance of the death instinct.
The song references key moments of recent Brazilian history, such as the exaltation of colonel Ustra (a torturer of the Brazilian military dictatorship era) by Bolsonaro in the house of representatives during his voting speech for the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff, moreover, the arrival of a pandemic and the threats of a new dictatorship as the government response to the protests about its failed management of the crisis.
“Thanatos is the god of death in Greek mythology. In psychology, Sigmund Freud wrote that societies and their individuals are driven by two primary instincts, Eros and Thanatos. The life instinct, Eros, is the pursuit of love, nurture, preservation, and protection, while Thanatos, the death instinct, is driven by fear, hatred, and violence, and it seeks the dissolution of all living things, including us, ourselves. Human existence would be an eternal battle between these two instincts, in which, at any given moment, one of them is ascendant,” shares the band.
They continue: “In our recent history, Brazil started flirting with death instinct in 2013, when class hatred is instrumentalized and gets coalesced by right-wing forces, under US imperialist designs, in an orchestrated attack on the Workers Party government. Bolsonaro’s movement is, on a large scale, a byproduct of the criminalization campaign against the Workers Party by the Car Wash Operation with the US Department of State, which through a partnership with hegemonic media got its corruption accusations systematically broadcasted in a hybrid war strategy.”
“The putschist crusade, beyond biding the reactionary sector of Brazilian society, generated a massive disillusionment towards the whole political class. A discredit that, fused with resentment, hopelessness, revolt, and class hatred, paved the way for the alternative that was falsely alleged to be anti-system. The far-right represented by Bolsonaro knew how to use these bitter feelings. Appealing to be a revolutionary and anti-political force, they would implement a neoliberal conservative program and try to eliminate all opposition.”
“Bolsonaro brought back to the present the most traumatic period of Brazilian history, the military dictatorship, at the same time, stimulating rage, violence, sadism, the darker side of a resentful mass. Brazil under Bolsonaro became self-destructive on all sides. Amid a climate of war, rupture, decay, and backtracking, we saw and lived in front of frightening images, from the shadows of the past dictatorship to the Amazon in flames. The pandemics arrived in complete affinity with Bolsonarism. In 2020, Thanatos was ascendant as never before, taking us in record numbers, under the indifference, without assistance, in the bleakness of the tragedy. The single seeks to transmit the despair and the grim trait of this moment,” the band concludes.
The song comes with a video filmed by Alima Produtora Audiovisual, with scenery of darkness and abandonment is the stage for a burial ritual. The crosses and a mill twirling counterclockwise are some of the symbols that represent genocide and backwardness in a land hit by a sanitary, economic and social crisis. Check it out below.