posted on 10/2011 By:
After a decade off, Brutal Truth came blasting back in 2009 with the stellar Evolution Through Revolution. That album was a total bomb-blast, and it came in at number two on my top-ten list that year. (Second only to Napalm Death’s uber-massive Time Waits For No Slave, and the distance between the two was slight.) So I’ve been waiting for this one all year, and I have to say, while End Time follows a similar path and is damn good in its own right, it doesn’t quite live up to Evolution’s level of destruction. But it will still thoroughly kick your ass.
The biggest difference is that End Time simply doesn’t sound as good as Evolution – it’s got a murkier sound, not as sharp or focused. The songs rip hard, but the blunted production doesn’t do them any favors. Rich Hoak’s drums sound more wooden, less punchy; Erik Burke’s guitars are dirtier, which sounds like an improvement, but some of the edges of the riffs get lost. (Thankfully, Lilker’s bass tone is still perfectly gnarly – when you can hear it. Witness the feedback-laden intro to “Warm Embrace Of Poverty” for an example of his usual killer sound.) Mind you, it’s not that End Time sounds bad – it just doesn’t sound as edgy and aggressive as Evolution did, and thus, not as good as Brutal Truth could sound and has recently sounded.
Beyond that, End Time offers little in the way of surprises: This is pretty much business-as-usual for Brutal Truth circa 2011 – these grindfathers have settled into a nice spot as guiding lights of experimental grindcore. As usual, these tunes pummel and twist, balancing blasts against crawling, layering memorable riffs behind pure noise, overlaying more straightforward attacks against time changes and progressive leanings. Hints of hardcore and post-hardcore, noise rock and death metal slide neatly amongst the grinding. “Malice” oozes malevolently through a trudging gait beneath dissonant squalls of riffs; the bass and guitars in the title track slip and slide above the blasts; “Celebratory Gunfire” opens on a groovy section in 5/4 time; the band’s noisier side emerges in the spoken-word-atop-clamor of “.58 Caliber” and the fifteen-minute closing track, “Control Room.” (Another minor quibble: that final track wears out its welcome quickly. It will be skipped on future plays by this reviewer, and has been on all but the initial listen.)
So my production quibble notwithstanding, End Time is exactly what I wanted to hear: another set of killer death-inf(l)ected grinding from a band who knows few equals when it comes to such. Through little fault of its own, I can say that it won’t place as high on my year-end list as Evolution did, but End Time will definitely be in the top ten – it’s blistering, grinding, destructive, and that’s all I need. After the return to top form that that record proved to be (following the lengthy hiatus and the letdown of Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom, which was produced terribly), End Time is another victory for Brutal Truth. Highly recommended.
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