By the time Rio de Janeiro's Dorsal Atlantica had the opportunity to record their first full album, Antes do Fim (Before the End), in 1986, they were already one of Brazil's most influential heavy metal bands. Founded almost five years earlier by vocalist/guitarist Carlos Lopes, with his brother Claudio on bass and the first of a multitude of short-term drummers, Dorsal -- like many of their peers -- had no access to major record labels or professional recording studios during the final years of Brazil's ruling military dictatorship. But they had nevertheless managed to build both their reputation and repertoire by playing small-time concerts to the growing heavy metal faithful -- many of whom proceeded to start their own bands. The album, like most of the best cutting-edge Brazilian heavy metal of the period, set Portuguese lyrics to an intentionally grimy brand of thrash, strewn with elements of proto-black metal derived from England's Venom and just a pinch of hardcore chaos. And even though that inevitably meant a preponderance of rapid-fire onslaughts. The great overarching maturity was the reason that distinguished Dorsal Atlantica from their often bumbling Brazilian competitors back then, and continues to ensure the timeless stature of Antes do Fim among Brazil's most formative heavy metal records, even now.