Mutilator - Immortal Force - (9/10)
Published on April 1, 2017
Genre:Death / Thrash
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. Efforts like “Memorial Stone Without a Name,” “Blood Storm” and “War Dogs” 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. “Butcher,” “Mutilator” and the title track feature 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.
It’s especially important that this reissue contains that extra slice of furious and chaotic work within here, and as an added bonus the reissue even comes with a couple of vast and vicious demo tracks from an earlier demo. The sound quality is a bit samey to the proper album and carries that wild and frantic vibe quite nicely while the band speeds through two tracks contained on the main album as a whole, leaving the inclusion wholly welcome if slightly odd here in why they included two repressings here when the rest of the demo wasn’t included as a whole, yet the opportunity to get this effort isn’t too terrible.
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.