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80's Brazilian, lo-fi extreme metal series: 0.5 - 75%

Byrgan, May 28th, 2009

-Had aspects ahead of its time-

These guys take the word aggressive, objectify it, and compress it down into a neat little package. Instead of a horrific Evil Jack popping out, Mutilator erupts from the confines of packing so much metal into one single entity; exploding into your face with surprising, burning, bruising force.

Mutilator's 'Grave Desecration' came out as a demo release sometime in '85. Though there were probably very few things that could rival this in extremities during the same year coming out of Brazil. There was still a bulk of speed and heavy metal on releases from this year, and wouldn't start to see more extreme followers till '86, '87 with more so, and so on to '88. Yet, out of the roughly two to three dozen metal bands on releases from this year that I've been able to tally, I can only think of one other release that I've heard that comes to mind. Yes, there's also Vulcano's 1984 'Devil On My Roof' demo of the year before, which I've heard most of, but that was still taking small steps with a harsher traditional speed metal, with some darker aspects and vocals that would be distorted as rough and gruff. And for more perspective to Vulcano's demo, the four bands on the '84 'S.P. Metal' split were still roughly playing a form of 70's inspired metal, and Salario Minimo on that same split pulling off something similar to late 70's Judas Priest. There's also Korzus's two tracks from the '85 'S.P. Metal II' split in which they would use faster, aggressive guitars, although with mostly clean vocals, and surprisingly a few screams. In this country, extreme metal, and even thrash considered, was still just growing its evolutionary wings at that point.

Though there was definitely a jumping advancement here on the beginning of the first track self-titled 'Mutilator.' By putting it foremost they probably at least even realized this themselves. Mutilator's track in the beginning sounds like its music could easily have come out on a death metal release in '89/'90 with the deeply tuned guitars and deeply growled vocals being qualifiers; though with a rougher, grainier sound quality. He changes them up on the other tracks by using a quick rasp/half-growl, which sounds much more death-thrash-like and more so matches the quick notes of the guitars and drums. There is also a different, more wilder vocalist here than on the debut 'Immortal Force.' Essentially making vocal lines leap out of the speakers from an agonizing use of his throat.

At moments the music can roughly resemble Sodom at that time, with some faster drum sections for comparison. The drummer manages to keep up with the guitarist even though the particular style is decently violent for the year. His snare has a fitting bassy tone to it and it adds to the music when he goes faster and doesn't get cut out like a typical demo recording. He uses a fast thrash beat, mixing snare rolls and simple fills to make the songs absorbing. There are some pumping mid-sections pitched in to off-set the quicker song writing. Usually the guitars will use a heavy amount of crunching palm mutes during these metal-embracing moments. Mostly the guitarist can be heard using basic, back-and-forth, barbaric riffs. He manages to keep the particular style of hammering notes interesting with a few catchy moments included as well.

Since their debut didn't make it out till '87, Mutilator can be wrongfully viewed as a middle comer among the other extreme bands Brazil had to offer. This release seems to of been overlooked for one reason or another, though it is a demo and also take in account how far and how much this was distributed. Of course, that's also not to say that anyone can set up a microphone, hit record and be as unruly as they wanted to. Yet, on 'Grave Desecration' they play an early death-thrash style that is already decently molded. This respectfully came out at some point in '85, most likely towards the end of the year, with a few aspects that were ahead of its time. But one can still hear their influences included as well, making this an important part of the evolutionary processes of Brazilian extreme metal. And in the end, most importantly comes out as an entertaining, head-bangable listen. Save the sound quality, this still holds up higher among many of the other demos from the 80s in the same country that I've heard, even up there with Sarcofago's 'The Black Vomit' demo, and impressively was one of the first of its kind. (Next review: Sarcofago - Satanic Lust demo)

The true beginning of dark death metal... - 94%

robotiq, October 31st, 2008

I couldn't believe my ears when I first heard this. The first track of this demo may well be the first ever pure death metal song. Sure, the likes of Possessed, Death, Master, Sepultura and Terminal Death all recorded in 1985, but there is something deeper and darker lurking here. Glen Benton seems to have borrowed a few ideas for the first Deicide album, especially in the vocal delivery. More significantly still, there is a sludgy, lurching menace that foreshadows atmospheric underground death metal acts like Demigod and Miasma, and bear in mind that Autopsy didn't record anything until 1987.

Naturally, the demo's other two tracks are more typically rooted in the old-school Brazilian underground. But even here, the ridiculously bass-heavy production gives it layered, contemporary feel. Mutilator would record a couple of hideously dated thrash metal LPs after this, but that doesn’t detract from the embryonic greatness of this demo.