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Grindcore is a rage-filled form of art that has been tried and true for nearly twenty years with very few bands have been able to perfect the aggressive nature of it, and Brutal Truth are one of the American Godfathers in that respect. Since 1990 we’ve seen Brutal Truth taken a few different musical forms, but always with keeping the straight-forward death metal/grindcore style their fans love. I know for a fact that I was not the only one who was very happy to hear about the band coming back to life after an eight year hiatus in 2006, and they subsequently released a couple split albums, an EP, and their return-to-form full-length entitled, “Evolution Through Revolution“. It was a time when us grindfreaks could hardly be satiated by what the rest of the metal world was giving us, and what Danny Lilker (Nuclear Assault, ex-Exit 13, Venemous Concept), Rich Hoak (Total Fucking Destruction, ex-Exit 13), Erik Burke (Kalibas, Sulaco, ex-Nuclear Assault), and Kevin Sharp (Venemous Concept, ex-S.O.B.) gave their fans was something much different than what we had thought would be released.
“Evolution Through Revolution” was a look into what it would be like if Brutal Truth had continued right where they left off, but threw more groovy and sludge-like riffs at you. There were those that weren’t exactly fans of the different approach the band took, but I was in the opposite camp; I thought it was a very refreshing take on grindcore as a whole, and found it quite enjoyable. Two-and-a-half years later the group gives us a new slab of meat to gnaw on: “End Time“.
“End Time” has a very similar feel to “Evolution Through Revolution“, but this album just feels more concrete and adventurous, even for Brutal Truth. There are a lot of pieces of this album that hold the grindcore flag high and proud, but it has also has this doom and sludge feeling on top of the already aforementioned grind. Tracks like the album-opener “Malice”, “Drink Up”, and “War Embraced Poverty” give out vibes of being slowly crushed to death underneath the weight of its own song writing. Very droll and slow tracks on an otherwise speed-filled album are great ways to break apart the feeling of continuous bombardment with Kevin Sharp’s haunting vocal approach following close behind.
One thing that I am finding myself really liking about this album is that while most of the riffs obviously feel like they should reside in grindcore, there are a few that the guys just throw at the listener, trying to see if it’ll stick with their theme of experimentation. I have been caught off-guard by a few riffs here and there, with examples coming in from “Sweet Dreams”, “Butcher”, “Swift And Violent (Swift Version)”, and quite a few others where I felt compelled to contort my face and scratch my head in both confusion and amazement, seeing how when I would think about it, absolutely none of those riffs would work with any other band, and only Brutal Truth could pull them off. Nice work. Plus, if you’re as much of a fan of feedback and crazy Rich Hoek drumming as the band is, then you’ll absolutely love the fifteen-minute static lullaby, “Control Room”.
One great thing about my job is finding an album like this that can hit most of my sweet spots and I don’t need to write very much about it, because we all know exactly what we’re getting in to when looking at a track record that Brutal Truth holds. “End Time” is a continuation of where “Evolution Through Revolution” left off but a little more experimental and sludge-like elements. It is a great new approach from a band that has been around and seen and done it all when it comes to death metal and grindcore. I love seeing veterans of the genre coming out with fresh material, and this is no exception. Go get this album and prepare to be blown away.
Originally written for Metal Blast (http://www.metalblast.net/).
So, this is the end: with globalized internet access, we see more and more extreme catastrophes than anyone could've imagined back five years ago. Brutal Truth are here to declare the decaying wastes of our own Western society, with their modern view and caustic grind..
With the previous full-length, there seemed to be an urgency with new guitarist, Erik Burke, who seems to feel the need to control the band (ha) with his fresh, chaotic ideas.. these seemed forced, as the gush of ideas on your debut overpowered all else. Now, possibly and probably after a shit-load of live performances, Erik has found his groove in grind, so as to 'slip n slide' his way along with the pure low-end avalanches of Dan; the unending malevolent clockwork of Hoak; and the tried and true preachings of Kevin.
There is a definative undercurrent of urban grind to be experienced here. The first few listens are utter chaos and discomfort. When and if you finally catch on, you will 'get it' like you got it 15 years ago, if you're old enough. It will bring you back to that day cruising downtown, locating that underground music shop you got word about... you maybe spent too much but whatever. Popping that one album into the car stereo, then burning back across town, that feeling is ghosted with this disc. Along with the care-free freedom and un-informed bliss that comes with not knowing that Our western culture may be at its end. Let chaos reign.
After their amazing debut album "Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses", it seems that Brutal Truth just wasn't pleased with the idea of basic grindcore. Now I have nothing wrong with experimentation, in fact I love it. However, what's the one thing needed for experimentation to work? It needs creativity, which is one thing Brutal Truth seems to lack, but that doesn't seem to stop the New York grindcore band from trying as hard as they can to stand out. Now, I'll admit there is much, much worse "experimental" grindcore out there (I'm looking at you Cephalic Carnage) but the main issue with Brutal Truth experimentation isn't that it's bad, but forgettable, which is the case for this album.
There are various issues with this album, but let's start with the main issue in my opinion, the production. I'm still in shock that something sounds this bad could have actually been released on a major label, but then again, this is the same band who thought "Sounds of the Animal Kingdom" sounded good so I guess I can't be too shocked. It's almost as if the band did everything in their power to drown out the guitars to make them almost inaudible over the drums, to the point where the only time you can even make out a single riff is when there are no drums, which plays a big part in why this album is so forgettable. I've listened to this album nearly 5 times, and I still can't remember any good riffs.
Now let's move on to the drumming. I have never heard such disregard for rhythm in my life, and this is grindcore! A genre where the drumming is usually just machine gun blast beats and out of all the grindcore I've heard, this just might be the worst grindcore drumming I have ever heard. Obviously simple blast beats aren't good enough for Brutal Truth so instead they have this terrible, obnoxious and overall incompetent style of drumming. It's as if the drummer is trying as hard as he can to create something unique for grindcore and it just ends up as a complete mess that drags the album down.
With piss poor drumming, barely audible guitars and virtually nothing to remember about this album, it makes me wish Brutal Truth would have taken the route of bands like Bolt Thrower and stick with the style they play best instead of trying to create some new sound for grindcore when they have proven time and time again that they just don't have the creativity to do so. If you're looking for some creative grindcore, try a band like Japanische Kampfhörspiele and just don't bother with this album. You will get virtually nothing out of it.