Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2017
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

the force is strong with this one - 95%

slayrrr666, April 6th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Greyhaze Records (Reissue)

Formed back in 1985, Brazilian death/thrash metallers under the name Mutilator were one of the handfull of acts at the forefront of the country’s extreme metal explosion that laid the foundation for the majority of acts to come in the later years to follow. One of the more important and influential albums in the original scene, the groups’ full-length debut was originally released in May 1987 on legendary Cogumelo Records before a variety of reissues including a vinyl version on June 10, 2016 on Greyhaze Records.

Given their time of activity and country of origin, there’s little surprise about what to be found in this release as it’s quite familiar in its approach. This offers up plenty of rabid thrashing rhythms in chaotic, frenetic patterns which offer barely-contained rhythms that explode in energetic outbursts after sections of quiet sprawling between these sections. This set-up, familiar to a large variety of bands from this scene, makes for quite a schizophrenic act with the rather ferocious, raw riff-work throughout here leaving the album full of fast-paced work with wild soloing and plenty of blistering drumming to accompany the frantic work within. Given all this frantic and wild material, there’s a lot of utterly vicious thrashing on display which is surely given a phenomenal boost by the atypical production work. This features that wild and raw sounding production which comes off making the material sound just that extra bit of sloppiness to appear unrehearsed and off-the-cuff like a typical jam session caught on tape, and yet for this album it works perfectly in letting the razor-wire riffing attain that style of speed and urgency which makes for a wholly defined sense of chaos within the music. This is one of the album’s strengths and helps to strengthen the connection between these acts and the more extreme works to come later on, giving this the feel of an important stepping stone in history while enhancing the enjoyment of the work isolated from its legacy. Some might not take that to mean much as it can come off sloppy and disorganized, but it makes for a great time here.

Being quite the impressive and truly vicious thrash release, this is one of the more important releases in the crowded scene from that time-period and works more often than not, making this one a rather influential release and this version of the album essential for all fans of raw, rabid early death/thrash metal.

A force to reckon with. - 84%

hells_unicorn, December 26th, 2013

Somewhere in the pitch black plains of the netherworld there was a chance rendezvous between Sepultura and Slayer that resulted in a wicked consummation of sorts. This metaphorical appeal to a truly nasty and beastly musical endeavor circa 1987 had a proper name of Mutilator, and the term proper should serve to thus properly illustrate what was likely happening to the ears of those that first heard its pummeling blows. Indeed, there are points where the unrestrained sonic fury that is "Immortal Force" hits with a ferocity that rivals "Pleasure To Kill", though with more of a distant sounding production quality in line with the blackened landscapes of the Sarcofago debut, which went into circulation just a couple months after this did.

In the overall evolution of death metal, this gets to be a bit forward looking in certain respects, though it is largely time appropriate given what was already making waves both in this band's native Brazil and up north in the United States. It has a similarly tinny quality with a strong helping of crunch that was fairly common before the Scott Burns sound fully took, but is a bit less muddled than what Slayer sounded like at the time. Indeed, an interesting thing about this album from a production standpoint is that it sounds more like a thrash album than the slightly muddier character of "Reign In Blood" that would be further exaggerated by Schuldiner on "Scream Bloody Gore", but in terms of stylistic devices in the riff and drum work, it's closer to a death metal character than anything Slayer had put out in the 80s.

The Slayer comparisons, while perhaps a bit redundant given all the bands with similarities to them at this point in the game, do merit further consideration given that they are far more obvious than otherwise. Taking the epic opener "Memorial Stone Without A Name", for example, is slightly punchier and less dissonant yet very faithful homage to "Hell Awaits". Perhaps even more interesting is the frequency of blast beats that occur not only on this song, but throughout the listen, clocking just a bit faster than the frenzied thrash beats heard out of Slayer's mid 80s repertoire, but not quite reaching that height of sheer chaos accomplished by Repulsion and Morbid Angel. Likewise, the whammy bar happy shred fests that guise as guitar solos are about as cut from the textbook Kerry King mold as can be.

