Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: Brutal Truth, Ed Gein, Napalm Death, Releases of the Week, The Red Baron
Brutal Truth – Evolution Through Revolution
This is the year of the comeback. It seems that Brutal Truth came out of nowhere to compete with the Napalm Death release. It’s probably not the case, but any fan of grindcore will tell you that Brutal Truth are the kings of speed and aggression. I mean, honestly, when you are looking to push the boundaries of a genre of music that is all about pushing boundaries, you better receive some recognition. With 1992’s Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses, Brutal Truth established themselves as a hyper-speed grind outfit. 1994’s Need To Control introduced psychedelic elements into the mix and cemented their image as the stoner Gods of grind.
Evolution Through Revolution is almost too good for a comeback record. Yes, they had an abundance of time to write new material and dealt with some minor tweaks to the lineup, but it’s astounding how fucking good this album is. “Sugardaddy” starts things off in killer fashion with angular riffing, crazy-fast blasts and a br00tal vocal performance reminiscent of Ed Gein (the Syracuse-based metal band, not the psychopath). Each of the twenty tracks will take you for a wild ride on the grind side. Sure, Napalm Death may have “invented” grindcore, but Brutal Truth perfected it. Highly, highly recommended.
The Red Baron – My First Love
Opening with a group chant that proclaims “our God reigns”, it’s clear that The Red Baron isn’t your average hardcore band. The Christian, Straight-Edge five-piece may be very direct with their beliefs but that doesn’t mean that My First Love is an alienating debut. Musically, this record has all the aspects necessary to get the kids two-stepping and throwing down in the pit… fast tempos and sing-a-longs are prevalent throughout.
Vocalist Phil Porto’s performance is outstanding. His delivery is clearly influenced by hip-hop, a genre of music that he actually prefers to hardcore. His knack for rhythm stands out. It easily proves that he’s one of the most original front men in the scene today.
The Red Baron takes full advantage of the fact that the hardcore community is an open-minded bunch. Their strong lyrics are never preachy and it’s especially apparent that they play music solely for themselves. There are plenty of inspirational moments even if you don’t believe in the Christian faith or a Straight Edge lifestyle. For example, in the song “At Least I Tried”, Porto enthusiastically shouts “This is my life/Live yours”. Bottom line: although writing a fairly formulaic album, Phil’s exceptional delivery and unique message confirms The Red Baron are one of the best up and coming hardcore groups… not to mention they have the coolest merch ever.
– Jeremy Garber