Are you in for some really fast music? If so, keep on reading. BRUTAL TRUTH formed in the early nineties, the working force behind their forming was Danny Lilker. For many Danny Lilker may be best known for his time in ANTHRAX and NUCLEAR ASSAULT, for a Death Metal fan like me, however, the story is a bit different. BRUTAL TRUTH was only meant to be a side-project, but in the end it didn't turn out like that at all. Earache got their hands on a demo and they didn't wait long until they signed the band. This led to Danny's departure from his other bands, making BRUTAL TRUTH his main priority. With him he had Brent McCarty on guitar and Scott Lewis on drums. Danny Lilker himself took care of the bass guitar and the vocals. These were the three who recorded the demo that Earache got their hands on, Kevin Sharp (vocals) joined the band shortly after, helping the band create a milestone record in the vein of Extreme Metal. This record is none less than today’s choice of review, named "Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses".
It starts with a short intro called "P.S.P.I" before we arrive at the opening song called "Birth Of Ignorance". "Birth Of Ignorance" is one of those songs that makes this record a hybrid between Grindcore and Death Metal. "Birth Of Ignorance" finds itself in the Death Metal spectre of BRUTAL TRUTH's sound scape. When listening to this song you may wonder were the promised speed is. Let me assure you, it's not far away. I remember listening to "Stench Of Profit" for the first time; what I heard was hands down the fastest drum playing I'd ever experienced. As we now write 2005, some may find my fascination for the speed on this record to be kind of awkward. These days triggering of the drums is very common, more common than not perhaps. I don't give a fuck about how bands make their music, what matters for me is whether it sounds good or not. When it comes to pure talent, however, Scott Lewis shows that he's got plenty of it. It's quite a task to play this kind of a record without the triggering of today. I shall not claim that this record is absolutely trigger free, but the blastbeats on "Extreme Conditions..." fades when they are lengthy.
As I mentioned previously in the review, Kevin Sharp, on vocals, joined in time to record "Extreme Conditions..." and what a dedicated performance he is turning in. Just listen to his vocal delivery on a song like "Ill-Neglect", by the spear of Odin this man sounds pissed! "Ill-Neglect" shows BRUTAL TRUTH from a side that is hard to match intensively speaking. After listening to noisy music for half of my life I've found out that intensity alone doesn't make a record, the magic of song writing must also be present. Although it was the sheer speed that first made me interested in this band, their song writing abilities makes sure I can enjoy the same record 13 years later. Take a song like "Regression-Progression", it starts out quite ordinary, almost like one of those rare good SIX FEET UNDER songs. Although the guys in BRUTAL TRUTH and SIX FEET UNDER share the love for THC, their outlet of anger is differing quite a bit. BRUTAL TRUTH may start slow but the pace is quickly increased and by the end it sounds like an elephant takes care of the vocals, not to mention the rabid performance by the rest of the band, a display of pure intensity and brutality. "Time" is the slowest song on the record, although it starts out rather fast. The main meat on this song, however, is slow, churning Death Metal with some sort of a saw used as sound fx in some parts of the song. "Time" is well placed on the record as it ensure a break up in the intensity (expect no love ballad) and ensure us the joy of variety. If you fell asleep during "Time", "Walking Corpse" will most definitively wake you up again. "I hope you make sure we're properly dead before you start" says the sample that starts the song and after that some very intense grinding. "Walking Corpse", as the other songs, deals lyrically with the society around us and in "Walking Corpse" they made a song about people that don't think, just act the way the system wants them to. A band that is comparable in sense of both music and lyrics are NAPALM DEATH, although BRUTAL TRUTH is a bit noisier than good ole' NAPALM DEATH.
I could write about every song but I think I painted the picture quite well by now. "Extreme Conditions..." consists of very good Death and Grindcore songs and should be checked out by both camps. One thing I would like to mention at the end is the fact that BRUTAL TRUTH is a world record holding band. Their music video for "Collateral Damage" is the shortest one ever shot, ensuring them a place in the Guinness Book Of Records. A 3 second epic that was! Be sure to check them out. (Online May 13, 2005)