Saturday, 10 March 2012

BRUTALITY - Screams Of Anguish (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

*Metal Mind Bonus Track*

11. Sadistic

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.

The thing that hits you right off the bat is the musical ability of the band. The way that they construct their vision of music is as potent as the intense growl of vocalist Scott Reigel. The opening song "These Walls Shall Be Your Grave" is a classic example of how the band can pull you in with their multiple time changes and complex song structure. This is not just guys thrashing around on the guitar, this is a real example of how it should be done in the world of death metal.

Included are two instrumental tracks that are just terrific. "Sympathy" and "Spirit World" show the diversity of the band with these melodic interludes that may seem out of place on a death metal disc but are really just points where you can catch your breath before the fury is unleashed!

One of the best moments on the album is the song "Crushed". While the entire disc is of the highest quality, this song highlights the dynamic guitar duo Don Gates and Jay Fernandez as they mesmerize with their outstanding ability on this tune. I kept coming back to this one time and time again. here are a lot of places on this disc where you can point to superb six string work though. "Cries Of The Forsaken" is another example that will have you cranking the volume knob to max.

This is a disc that is or should be in the collection of any death metal fan. The thrashy and brutal guitar work is excellent and the deep growl of Scott Reigel is one that set the standard for the genre. It is just a great album on so many levels. 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 remarks 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.

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