Review Summary: The pioneers of grind make a huge return with this bone jarring frenzy of revolution.
This is the genre defining band’s first full length in over ten years. For fans of grind they don’t require any introduction, “Need to Control” is a classic of the movement. It’s easy to catch glimpses of the bands entire discography throughout the album but they also explore some new paths. While some tracks are just a minute thirty or two minute furious grind tracks, they mix in elements of noise and sludge on a few tracks. These break up the pace a little bit between the breakneck speed of their rabid, churning riffs and thunderous blasts. Vocalist Kevin Sharpe bellows and shrieks above the immense sound of the band with abandon, sounding enraged as ever.
The guitar work by their newest member, Erik Burke, is extremely mind ripping. From off the wall dissonant squeals to dense, heavy riffs he never stops. Detached is one of the highlights for me, it takes a sludgier route and slows it down a bit. Get a Therapist Spare the World eventually slows down to a crushing doom pace also. Semi-Automatic Carnation has some amazing dissonance and atmosphere going on and eventually it all comes to a blasting end with drummer Rich Hoak spazzing out on the kit. The lyrics deliver great blows to the ills of the country and society. Some of my favorites are from Humpty Finance “Train the fools in politics to placate the fortunate/Apologies for you - our gift of unglues/Short of shallow thinking, our leaking ship is sinking/ Precious few survive, humpty dumpty finance”
This track really brings to mind Terrorizer’s “World Downfall”. On some tracks the bass stands out more than others but Danny Lilker shows some real mastery all around one you pick it out.
While not being a full blast grind record in some aspects, I think “Evolution Through Revolution” uses experimentation well. With the longest track at 3:56 I don’t see any grind fans complaining about the band’s explorations on the album. They even throw in a good seven second song called Branded that is just as great as it is short. Another highlight would be the cover of The Minute Men’s Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs. It still uses a distinct old school hardcore sound but has a bit more aggressive side of course. The overall production on the album is pretty balanced. It’s about as clean as I would ever want my grind to be but not over produced or anything like that. The production does sound more modern than some of their work but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
"Evolution Through Revolution" may not top some fan’s favorites like “Need to Control”, I believe this is another step forward for the band. For the most part, Brutal Truth keeps what people loved from the earlier days and throws in some new ideas that have been waiting to get out. I don’t see many grind fans being disappointed with this release. The record also seems like a good album for people to become familiar with the band if they have been missing out. 2009 has some great releases in grindcore but for me so far this has the top of the list.