Saturday, August 13, 2011

brutal supremacy

You knew this post would happen eventually. It may be something like 18 months or more in the making, but you knew this day would come. The fabled "Brutal Supremacy" 4 way split/comp double 7" is finally in my sweaty hands. Four bands that I am rather fond of together on the one release. Now, as I have said numerous times, I insisted on, perhaps foolishly, checking the Painkiller Records website multiple times daily for months leading up to the release of this record, and delay after delay just did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm. And as I expected, there is absolutely no disappointment here. I ordered this within hours of it's launch, soon enough I thought to get my hands on the coloured vinyl version. Not soon enough it would seem though. From what I can gather from numerous conversations I've observed on various forums, I didn't miss out by much, quite possibly even a few orders. I guess I'm kind of bummed but what's the big deal? It's still a fantastic package, even if I normally hate releases of this nature. Black vinyl of an unknown amount, probably around 1000 or something. I should mention that I ordered this a few weeks before I left for the UK, but it only arrived this week, heavily delayed (again) by the late running covers for the Waste Management 7" that I grabbed in the same order.
Sleeve folds out into this six panel black and white piece.
With the other side being this poster.
The Hatred Surge contribution would have to be my favourite on the whole comp. Four tracks of grinding mayhem. From the same recording sessions as the stuff from the split with Mammoth Grinder, I think part of the delay in the release of this record was due to these tracks. I heard that somewhere anyway, but there's got to be something more, as the MG split surfaced at the beginning of the year and we're just seeing this now. Now, when I posted about that split I spoke about how fond I was of the HS contribution to that record and how it was my favourite stuff of theirs so far due mainly to the excellent recording, and the inclusion of Rahi as full time vocalist. Much could be said for these four songs. First impression is that they're slower in nature to most of the bands older stuff, mostly of the mid paced variety with very fast blasts thrown in at different intervals. The first song "Brutal Tyranny" is a great example of what I'm talking about: it's a reasonably slow song with simple riffing that progresses gradually, until the last 15 seconds or so when it explodes into a crazy grind chord with Rahi just continuously grunting over the top. When you think about it, it's a very simple idea, yet extremely effective. Another high point of the comp would be their last contribution, "Brutal Supremacy". Again for the majority of the song, it runs a very slow pace, arguably some of the slowest stuff the band has done, until the last 40 seconds or so where it runs a handful of different tempo progressions, all built around simple riffing. It's probably my second favourite HS song now, second to their song "Pressures" on the "Trapped In A Scene" comp LP. These guys have certainly come into their own now as a full unit as opposed to just a one man show.
I guess the Mind Eraser portion of the comp was what I was looking forward to the most. I doubt I need to really explain why to regular readers. Pretty much my favourite modern/current band. Now these tracks may fall just behind the Hatred Surge songs in terms of pure gut wrenchablility, but in their own right they are certainly in a league of their own. Most bands just CAN'T write music like this. What's interesting to me the most about these new tracks is that three of them were written by Brendan (drums), not CC. As far as I know Chris has always handled (at least) most of the basics of the construction of ME tracks, this is the first time on any of their recordings they have bothered to actually credit individuals within the band. Brendan also handled lyrics for the first two songs, as well as a large chunk of vocals on the opener "Brutal Supremacy", a contribution which certainly adds a new dimension to the average ME song and juxtaposes brilliantly with the regular stylings of DFJ's low end. While Brendan's three songs are of the much faster variety, virtually grind with slower bits thrown in, as is typical with alot of later ME, CC's song "Graveyard" is a slower affair that's introduced with a rumbling bass rhythm that progresses into some faster matter. It's alot more reminiscent of early ME. Thinking about how ME of the last few years has certainly as a whole been alot faster in nature, I'm now questioning how much input Brendan (or other members of the band for that matter) has had in the building of songs.
Of all the contributions on the comp, Iron Lung's piece is probably the least entertaining to me. Now as per the track listing on the back cover, there is actually three songs here, all three with the name "Brutal Supremacy". This could easily just be one longer piece though, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was written as just that. There is a noticeable gap between the first two numbers, but after repeated listens, I can't make the jump from 2 to 3. All that really defines the three songs are the tempo changes, but as we all should know with IL, tempo changes, sometimes multiple ones within a single song, are a very regular thing. Who know's what the band's intention was, it doesn't really matter. It's a rougher recording here compared to the better IL material, perhaps why I'm not as into it as I am with most of their stuff. There's certainly no instant gratification going on here like what I get from all the other music on offer. Perhaps with more attention though, I'll begin to be able to appreciate these songs how the band probably intended. On a side note, there's an Iron Lung live in Australia tape being released before the end of the month through their own label entitled "I Hate You Mother Fuckers". Nice.
And the Scapegoat portion. This side of the comp puts to rest a little bit of confusion in my head that I have mentioned on this blog before. All of these tracks from this recording were originally brought to my attention by a friend nearly three years ago. Not sure of how he found them, but he linked me to a download page from the Painkiller site that would otherwise be invisible to regular search engines and the like, unless you had the specific URL. Like some kind of secret file sharing address. I'm no IT guy so I don't know how common this kind of thing is, but I doubt it's irregular. Anyway, I listened to these (at the time) untitled songs over and over again for a good chunk of 2009/10, the whole time without knowledge of song names etc. It's good to finally know the deal. At one point a reliable source made mention that they were eventually going to make it onto a planned second 7" on Painkiller, but as time passed that record just never surfaced. Then this comp was announced. Until I actually laid ears on this record though, I didn't know whether these would be those same songs. Well, yeah, they are, though they have been remastered to add an appropriate layer of filth and grime that suits the band perfectly. From the session though, two songs have been omitted, the Anti Cimex cover, which was officially released on their winter tour tape from last year, and a long, slow, untitled instrumental with a very cool groove based riff, that hasn't seen any kind of proper release at all. Who knows, it probably won't now. Fans of the bands demo and first 7" will notice an arguably more 'up beat' approach to these songs, but they still retain that defined Scapegoat feel. I will be posting about their new LP in the coming week too, which possesses an even more up beat approach again, though out of everything they've done now, which spans across a good half decade, this is my favourite Scapegoat material.
In terms of record nerdism in twenty eleven (apart from maybe the Get Destroyed 7", the Mindsnare/Ringworm split 7", if that happens this year, and an official vinyl release of the Corpsessed EP), this release cements that it's all downhill from here. Thanks Painkiller.


Tim said...

i was pretty bummed when i got my painkiller package. every record is warped to hell! can't even play the 12"s. what kinda shape did yours turn up in?

Sean said...

i heard this about a few other people too. i got lucky, all my stuff is fine.

rasputin said...

hate getting warped records in the mail. my Scapegoat LP + a 7" from Disinfect Recs arrived slightly bent, both play all right though. really great post sean, have the mp3s for this but still haven't ordered. should get onto it before they're gone.