When people think of influential music scenes most people overlook the rise heavy metal in Brazil during the mid-1980s and yet, like the Bay Area thrash metal scene, the Brazilian heavy metal scene of the mid-1980s launched a cultural change within the country that can still be seen today.

After two decades, 1985 saw the end of Brazil’s period of dictatorship and teenagers, flush with the new sounds of the heavy metal bands from Britain and the U.S. took advantage of the loosening censorship laws and increased freedoms that came at the end of the dictatorship. Teens began forming bands across Brazil, creating a newer and faster-paced type of music. Begun initially with the influence of British rock, the Brazilian heavy metal scene ultimately came into own with a unique and powerful sound.

The driving beat of heavy metal is one of its most defining traits and the Brazilian drummers, already adept at complex and lusty rhythms, began adopting the heavy metal pace for a Brazilian audience. Cassio Audi, a former drummer of Viper is one of these Brazilian drummers that made this rhythm his own and in turn, Cassio Audi influenced Brazil’s entire heavy metal movement. Heavily influenced by Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBain and a good ear for appealing rhythms, Cassio Audi defined the beat that would launch Viper into one of the leading Brazilian heavy metal bands.

Unfortunately, Cassio Audi only played with Viper for a short time, after the release of Krillera Sword and Soldiers of Sunrise, leaving Viper and his heavy metal music career in 1989 to return to college, receiving a degree in Business Administration from the Pontifical Catholic University and an MBA from Sao Paulo University. After the university, he went on to a successful career in finance.

Cassio Audi still gets together with his old bandmates and plays, hopefully soon, they will offer a public performance.