- The Band – Brutal Truth (1990-1998, 2006-2014)
- The Album – Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses
- Country of Origin – United States
- The Year – 1992
- Lineup – Kevin Sharp (vocals), Brent McCarty (Guitars), Dan Liker (Bass), Scott Lewis (Drums)
- Genre – Grindcore / Death Metal
Other notable releases from 1992 for context – Soul of a New Machine (Fear Factory), Utopia Banished (Napalm Death), Tomb of the Mutilated (Cannibal Corpse), Body Count (Body Count)
If you threw Terrorizer, Napalm Death, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse, SOD and Nuclear Assault in a time machine blender and went back to the early 90s, you’d pour out a nice glass of Brutal Truth, and their standout album from 1992, Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses (released on Earache).
I’ve heard it said, and also read opinions, that this is the greatest Grindcore Death Metal album of all time. Whether this is actually the case could be argued endlessly, however, it needs to be acknowledged that this is a release of significance in the extreme music genres.
When it dropped, it was obvious that this album was one of the first to truly nail the extreme speed of English Grindcore, combined with the accuracy and proficiency of a ‘Tier-1’ American Death Metal band, whilst noting that the lyrical content was defiantly not your typical Death Metal horror, but more a commentary on the social and political issues of the day.
From Birth of Ignorance
A life of hate is useless.
You don’t have a cause.
Breeding hate with no excuse.
Starting racial wars.
Religion teaching lies.
Hypnosis of the weak.
Believing false prophets.
Slaughtering the meek.
Don’t you think?
Don’t you see?
Don’t you fool?
Don’t you see the lies?
Dan Liker, the bassist (also from Nuclear Assault, and formerly of Anthrax and SOD) liked to mess around with super short songs as part of his musical outputs with Nuclear Assault (check out the infamous track Hang the Pope), and it was known that he could sing in a crazy deep voice, with extreme speed. He brought these skills to Brutal Truth, assisting with vocals, and thus giving the band 3 voices (a standard Death Metal styled low mid / a squealing high (think Napalm Death’s squeals) and a very deep guttural baritone).
And the drums … oh the drums!! The blast beats in this album were as fast and as heavy as it got for back in the day. All this, with a very prominent bass tone and punk vibe carrying throughout, meaning that this album was a must have for most metalheads who were into the heavier side of metal back in the early 90s.
Vocalist Kevin Sharp said in an interview on the Terrorizer website in 2010, “‘Extreme Conditions…’ was like one of those things like an accident, like a discharge – a moment in time and there were only a handful of bands like it in the extreme scene back then.”
The album also contains a bunch of samples, and other ‘noise’ elements throughout. The tongue in cheek album credits are written as:
Kevin Sharp – vocals, power tools
Brent McCarthy – guitars
Dan Lilker – bass, vocals, sampling
Scott Lewis – drums
Bill Yurkiewicz – guest vocals, noise, animal sounds
The most famous of these is from the song, Walking Corpse, which starts with an audio sample from actor John Hurt (as Snitter) in movie The Plague Dogs (1982), and the line where Snitter is talking to the vultures and says:
“I hope you make sure we’re properly dead before you start ….”,
This is then cut off by a massive scream and insane blast beat that seems to go forever.
I was chatting with my metal buddy from the UK, Old School Metalhead and Metal VCLT YouTuber Marc G with a C about this album, and this is what he had to say:
“My introduction to Brutal Truth came via a friend (Chris, the drummer with Enchantment) & in particular with the track “Walking Corpse”. “Listen to this fuckin’ drummer” he said, so listen I did, intently to just under 2 minutes of frenzied, blasting grinding brilliance, finished perfectly by that amazing scream by Kevin Sharp! Mind blown! Earache were synonymous with quality bands back then & the mention of Dan Liker being in the band only heightened my interest in them! It is IMO, their best piece of work & a Grindcore masterpiece!”
If you want to get a constant stream of awesome metal recommendations, both new and classic albums (especially OSDM), check out Marc’s channel on YouTube.
The Last Word – Music with this level of heaviness is done by countless bands nowadays. But back in 1992 this was a new level of heavy, which ended up being a highly influential release that managed to perfectly blend and bounce between a bunch of genres, thus creating a timeless effort that easily stands up to today’s standards of the heaviest metal brutality. In-your-face Death, Grind, Thrash, Punk with plenty of groove … seriously, what more could you want?
I believe this album has only recently made its way back onto Spotify, which is great for the newer metal generations. If you don’t know this band or album , or haven’t listened to it since back in the day, give it for a spin. Your ears, will thank you for it!
Check out this Spotify Playlist with all the albums so far featured in Noob Heavy Metal Redux