Dropping Brutal Truth and Vader must be one of the biggest mistakes Earache has ever made. The latter has since developed into one the most sophisticated and well-oiled death metal machine in the world. And Brutal Truth...well, they have intentionally de-evolved themselves into what was always crawling out of the parasite-infested bowels of New York in all those horror movies. Yet, we had to wait until 1997 to face the disgusting face of a true abomination that Brutal Truth has become since their killer debut back in 1992. Sounds of the Animal Kingdom has got to be the most chaotic and violent album in grindcore; and this I can state without fear of being caught exaggerating.
Ever since the band hooked up with the producer Billy Anderson (he previously worked with the Melvins), the sound of Brutal Truth has drastically switched towards what many would call "lo-fi". Effectively, this means that from the very first second you are faced with a relentless wall of grinding distorted sonic assault. However, Brutal Truth are far away from being a one-dimensional approach band. Their music is essentially one big melting pot where death metal, grindcore, punk and industrial noise are all mixed in. Virtually, this provides enough horsepower to leave the competitors swallowing dust way behind them. And with this album Brutal Truth has definitely made a claim to the throne that has been empty since Carcass decided to publicly admit to their love of Iron Maiden. What you get here is 22 tracks of pure alienation, 22 shots in the back of the civilized society that feeds on its own ignorance. Organized chaos that this band represents is the only reaction to what our lives have become. Ultimately, Sounds of the Animal Kingdom is a sad sociopolitical commentary that goes without any hint of preaching or shoving their values in your face. After all, Brutal Truth were always known for their strong convictions.
The words "extremely fast" don't even begin to describe this record. While their debut album suffered from the lack of the musical ideas, yet it was intent to show how fast the band could play, Sounds has it all. There's enough material for the imitators to live off for years. You feel the rage of the band being more direct this time. Somehow, this album could serve as a good retrospective of the nihilistic nature of the underground scene in the 90's. What else could you really wish for? The cover of the album has got to be the best I've seen in years; the best illustration of what is hiding inside of us, and what is oozing out of the urban jungle slowly but surely. "Prey", the hypnotic trance-filled song is the best tribute to what the band has portrayed: slow loops of the grinding sound - a true eulogy to our future.
A lot of us would have trouble accepting this album due to its denial of the traditional ways of delivering aggression in the extreme metal sense. Even though the band's second album had even more industrial parts to it, "Sounds…" has melted it all together. The funny thing is that the term "mince-core" coined by Agathocles fits this music perfectly. An attempt to unite the powers of the punk heritage with the modern day metal denial of life itself is what this band has been striving for. And they ultimately achieved it this time. It's always nice to see pure grinding madness to come out of the States where we sadly lack any form of it in our daily double lives.
There's not much more that can be said about this album. Again, it's great to see Danny Lilker continuing to carry the flag of extreme metal into the 90's; and all the other members of the band have done an awesome job. Brian Sharp has really pushed the limits of extremity in the vocal delivery department. Everything here works like an engine of sonic torture deadset to mutilate and mangle the senses. The age of decline won't find a better hymn to its decadent nature, to urban indifference that has manifested itself upon us. Brutal Truth are well on the way to reach the land of the anti-musical suicide. Join them for the price of a CD in your favorite record store for a ticket to the other side has never been so cheap.