‘Thanatos’ by MALVINA denounces the criminal government of Bolsonaro as Brazilians now face the possibility of his re-election. The band associates the 2016 coup d’etat in Brazil, the government and pandemics with the freudian concept of death drive. And the sound of their objection is to be heard.
“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.
In “Thanatos“, there are references to 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.
The darkness of a ruined nation is depicted throughout the lyrics, as a reflex of the whole process.
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.
Asked about their take on the current political climate in Brazil, the band explains: “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.” – concludes the band.
“Appealing to be a revolutionary and anti-political force, they would implement a neoliberal conservative program and try to eliminate all opposition.”
From the fractured soil he arises
To enrapture our souls
Or its unapparent spoiling
Promising meaning and revenge on this world
The fraud has lured you
With a messiah, a twisted Leninist call
Awed, lobotomized, impassioned you dissolves
Chasing the ever-changing enemy
Always coming through
As the ravaging pest
By the wind that brings a past unsolved
That long night of terror is coming down
Amid famine, under relentless death swirl
The plot follows through on blighted streets of doom
And all that comes to light are nightmares, recalls
Since the puppet praised that torturer to become our own one
— in a rite to dig these graves
Thanatos is the empire on the wane
It’s the venomous distinction demanded by you