Into the Void Records USA [PERMANENTLY CLOSED]

St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)

Death Metal Monday, A to Z: BRUTALITY

We made it to Week Two!  Our resilience must be very inspiring.

ugly people pretty metal

ugly people pretty metal

Up to B we are, and thankfully there is only one logical choice for me in death metal to make my life easy: Tampa, Florida’s BRUTALITY.  After starting life as a sloppy teenage quasi-thrash outfit, the band made a rather radical and speedy transformation from their awkward 1990 Dimension Demented demo to 1991’s Metamorphosis demo and finally to their debut full-length opus Screams of Anguish of 1992.

It seems that not only did BRUTALITY have much to learn from their more prolific peers in the explosive Tampa scene of the time, they outclassed them in many ways. By incorporating a touch of melodicism from their European friends, the band managed to create expansive and eloquent death metal beyond what their simple band name might suggest. The quirky lead guitar harmonies and rolling rhythms play nicely off the trenchant roar of Scott Reigel; with these elements steered by particularly thoughtful songcraft, Screams of Anguish provides one of the most refined death metal experiences ever to escape the fetid swamps of south Florida.  This is champagne death metal if ever an album deserved the term that I just made up.

Screams of Anguish did everything right at the time: released on long-time label Nuclear Blast Records and recorded in famed Morrisound Studios, it sold tens of thousands of copies, which seems hard to believe sitting here 22 years later.  After the label forgot them in the rush to diversify (and thus, water down) their portfolio, BRUTALITY’s three discs were reissued by Poland’s Metal Mind in 2008 but continue to be elusive.  Thankfully, the reformed band recently pressed LP reissues (via their Ceremonial Records imprint) and a new album has been promised.  While you’re waiting, don’t forget to revisit the old GORGUTS catalog for a similar dose of Euro-tinged DM sophistication, old OBITUARY for the morbid atmosphere, and mid-period DEATH for the same elevated attention to detail.  Across the pond, get familiar with GOREMENT for more massive death metal with a mournful touch.

Cheers

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One comment on “Death Metal Monday, A to Z: BRUTALITY

  1. Passenger
    February 22, 2015

    Brutality is one of the bands that any self-respecting metalhead should at least listen to once. Not only their discography was reissued by Metalmind, which makes it easy to get, but there is always youtube. Their second album is also very recommendable as is more ambitious and even more melodic, and I recommend listening closely to the fantastic solo work. Truly, a masterpiece

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This entry was posted on November 17, 2014 by in 1990s, album reviews, death metal, death metal monday and tagged , , .
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