It obviously goes without saying that this isn't quite to the level of what was coming in out of Florida as the 80s roared on, as much of these songs definitely have a healthy remnant of an early thrash character to them. Even when things almost seem to venture into early Death territory as on the verses of "Blood Storm", "War Dogs", "Mutilator" and damn near every other song rolled out, the vocal work remains highly reminiscent of a Tom Araya shout with maybe a hint of Chuck Billy. Likewise, when slower, groovier sections emerge it definitely has more of a fist-pounding Bay Area feel than an outright gore fest. But it definitely carries enough elements of that developing death metal character to creep ever so slightly closer to the tipping point than, say, the Infernal Majesty debut, which was chock full of death metal leanings at times.

While not quite the ideal meld of thrash and death metal that "Schizophrenia" was, nor a colossal cacophony of extreme metal elements like "I.N.R.I.", this is definitely something that stands as a solid example of what the Brazilian scene at the time was capable of. It's Persian flaw manifests in a production job that leans a little too heavy on the drums and sees the guitars pushed back in prominence further still when the vocals come in, and this even holds true on the 2003 remaster. But anyone approaching an album like this should expect a healthy dose of rawness. Some might say thrash till death, but Mutilator was one of those bands that was definitely taking the concept a bit more literally than most.

It's an animal! - 88%

Byrgan, September 23rd, 2010

By '87 in Brazil, extreme metal and straightforward thrash groups—whether they be demo oriented or chance enough to be signed on to Cogumelo, aka "mushroom," Records—took over more terrain with releases from the brief holdover of heavy and speed metal bands having their fun. Groups that would become infamous in this country turned out, let's say for now, differently in retrospect, such as Vulcano, Sepultura, Dorsal Atlantica, Holocausto, Sarcofago, Chakal and, here, Mutilator who were ready to sabotage that smile, pillage that picnic and drain their system from a deluge of pent-up, most likely environmental emotions that will instead come to flood a town nearest you.

You got to imagine the production was cheap and the equipment was even cheaper. The actual recording session was most likely brief, a learning experience and a chore to explain the unconforming fundamentals of this fresh type of extreme music—where, as far as releases go, the metal genre itself is about as old as '82 in the country—to a sound engineer who probably had more racked on years with samba music passing by his ears than the former. Mutilator essentially took what they have, used it while they had it and gave it all they got in a held-back, hung-out-to-dry kind of way with their full length "Immortal Force." It's an animal that manages to keep the listener guessing as to whether it's purely wild or might've had some slight taming.

The music is savage and primitive, and, of course, lets that be known whenever they can. The pacing is demanding of your attention, such as jumping from one bombardment, er, section to the next. Though the band has a few areas where they might let up, such as the guitar just warming up for the rest of the group to join in—their way of generosity—though they will only occasionally give the listener a break. They hand out a few mid-paced moments where the guitars pump thicker, weighted strings as the drummer might keep your attention locked with pummeling double bass, yet you know he can't wait to return to the finger-thrustin', head-poppin' momentum. Even the solos can be intrusive. "War Dogs" literally opens up with this hectic jumble of notes, as if providing you with a breather for a new song wasn't in their agenda. Though they do dish out some forethought with finger tapped leads, and also this occasional characteristic technique of holding a note, manipulating the whammy bar and giving the moment a certain eerie effect overtop.

The vocals on the demo and split shifted between growled to raspy. The delivery here is projected through different means but isn't without charm as Kleber uses this particular yell and shout—as if he's heatedly protesting, except with instrument in hand—coupled with a heavy Brazilian-Portuguese accent. The vocals are terrible by any professed technical standpoint, but I think their hateful, third-world rage is what propels them forward. His English is off, his timing is misplaced, his lines are jumbled—yet their ferocity is what gives them charge. I think if he took a lesson or two in music or English from, say, General Mines University, or whatever the local equivalent, it wouldn't have given off the same impact. It's almost as if he went in with more chip on his shoulder and attitude than honed practice. Most importantly he's able to pull off that certain type of resonation and almost become a character, where if not, the performance could have easily sent him on a one way trip to the floor with a face-plant.

"Immortal Force" is the second word in abundance, and the first if Ponce de Leon was right and I'd get to listen to this eternally. Whether it be the fast-action oriented guitar lines giving more catch than some hobby fisherman get on their best day; drumming that doesn't get to Sarcofago-like blasting, but from their own hard-hitting tendencies are in cahoots with handicap parking space makers as they hamper unsuspecting people immobile daily; vocals that could either be one pissed-off tour guide in Minas Gerais or some guy who's seen one too many violent acts in the favelas. This is all combined with a production that resonates their roughness, and still gets their crude notes through without being too muffled or hidden. You got to throw a few elbow nudges and pokes at this release. I mean, if you compare it to popular examples of thrash it can be unreasonable in certain areas, like you can easily point out its unbalanced nature. They still put some skill to composition, either by their basic but measured timing or their know-how of giving you just enough taste of a section and then switching to the next. That way when the music stops the boulder rolling, the heart-pounding experience lingers, and as a listener you may feel inclined to hit that repeat button out of wanting it all over again. This album works in different ways than other musical styles in different regions and countries. And this is up there as '80's Brazilian thrash at one of its most entertaining points.

