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Testing out the fit of more extreme music - 71%

Byrgan, January 3rd, 2011

Part I: 65%

In their beginning stages, Chakal were attempting to be as extreme as the next here, while not entirely topping one or the other. This is still aggressive and a listener can hear Slayer influences in their song writing. The band is playing death-thrash with the thrash portion occasionally winning the dual personality. Chakal would eventually drop the death side like Mutilator, Holocausto, Vulcano, Sepultura and Attomica would by the time the '80s was out. This essentially resembles a group that had one foot in the door and then realized the over-the-top extremities weren't their forte.

The intro is pretty demonic sounding with a tape running in reverse as a growled voice and malign noises fill the background. There are sloppy fast speeds where the drummer, Wiz, sounds like he's about to gas out any second, so he includes these primitive pauses in between the more experienced guitarist's notes. "Mr. Jesus Christ" is a little more quick than the version on the full length as a result. Though in a middling to galloped range, he seems right at home with confident, hard-hitting strikes. The guitarists tap into some higher strings but are primarily laying on the thicker notes. What differentiates them from the other bands is you can actually tell what their playing, even when the music gets violent. The band can also dish out a practiced solo to peak an area, instead of going with instant chaos or whatever their fingers can get to quickest.

Korg was working on his character and was nearly there, with some rapid as well as extended delivery. His vocals seem better situated as extended rasps, as he attempts quicker ones and he has to catch a breath from this particular inhaling technique he does. As an interesting side note, I read that he actually worked at the Cogumelo store before they released records themselves and suggested to the owner, Joao, to release bands from their area, which resulted in the Sepultura/Overdose split. That's most likely the reason why when "Warfare Noise" came out (probably from the idea of the S.P. Metal split), they were featured first on side A of this compilation of bands from the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, even if they didn't necessarily outrun the pack. (Next side: Mutilator)

Part 2: 66%

This is the most feral Mutilator would get in their early period when the band held it more together on their "Bloodstorm" and "Grave Desecration" demos, where those sounded closer to having a uniform structure than everybody trying to take the lead at once. It actually seems like this should have come first due to everything being rushed and adventurous with this new form of chaotic music that was growing in Brazil. The band is playing a sloppy form of death-thrash that sounds like it was going more for an extremity factor than concentrating on musicianship like they would do more so on their full lengths. From the rough and grimy sound quality, overall simplicity and violent nature, the music sounds like a few mean spirited hardcore records, like Siege, got mixed up with the early Death demos to give you an idea.

This is barbaric, mostly fast and a wrecking ball of ambitious force from a couple of young guys who couldn't have been out of their teens just yet when this came out in '86, so that in itself is pretty impressive. The characteristic open and closed chord method from thrash is to a minimum, as the riffing structures are mostly quickened strums performed by excessively deep and dirty guitars. The solos expel sudden outbursts on the higher strings and just sound like noisy static to get its listeners charged up with energy than impressing the crowd. The vocals are a fairly quick rasp/growl with a few screams added for touch. The delivery is more a menace than the full length "Immortal Force" due to a different frontman behind the mic.

Even if everything wasn't aligned—as the impression I got was the band didn't seem to have enough time to refine their songs—these two tracks would not be used later on like part of Chakal's and Sarcofago's were, so it's interesting to see another extension of their music instead of redos. Mutilator had the unmistakable Brazilian sound: terrible production, primitive nature and extremities out the wazoo. This feels like '86 but also has areas that nudged extreme metal forward and would be borrowed from bands in the late '80s/early '90s when death metal got a bulkier transformation. (Next side: Sarcofago)

Part 3: 90%

While others before Sarcofago pushed the extremity bar further and further, such as Venom, Hellhammer, Death and Bathory, the band recorded one of the most extreme pieces of music coming out of '86, and I'm not saying that lightly or for exaggerated effect. Other bands had their own tantalizing techniques and spooky structure to get you at, so that doesn't necessarily make this better, but Sarcofago just pushed everything that came before it up a notch when I'm sure others didn't think that was possible to go any further. Basically extreme metal bands wouldn't even get around to emulating the sound till a few years later, party because regular thrash was still fresh in the next guy's and band's mind set.

