Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2023
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

The Dead Youth > Intense Brutality > Reviews > TheCenotaph
The Dead Youth - Intense Brutality

Underrated Masterpiece - 100%

TheCenotaph, September 18th, 2023

The Dead Youth were a short-lived project, only putting out a handful of releases. While most of the members of this band would perform with Usurper, unfortunately, nothing Usurper did would ever match the sheer fucking aggression on this album.
Intense Brutality is 40 minutes of ear-shattering OSDM buried by time. This is one of those albums where you either really love it or you really hate it. From what I've heard from other people, I've either heard extremely high praise talking about the technicality of the songwriting or the non-stop aggression, or on the other side of the coin, other people have complained about the repetitiveness and "boringness" of the album. I don’t hear that, however, while yes, the songs are all very similar, which is more of a strength than a weakness, and at times the album does slow down (normally for 60–90 seconds max), which adds depth but still provides a very brutal sound.

I could talk about every song, but they would all be either "heavy ‘n’ fast" or has a slow part then builds to 250 bpm riffage. However, there is one standalone track that pretty much summarises the entirety of underground, under-appreciated death metal, and that song is "Roachmotel". It has it all: brutal vocals, great riffs, and badass drumming. I don’t know how they did it. When you have a standout album with every single song being a death metal masterpiece, they somehow managed to go a step further and put a standout song on the album.

I pretty much only have two minor complaints about this album: the production and the artwork. The artwork speaks for itself; a low-budget placeholder for something that could have been better, "Intense Brutality" could have spawned some Cannibal Corpse-esque, but I don’t really think it’s fair to moan at that when you release an album on a small-scale label that probably used up 1/3 of their net worth to rent enough studio time.

The second and more fair complaint is that the production is very low quality (standard to most late 80's–early 90’s production). While that doesn’t diminish the actual record, it does impact the overall enjoyment. I can get past that, but some people can't, and if you can't, then you might not think that this album is a 10/10 masterpiece. It's not like the actual tones of any of the instruments are bad either; the guitar has a sharp, snappy sound to it, kind of like the HM-2, but less chainsaw, more angry hornets, and this can be pretty much said for the bass, but without the distortion (seriously, I believe that this album has one of the most brutal bass tones of all time). This is purely because the tone is a mix between later Cannibal Corpse, Brutal Truth’s "Need to Control", and Mayhem’s "Deathcrush". If you combined all of those bass tones and removed the distortion, you would almost definitely get a tone like this. However, the drums are standard OSDM double bass, and while nothing overly unique or memorable, there is nothing necessarily bad about the drum sound either (other than the production, which is... lacking).

To conclude this review, I have not much more to say. If you have some spare time on your hands or want to put on a classic album while going about your daily life, I would 100% check this album out.