Monotonous - 60%

TexanCycoThrasher, July 27th, 2009

Mutilator, one of the leading thrash/death bands in Brazil (under Sepultura that is). Their debut is considered a timeless testament to their style. But even with the timeless feel to it, it still has an archaic feel about it.

Immortal Force shares strong similarities with the various other groups from the area such as Korzus. The big similarity is the album structure, epic opening track then the rest fades into a dull mesh of speedy thrash/death. The vocals are the generic deep style of Brazilian metal, and later into the album get very monotonous. The guitar work is exceptional on this album, carrying a heavy and fast style. But sadly most of the stand out guitar work is on the first track, where most of the album’s charisma lies. The rhythm section is pretty drowned out. The bass is almost non-existent and the drums feel muffled.

The production on this album is pretty third rate, which really gives it that nostalgic feel. Everything has a rough edge and as the album progresses it gets to be more of an annoyance. The lyrical themes are the average thrash/death ideals: anti-Christianity, murder, violence ect ect.

So if your looking for the good nostalgic feel of the old third rate Brazilian metal, then don’t hold back from this album. As for me, well there’s better albums out there by better bands-60%.

More Violence from Brazil! - 85%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, April 30th, 2008

The middle 80s period was incredible for the growing extreme metal genre in the whole damn world. In Brazil we could find lots of new, extreme bands and among these we have Mutilator. They took the lesson in violence from Slayer, Kreator, Sepultura and so on to create their own personal death/thrash music style. This is the classic old fashioned metal recording that any extreme metal fan should at least listen to brush up his knowledge about the roots of that music.

The music here is truly essential and raw as sushi. There’s no melody concession obviously and everything is made to be as bestial as possible. The following album, Into the Strange, will feature more thrash metal patterns but here we have the perfect mix of those influences with a primitive form of death metal. The production is quite clear anyway and the sound is quite powerful too.

The main role is played by the rhythmic session and the vocals. The drums are always very pounding and hammering, while the vocals are a sort of Venom/Kreator mix. We don’t find the same bestial early Sepultura’s aggression but we are so close. If the first song features more mature and less impulsive parts, the following “Blood Storms” is total speed. The up tempo parts are a sort of Hellhammer style ones but far faster.

The refrains are well stuck in the aggressive music and the guitars riffs are in a terrific, fast sequence. There’s no time to relax in this lethal combination of guitars whistles, shreds and palm muting riffs. “Butcher” and “War Dogs” are almost hilarious in their essentiality but they are very good. The drums rolls on “Brigade Of Hate” are excellent to give something more to a sound that, even if doesn’t want to change, always remains very good we must say…

The various thrash/death metal influences are always present in massive dosages but the beauty of this kind of music will never die, especially when it comes from that period. Mutilator didn’t invent anything, but in their way, they contributed to the growth of one of the most genuine and sincere scenes of all time.

Raw Thrash from Brazil!!!! - 85%

XHARATHORN, May 7th, 2003

While the band seems to lack a big fan base, they definetly could have been big if they hadn't split up. This is absolutely one of my top 10 favorite thrash metal albums! I havent heard their 2nd album "Into the Strange" but when i had heard that there was a different vocalist on that one i didn't bother checking it out. I had to buy an original CD of this album on ebay for only 30$ and i think it's a bootleg, but no matter it was worth every penny. From the first song till the last this is neck breaking classic thrash. While the vocals aren't that great the music definetly makes up for it, no matter how many times i hear it, it always makes me laugh the way the vocalist pronounces the word "pleasure" like "plashuree". Since the band is from latin america you can of course expect a heavy accent which is something that i actually enjoy. The only reason why this album doesn't get a 100 is because of its very very had production but this is still fun to listen to.

Stand out songs: 2 - BloodStorm, 6 - Brigade of Hate, 8 - Tormented Soul