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Necrófago

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“Brutal Mutilation” CD (Desire for Blood Records)

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Note: Some years after this CD came out and I wrote this review (in 2007), it became clear that this CD includes two separate bands and is generally a piece of shit. The definitive Necrófago release is the LP put out by Nuclear War Now in 2011. Rather than deleting this review, I decided to let it stand, as, outside some specifics related to this CD, mostof what I wrote remains appropriate and accurate.

South America, and Brazil in particular, had a huge metal scene in the 1980s, so it stands to reason that many exemplars of the shit-fi aesthetic are hidden there. Of the bands I’ve heard, Necrófago are the second most primitive metal band from Brazil. This CD collects two three-song demos, “Desire for Blood” and “Brutal Mutilation,” from ‘87 and ‘88, respectively. Contrary to the general way things work in the world, the latter demo is the more primitive of the two. But this CD provides a useful demonstration of what I love about shit-fi music and what separates the shit from the shinola. The first demo is, to any casual listener, extraordinarily primitive deathrash. It’s not nearly as fast as some of the more well-known Cogumelo deathrash/death metal bands, but it has a gloomier feel to it. I appreciate its heaviness, and the extremely rough, heavy guitar sound stands out. “Brutal Mutilation,” however, combines a piss-raw recording with genuinely bizarre songwriting and technique. There are tempo changes, guitar squeals, and unpredictable cymbal crashes that seem more inspired by friendliness with a gluebag than imitation of any previous metal bands I’ve heard. The thin, trebly guitar sound, thudding atonal bass, and primitive drumming give the second demo a feel of proto-black metal. I personally have trouble getting into a lot of metal because the vocals so often come across as affected if not wholly fake. In some cases, the falsity of the vocals contributes to an inept aesthetic, but more often it’s just lame. Necrofago’s singer, Deathvomit, does not have this problem. In a 1989 interview from the French zine Ultimate Speedcore Dislocation, “Brutal Mutilation” is said to include four songs. On this CD, the third song fades out to close, so I wonder if the original source was incomplete, missing the end of the song and the fourth song. That’s a shame. Also, this bootleg CD is nearly as primitive as the music contained within. It has utterly terrible cartoon artwork on the front, zero info about the band inside, and a suitably monochromatic photo of four heshers hell bent for leather on the back. But at least it’s numbered out of 500 and quite tough to find now. Thanks, scum. One online metal archive lists a rehearsal tape from ‘88 with one unreleased song and, presumably, a different version of “Morbid Death,” the best song from the second demo, but it’s not on this CD. Would love to hear that.

Image from Ultimate Speedcore Dislocation