Brutal Truth

Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses

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Brutal Truth's debut stands as one of the first full-length albums to take the prototypical grindcore of pre-'90s Napalm Death and integrate the sound into a collection of songs with enough variety to function well as a reasonably diverse album. The group obviously bring more than just grindcore to the table on Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses, with some hints of noisy hardcore punk and slower forms of heavy metal. Most songs last a few minutes and move through a few shifts, peaking with small explosions of sound. The better songs stray from this fairly generic template, beginning with "Birth of Ignorance," a song that takes growling vocals to new extremes. Here, vocalist Kevin Sharpe blows you back a bit with his guttural voice during the song's rather catchy chorus, which acts as a sort of call-and-response between the deep voice of Sharpe and the high-pitched screams of bassist Dan Lilker. Another song, "Walking Corpse," integrates the banshee vocal explosions of Napalm Death's "You Suffer" into an actual song, using this brief moment of apocalyptic intensity for a powerful chorus. Another standout song, "Time," reverses the formula, slowing down the song's pace to a lumbering tempo for six minutes of slow, grinding sound and wonderfully demonic singing. And of course, there are the brief, ear-piercing explosions of "Collateral Damage" and "Blockhead." Though the successive album, Need to Control, stands as this New York band's best release, Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses remains one of the best grindcore albums of the '90s, setting new precedents for the niche style. [Earache reissued Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses with bonus tracks, among them Brutal Truth's cover of Black Sabbath's "Lord of This World."]

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