Brutality - Screams Of Anguish review


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Band: Brutality
Album: Screams Of Anguish
Release date: 1993

01. These Walls Shall Be Your Grave
02. Ceremonial Unearthing
03. Sympathy
04. Septicemic Plague
05. Crushed
06. Spirit World
07. Exposed To The Elements
08. Cries Of The Forsaken
09. Cryptorium
10. Spawned Illusion
11. Sadistic [bonus]

Brutality were one of the many death metal bands hailing from Florida (in particular, from Tampa) and were part of the "Florida death metal scene", basically a collective term for all these bands. After having released several demos and EPs and having seen the departure of Larry Sapp, they released the debut Screams of Anguish in 1993 when most Florida bands had already emerged and death metal had already become a defined genre.

So these guys better be tough with a name like Brutality which has pretty much become the generic term for describing just about any death metal band. Thing is, although far from a revolutionary release, this band pretty much perfected that old school death metal sound. First of all, this album has a twin guitar team: Don Gates and Jay Fernandez. The tempo is extremely volatile with songs constantly changing from a raunchy distorted, slow tempo, at times possessing a mild doom essence, to relentless bombastic speed. Riffs are not exceptionally distinct but the variety and guitar solos/shrieks make up for it along with the harmonic melodies and polyrhythms featured (similar to Cryptopsy) which greatly aid the heaviness of the music. The drumming is versatile as it adapts well to the pace (although getting lost in the melody at times) vigorously shifting from basic patterns to blast beats when needed, killer double bass, fast and monstrous at all times. Jeff Acres is a decent bassist as his licks and riffs add to the furiousness of the music serving as a formidable foundation. Scott Reigel replaces Larry Sapp as the lead vocalist and, although not very special, his guttural growls suit the album. Cataclysmic atmosphere overall.

Although all the tracks are good, the stand-out ones would be "These Walls Shall Be Your Grave" (an excellent opener), "Ceremonial Unearthing" (good fast-paced track), "Crushed" (just read the title), "Exposed to the Elements" (merciless display of technicality and speed) and "Cries of the Forsaken" (the best track on this album, staggering). We have two keyboard/acoustic interludes meant to serve as build-ups/breaks: "Sympathy" (a mysterious classical sounding instrumental) and "Spirit World" (acoustic interlude). "Cryptorium" and "Spawned Illusion" end the album on a rapid note. Generally though, it's best to listen to the album in its entirety to receive the full experience.

Brutality never could live up to their debut, so this remains their best. In 1997, they split up, but reformed in 2001 with founding member Larry Sapp and released a demo, until splitting up in 2004 for what people thought was his death. According to Jeff Acres, Larry became a woman. However, due to the general hostility and snide expressed towards Larry by Jeff, this was probably a sly joke. Regardless of what happened, this is a great old school/tech death release and is definitely worth picking up if you find it.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written by vezzy | 10.08.2010


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This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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