Mathcore, hardcore, and metalcore collide across 27 minutes of music. Salespeople put me in mind of the past quite strongly, while also keeping a firm eye on the here and now. Continue reading
I have been looking forward to hearing some more material from this band ever since 2014’s self-titled EP was unleashed. It seems like it’s been a long wait, and it has, I suppose.
Has it been worth it? Simply stated; yes it has. At least, if you’re a glutton for aural punishment. Continue reading
The first thing to take in is the album cover, which is very striking. There’s something about it which appeals to me greatly.
Ultramantis Black is a wrestler in his day job, so to speak, and it seems he’s decided to have a stab at some angular, angry Hardcore. I’m glad he has as this is 13 minutes of testosterone and fury.
Reference points? Luddite Clone, Deadguy, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, Burnt by the Sun, Association Area – abrasive, inventive, atypical and full of rage.
Vocally he has a thin, piercing semi-shriek that’s buried low in the mix and sounds Punk as fuck. It’s different to what I was expecting and a welcome surprise. The best way I can think to describe it is a snarl, pure and simple.
The vocals being lower in the mix allows the music to take centre stage, and it’s strong enough to do this. For a man who is probably used to being the centre of attention it’s a brave and confident move, but the band of assorted miscreants he has assembled to spread his message know their stuff so it’s an understandable one.
The songs twist and turn, rage and subdue, burn and fade and then it’s over. 13 minutes is not a long time. Alternatively, 13 minutes is a very long time in a choke hold, which this is the aural equivalent of.
Repeated spins show this release to be an ungentle grower, as the guitar riffs become more familiar and the unexpected song directions become easier to navigate.
I have a long-running soft spot for this kind of music stemming from a period years and years ago when I was absolutely obsessed with it. I still love it now and it’s always great to hear it done so well.
You can see why a label as prestigious as Relapse snapped this up – this is right up their street and is of the highest quality, especially for a début release.
Give this a whirl and prepare to be floored.
Favourite Track: Sentience. The mid-paced highly emotive main riff brings me out in goosebumps.
The band play ferociously aggressive Grind that feels unhinged and dangerous. The music seems refined to the point of Mathcore and the musical assault is relentless.
The vocals are demented and inhuman, sounding as if someone is strangling a murderous clown in someone else’s nightmare and the howls and screams are bleeding through into your consciousness.
Coming across like a more maniacal mix of Discordance Axis and Association Area with a hint of early The Dillinger Escape Plan; Brutal Blues provide a hypnotically mental 15 minutes of inventive, interesting and effective Grind.
I haven’t heard anyone really play this style of music that became quite popular in the early 2000’s for quite a while. I’m reminded of bands like Botch, Luddite Clone, Uphill Battle, etc. only more extreme. It’s a welcome reminder of something I was heavily into at one point, always seeking out the latest band at the time, and I’m very happy to see that the style is alive and well in the hands of Brutal Blues.
A blast from the past and a warning shot to the future.