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An often overlooked participant in Brazil's late-'80s thrash metal scene, Mutilator (also known as Mutilator 666, and originally named Armagedom [sic]) played a technical style of blackened thrash which sold few albums in their time, but remains both influential sought after by collectors to this day. First established by vocalist/bassist Kleber, guitarist/lyricist Alexander "Magoo," bassist Ricardo Neves, and his sibling drummer Rodrigo Neves in 1985 in the central Brazilian metropolis of Belo Horizonte (soon to also produce Sepultura and Sarcofago, among other bands), Mutilator honed their chops with a pair of rough demos (Grave Desecration and Bloodstorm) before participating in the Warfare Noise compilation. Chakal singer Silvio SDN was briefly involved with the group, but had departed come their 1987 Cogumelo Records debut, Immortal Force -- a cheaply recorded, but still rather promising effort which nonetheless barely made it beyond Brazilian borders and led to only limited national touring. Yet, Magoo had enough faith in Mutilator's future potential that he turned down Sepultura's invitation to replace Jairo T. (a position ultimately filled by São Paulo native Andreas Kisser), and decided to take over lead vocals while composing most of the material featured in 1989's much improved Into the Strange album. Also serving to introduce new guitarist C.M. and drummer Armando (formerly with Holocausto), the record's production standards were probably among the most professional yet afforded a Brazilian heavy metal album, but Cogumelo was unable to fulfill its part of the bargain and promote either band or album adequately. Mutilator quietly broke up a short time later, and their star-crossed destiny was only confirmed when a 2001 reunion was cut short by Magoo's unexpected demise -- reportedly from a drug overdose. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

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