Review Summary: tomb of resurrection
Since about 2009 there have been an increasing number of death metal bands eschewing the standard practices that pervade the genre and beginning to reinvent themselves in the image of the bands from the original glory days of extreme metal. There have been a few acts from the original scene who have stuck around and continued to put out consistent if not great albums, but the vast majority of the best bands from about 1989 to 1993 seemed to have died along with death metal almost two decades ago. Fortunately, the popularity and quality of this old school death metal movement seems to be resurrecting not only the old ways but old bands as well. Bands like Autopsy, Convulse, and Purtenance all reformed after years of inactivity and have either released new albums or are currently working on new material. Now, unexpectedly it seems, the legendary Floridian death metal band Brutality have been exhumed from their tomb of inactivity and dropped an EP consisting of two new tracks of completely new material entitled Ruins of Humans
. Not only are these tracks entirely new but also the product of the same lineup that released the legendary Screams of Anguish
back in 1993, which to this day stands as one of the best Floridian death metal albums and one of the best death metal albums in the entire movement.
Now, to put it quite bluntly, if you liked Screams of Anguish
then you will undoubtedly like Ruins of Humans
. Everything from the production job to the vocals sounds like Brutality circa 1993. However, that is not to say that Brutality haven’t brought a few new ideas to the table from their 17 year hiatus. Ruins of Humans
brings the riffs just as hard and as fast as they did in the early 90’s, but there seems to be much more of a focus on structural integrity than there was during their initial few efforts. Whether it is the fact that the band is now 19 years older than they were when Screams of Anguish
was released or these are just ideas that never saw the light of day before the band stopped making music is sort of irrelevant, but it doesn’t change the fact that both of these new tracks have a cohesion that was either not evident or underdeveloped in the earlier years. Rather than simply being (badass) collections of riff after riff after riff, both Ruins of Humans
and Irreversibly Broken
have their own unique set of themes and motifs that they each adhere to quite spectacularly.
The title track, Ruins of Humans
, is the more aggressive of the two songs and could easily have fit anywhere on either Screams of Anguish
or When The Sky Turns Black
. But the closer, Irreversibly Broken
, is an absolute gargantuan blend of brutal riffs, mind-bending solos, and an almost unexpected but perfectly executed focus on melody and melodic progression. Now, this is no way means that this track resembles melodeath in any way shape or form, but there is a definite and substantial focus on the more melodious side of the riff structure than the preceding track, which marks it as the more interesting of the two included songs. And to top it off, not only do each of these tracks pack a massive amount of new riffs into just over 14 minutes of new material, but in only two tracks Brutality have managed to include a staggeringly substantial amount of solos that rival and surpass anything the band has done before. In fact, of all the good things that resulted from this new EP, the solos are easily one of the best parts of the two tracks.
The only real gripe the be had about Ruins of Humans
is that the artwork is not really all that great, but it is by no means bad and includes the old dragon head logo from Screams
that they got rid of on slightly lesser third full length In Mourning
. It is safe to say that if this EP turns into a full length somewhere in the near future Brutality will have crafted not only one of the best comeback albums in the last few years but probably one of the best death metal albums in general. Everything that was good about Screams of Anguish
is back in full force with just a sprinkling of new ideas that vaults Ruins of Humans to one of the most unexpectedly great things to surface in an already spectacular 2013, the year that seems to just keep on giving and giving and giving.