The members got tighter and more focused since their first demo "Satanic Lust" of the same year. This is ferocious, dripping in depravity and still managed to hold it together when playing all at once; typically bands have trouble working as a team when something's new or when it gets this wild. "Recrucify" is a frightening two minute intro with a deeply growled voice overtop of wind effects. The metal music is literally only about two minutes a pop as this is where Sarcofago would pick up the ridiculous speed and make their last demo look the sorry loser at the finish line, with enough time left over for a beer. The music literally sounds so quick during "Satanas" that it's as if someone fast forwarded the tape. Hey, brother, where am I supposed to head bang at? D.D. Crazy's primitive chops in the song "The Black Vomit" sound borrowed from Bathory, where instead of using alternate clicks like a regular thrash band, both sticks are hitting the hi-hat and snare simultaneously in a quickened motion but not to the point of blasting. I'm sure Bathory were only doing it from lack of skill, like they hit on it by accident, while Sarcofago just decided to capitalize on the handicap.

The guitars are just as fast (should be another word for it) as they literally just openly strum a few single notes and chords at the blistering speed of darkness. Forget light, this is heinous, evil and will easily push black holes aside and give you an even briefer history of time! Wagner had the dual vocal types used in metal before even Carcass's full lengths. "The Black Vomit" has quick rasps to match the underlying speed, while "Satanas" has extended low growls with a delay effect to make them that much more terrifying. He also borrows a rare use of falsetto from Tom Araya, which I'm sure acquired it himself from an earlier speed or heavy metal group, though somehow it strangely works here even though this is far removed from the parent technique.

Sarcofago's side is the most well put together. This must have been a hell of a surprise to hear it back in '86, literally. Someone at first probably thought they had the speed settings wrong on their record player, where you can go from 33rpm to 45 and make everybody sound like a chipmunk. Sarcofago proved different with their raging, over-the-top extreme metal style, as what usually happens is a band gets too charged up and before one knows it they're running before they learned how to walk. This recording is short but can hold one engaged for the duration and then leave a hankering to return again and again, partly just to make sure you heard it right. (Next side: Holocausto)

Part 4: 61%

Holocausto's "Massacre" demo was recorded in December 1985 at the same time as the release of Sepultura's "Bestial Devastation," as well as both entered J.G. Studio: the soon-to-become hotbed for upcoming acts to record at. While the band wasn't as influential with their early material at large, not to mention they still had Portuguese lyrics, they were right there in the beginning with their own pulverizing extreme metal sounds. And their side to the "Warfare Noise" split should have been a nice little proving ground for the band in the next year.

But, like Mutilator's side, this feels rushed. Holocausto's first demo was actually worked through while still managing to hold down an extreme sound for the time it came out. This doesn't feel like the same experience as Vulcano's "Bloody Vengeance," for instance, which came with flaws and was recorded all at once in a short time. Holocausto's music at this point sounds quickly written and like it only had a small amount of time to rehearse when putting it together.

The guitars are frequently handing out primitive tremolo and strumming techniques, like they were taking simplistic hardcore influences up a notch to even more savage levels. But it sounds like the guitarist's picking hand just can't fully get all the way over or under the strings with plucks when attempting to perform a harder method. The drumming, done by early member Nedson Warfare, is just as primal, and when stepping up the speed it can feel unfamiliar, as if he's pushing beyond anything done before. I'm sure the band was listening to whatever LPs they could scarcely get their hands on in Brazil in the already limited genre of extreme metal in '86 compared to today, and then attempting to make those against-the-grain sounds of their predecessors even more extreme and over the top. The band most likely had to compensate for lack of skill, lack of imported instruments and clueless studios at that point in Brazil when the first metal recording only came out so many years prior in the decade and then make a sudden leap from a traditional to extreme mode in a matter of no time.

Holocausto is doing a hideous semi-growl and they are indeed delivering extreme metal tunes that would be the early stages of death metal more would capitalize on in the '90s. But something doesn't feel all the way there with this recording, as if it's not always on top of their own composition. It doesn't feel like they're playing what they know, as if they're one step behind themselves and are catching up in a way. But unlike Sodom's and Hellhammer's sloppiness, this doesn't hold the same flawed, tyrannous command over its listeners. It's entertaining in an easy sense, but the way it comes off is as if they were only working with so many ideas but hastened the experience to record anyway; even the main riff on both songs sounds similar to each other. (Next side: That's it. GET SOME SUN WHY DON'T YOU!)