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Brutal Truth - "Evolution Through Revolution" (CD)

Brutal Truth - "Evolution Through Revolution" CD cover image

"Evolution Through Revolution" track listing:

1. Sugardaddy (2:36)
2. Turmoil (1:04)
3. Daydreamer (1:46)
4. On The Hunt (1:00)
5. Fist In Mouth (1:57)
6. Get A Therapist...Spare The World (2:37)
7. War Is Good (:49)
8. Evolution Through Revolution (2:52)
9. Powder Burn (1:54)
10. Attack Dog (:42)
11. Branded (:06)
12. Detached (3:01)
13. Global Good Guy (1:43)
14. Humpty Finance (1:55)
15. Semi-Automatic Carnation (2:55)
16. Itch (2:44)
17. Afterworld (3:26)
18. Lifer (2:53)
19. Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs (1:22)
20. Grind Fidelity (3:55)

Reviewed by on August 6, 2009

"After all this time, it’s good to see that Brutal Truth is still held together by a combination of brutal riffs, precise blast beats, a madman-on-a-rampage vocal style, and steady bass lines."

When Brutal Truth split up in the late 90s, the grind genre as a whole suffered a huge lost. In only a few short years, the band, formed by ex-Anthrax bassist Danny Lilker, became one of the influential groups in the genre, starting with their fantastic 1992 debut album, “Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses.” Their momentum only grew as time went on, with 1994’s “Need To Control” and 1997’s “Sounds Of The Animal Kingdom” further showcasing their intensity and ability to throw conventional songwriting out the window.

When it was announced that Brutal Truth would re-unite in 2006, grind fans began to salivate at the possibilities of a new album. That dream soon became a reality, as work commenced on “Evolution Through Revolution,” the band’s first studio album in almost 12 years. When guitarist Brent McCarty declined to return, Erik Burke, formerly of Lilker’s other project Nuclear Assault, stepped in to fill his massive shoes. While this isn’t the same band that blew people away with “Birth Of Ignorance” and “Walking Corpse,” there is still enough of that old sound to please long-time fans, while attracting new-school metal heads with an emphasis on mid-paced material.

First single “Sugardaddy” is an exercise in controlled chaos, the beginning of what turns into a punishing descent into madness. The first noticeable improvement to their earlier albums is the clean production job, which makes every instrument audible and the wall of sound that pulsates from every corner absolutely ear-shattering. Melody creeps its way in with an infectious bridge, a trait that rears its head throughout the rest of the album.

The various tempo changes and more evenly-paced numbers help to keep “Evolution Through Revolution” from blending into one monotonous piece of music. “Detached” is a doom/sludge metal affair, lurching forward with the agility of a decayed zombie from a George Romero flick. “Afterworld” starts off aggressive, but trails off into an extended slowdown that antagonizes the listener one cymbal hit at a time. Closer “Grind Fidelity” has a pace that would make a snail blush, with a brief moment of grinding speed that sharply contrasts the arduous plodding a few seconds prior.

Brutal Truth hearkens back to their early days on several tracks, including “Branded,” the spiritual successor to “Collateral Damage,” and the under-one minute bursts of energy that “War Is Good,” “Attack Dog,” and “On The Hunt” provide. Even after all this time away from the scene, the band still has their teeth sharpened lyrically for all the leaders of the free world and our corrupt government system. Vocalist Kevin Sharpe has only improved with age, with a more commanding presence and a crisp delivery that was lacking in the band’s earlier material.

At 20 tracks, “Evolution Through Revolution” is a tiring listen, even though it clocks in at a hair over 40 minutes. The album flows well for the majority of the running length, though the last 1/3 sputters as a series of longer tunes are placed back-to-back. None of these tracks are outright poor, though the spacey instrumental “Semi-Automatic Carnation” seems way out of place. Cutting a few of the songs out at the end would have benefited the album in the long run.

Though it doesn’t quite reach the plateau of their previous albums, “Evolution Through Revolution” is a return to form for Brutal Truth. Being disbanded for so long could have had a negative impact on their reunion, but the chemistry is still strong between the primary trio of Sharpe, Lilker, and drummer Richard Hoak, with Burke fitting nicely into the equation. After all this time, it’s good to see that Brutal Truth is still held together by a combination of brutal riffs, precise blast beats, a madman-on-a-rampage vocal style, and steady bass lines.

Highs: Nice mix of relentless grind and mid-paced songs, Kevin Sharpe's vocals, politically-charged lyrics that aren't preachy or overbearing.

Lows: A few songs could have been cut, too much emphasis on slower material in the last third of the album.

Bottom line: "Evolution Through Revolution" shows that the spirit of grind is still strong in Brutal Truth.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)