MM - Celso Suckow (git), André Delacroix (dr), Marcelo Ferreira (git), Tavinho Godoy (voc), André Bighinzoli (bs)
DA - Cláudio Cromagnon (bs), Marcos Animal (dr, voc), Carlos Vândalo (git)

format: Split-LP Side A:
  1. Cavaleiro Negro
  2. Nosso Futuro
  3. Hárpya
  4. Complexo Urbano
  5. Desejo Mortal

Side B:

  1. Império De Satâ
  2. Catástrofe
  3. Armagedon
  4. Princesa Do Prazer
  5. Heavy Metal

year: 1984
country: Brazil
label: private
#: LP UDM-2217
insert: no, fold-out w/ photo collage
edition: 500
rarity: 9/10


If any record should be credited with the title of 'South America's Premier Thrash/Death/Black Metal album', you have to look slightly further back in the metallic history chapters than the early works of KORZUS, VULCANO* or SEPULTURA. The only album which could be said to have 'started it all' is this one. Released already in 1984 to coincide with a large Metal festival, it's small edition of 500 copies sold out almost instantly and the amount of copies that have traveled outside of Brazil seem to be absolutely miniscule (the only one I've ever seen offered is my own copy). Had it not been for Dies Irae's initiative to re-release this record, as well as a compilation of old demos, rehearsals and live recordings ("Ultimatum Outtakes"), your chances of hearing it would have been limited to this original and a late live CD which featured this session as a bonus - probably a bitch to track down too. "Ultimatum" seem to be a highly valued cult-record in it's homeland Brazil and almost any classic/cult Brazilian band in the brutal school claim to have been inspired by the most famous of the contestants: DORSAL ATLÂNTICA. (SEPULTURA allegedly formed after seeing an early DORSAL ATLÂNTICA-gig.) This means that those fortunate to have laid their hands on an original copy are very unlikely to pass it on to any foreign collector scum, as opposed to any Cogumelo/Rock Brigade/Devil Discos-release which came out in the thousands.

In all honesty, METALMORPHOSE was hardly the object of interest when I purchased this album at a W:O:A Metal Market many years ago for less than half of what could have been considered decent. As much as I'd like them to be this unknown nice surprise, I cannot lie to myself any more than I can lie to you: They're a bloody mess. They play an awkwardly stale and untight form of nonsensical Metal with quite peculiar vocals, sometimes growling, sometimes wailing and sounding more than just a little silly. "Hárpya" starts with an odd acoustic intro with flutes, which then breaks into a slower, heavier piece that could have been quite nice if it weren't for the out-of-tune vocals and guitars. The speedy "Complexo Urbano" is more HC/punk than Metal, but in 1983-84 there weren't that many faster Metal acts around to draw influences from, so that's not very surprising. Apparently the band released a very rare 12" EP on their own a few years later, but I can't imagine it's anything worth spending time and money on.

DORSAL ATLÂNTICA is without a doubt the most eye-catching of the 2 acts. I've seen plenty of outrageous Metal outfits in my days, but Carlos Vândalo's studded leather beak is possibly the most fucked up accessory I've come across so far. I haven't quite made up my mind weather it looks exceptionally cool or extraordinary silly, but many of the lineup shots on the sleeve are some of the most wicked I've seen from this period and this was the main reason I picked it up. It just had to be cool with pictures like these on the cover. When actually playing the record you won't be surprised to hear how all trax show heavy influences from the hardest core of Metal Anno 1984, VENOM, EXCITER and HELLHAMMER in particular. Five fast, raw & angry bursts of noise from a period in time when labels like Speed, Death, Thrash and Black Metal meant pretty much the same thing. In all honesty they never come close to the originals and the only noticeable cut would be "Armagedon". Not for it's outstanding originality or being tighter or better produced than the rest of the material on this side, but simply because the riffing and arrangements is more accomplished and memorable here. I wish I had more superlatives and smart comparisons to write, but "Ultimatum" just doesn't inspire to any big words, at least not musically. I guess you just had to be there.

On a final note I'll just mention that you can easily spot the difference between the original and the reissue. Just look at the text. On the original, all logos and writing are handmade, while the Dies Irae-version have had all graphics remade with ugly computer fonts. And it won't be as yellowed and stained either I guess. It's also been said that the original smells nicer and will grant you 3 wishes if you rub it sideways and call it Charlene.

*="Um Pushne Namah" isn't Thrash, ya twat!

Thanx to Rainer Krukenberg/Metaleros for additional info

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