BRUTALITY - Sea of Ignorance (REPULSIVE ECHO - CD 2016)
So, Brutality is back for good, it seems. 1996 was the year, when they unleashed their last full length album (“In Mourning”). Then they split up for few years, even tried to come back several times, but it wasn’t until 2013, when “Ruins of Humans” EP came out and was their first officially released new recording in 17 years. And finally in January 2016 Repulsive Echo putted out “Sea of Ignorance”, which is a fourth Brutality album! Good news, although such comebacks from the grave will always bring a lot of scepticism. And we have right to feel that way, you know? Some of these comebacks are just pointless and nothing but unnecessary waste of time and money. There are many examples, but I will be kind enough not to mention them here. But not all are shit and some reunions actually brought us a crushing piece of death metal, with new albums as good as their 90’s stuff. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to hear “Ruins of Humans” EP, so on one hand I was also quite sceptical towards Brutality comeback, but on the other I was also approaching the album with clear mind, with not much expectations. But I kept saying I won’t comment it before I hear the album fully. And now, after few days of playing “Sea of Ignorance” I can say just one thing: welcome back, Brutality! This new album is just really damn good, it surely is not a waste of time, it surely is not a waste of money and more so, it let me feel that these guys still know how to compose some killer death metal tunes.
From the very first song, up to the final minutes we’re dealing with crushing, absolutely perfectly composed and performed death metal. My first thought on this record was that it’s surprisingly melodic. It has quite many harmonious leads, many slower, kind of calmer passages, which only make the music more interesting and varied. Oh, just take a listen to such fantastic piece as “48 to 52”. How great is this song, almost epic sometimes, damn! I love some of these almost memorable, catchy, melodic riffs, as well as these slow, heavy parts. And that guitar solo near the end – masterpiece! Oh, what a pleasure is to hear this band in such a good form! The title track is another one, which brings so much pleasure to my ears, also because of these awesome fast, blasting parts. Well, if you listen to this album carefully, then you’ll realize that it basically has everything we all love about death metal and is very well balanced. It’s fast (“Sea of Ignorance”, “Fatal Cure”) and slow (“48 to 52”, “Perpetual Resolution”), it’s brutal, but other time it’s melodic and very catchy. It is technical, but not too technical, so it still has this old school feeling here and there, which I personally can only compare to Disincarnate and some of the earlier Death albums. The vocals are beastly, drumming is precise as fuck… and well, did I mention those fuckin killer guitar solos and almost progressive touch here and there? Yes, I did, but James Murphy must feel envious haha! The songs are never monotonous and one dimensional, they’re always filled with many different tempos, riffs, ideas, etc.
I just love how everything sounds here. Not only the song structures seem to be far from typical and banal, but the riffs are just crushing and the whole album sounds very interesting. On top of everything, the production of “Sea of Ignorance” is just splendid. Of course it’s nothing like the old Morrisound productions, which I guess many would love to hear. Instead “Sea of Ignorance” sounds very modern, very heavy, powerful and tight. When you play this album loud, then you literally can watch the walls crackling and windows shaking.
Oh man, I must say that I am very, very pleased with “Sea of Ignorance”. This is almost perfect death metal album and I would never guess that my impression towards Brutality anno 2016 will be so positive. I had the same feeling last year, whe n I heard Morgoth’s “Ungod” LP, for which I also had rather bad feelings about, but which turned out to be simply fantastic. “Sea of Ignorance” is even better, I guess this may be my favourite Brutality album, although it’s hard to compare the old days and present time, compare “Scream of Anguish” and “Sea of Ignorance”. Two different times, basically two different bands, even if the logo is the same. Fuck it, who cares. I can sincerely recommend this new album to all death metal maniacs. You will not be disappointed, I can guarantee.
Oh, one more thing I have to say. Technically this album is rather short, as it’s just around 30 minutes, which is not much, if you hear seven killer songs and want more. Another, additional 10 minutes though come with… Bathory cover. Well, I must say I didn’t expect to hear something like “Shores in Flames” here. As much as I love old Bathory, this song just doesn’t fit death metal and lyrics dealing with modern social problems like overpopulation, diseases, religion, etc. On the other hand though I have to say that Brutality performed this cover just fantastically. They did it their own way, but kept its epic atmosphere and even some of the necessary clean vocals lines, which were sang very well by… sorry, but I have no idea if Scott Reigel sang these parts or someone else did, but they do sound very close to the original Quorthon’s tone of voice. So, the cover is generally very, very good, but it just doesn’t fit to this album, in my opinion, especially as it’s not the last, but one before last song, which is even odder. Anyways, if this cover was to make the album even more varied, then it did great job. But I’ve already seen that many comments, which share my opinion, so… it’s here though, so let’s leave this discussion aside.
Haha, I have one more conclusion – this album sounds so much fresher and better than most of the albums that in the past years were recorded my long running death metal bands. what does it mean?
Standout tracks: “48 to 52”, “Sea of Ignorance”, and more!
Final rate: 85/100