Brutal Truth - Need to Control
Earache Records
Experimental Grindcore
15 songs (43:05)
Release year: 1994
Earache Records
Reviewed by Aaron

Dan Lilker of Nuclear Assault said he left that band to concentrate on Brutal Truth because he wanted to push the boundaries of extreme music. Possibly without knowing that he would do so at first, he also introduced the idea of grindcore that thinks: almost considered an oxymoron by the year of Need to Control’s release, when grind was steeped in insipid gore lyrics and political attacks.

Brutal Truth was a band of indisputable genius, and this record was the apex of achievement for them, the masterwork, the pinnacle. Released in the mid-1990’s, it quickly spawned a number of imitators and definitely influenced today’s grindcore scene. Bands like Pig Destroyer owe much to Brutal Truth’s high-concept intelligent grindcore with its punk influences, touches of industrial chaos, inventive song structures, and masterful adoption of dissonant cacophony. Listening to this album, one will discern an entire world full of influences, and sense, that somehow, beyond the simple veil of the music, there is an entire world that Brutal Truth are describing- the modern age gone astray, where man exploits man exploits man exploits man, and you are the eye watching from the depths of consciousness, aware of what is going on and powerless to stop it.

This record succeeds on absolutely every level. The production is perfect, balancing anger and passion with enough polish so that listeners will be able to tell riffs from one another, with the enraged screams and ear-battering growls of one Kevin Sharp- one would almost take him for two vocalists with his versatility. The drums have a mechanical punch to them that goes wonderfully with the industrial influences and tracks on the album, and the riffs are just insanely written, performed, and executed with the razor-sharp precision of accomplished musicians.

The music itself is brilliant, painting a wide palette for what many consider to be an extremely limited genre. Sure, there are loud atonal riffs, blastbeats, and screaming vocals, but then Brutal Truth come out of left field with rock-influenced guitar harmonies and solos (see Ordinary Madness), crushing industrial sound collages that build a hateful and paranoid atmosphere (see the oppressive Ironlung) straight-up outright passionate punk reminiscent of Discharge turned up to 16 (Media Blitz’s outright assault on the senses) brutal death metal riffing and drumming (Black Door Mine), depressive but monstrous doom metal (the opener, Collapse) and more, many, many more. They meld all of this into a style of grindcore that is as maniacally dense as it is wildly brilliant and energetically played. It’s a perplexing, engaging, and complex record, showing off the technical stylings of the musicians, and it’s thought-provoking in the intelligently written lyrics that meld with the songs.

I can say this without any sense of exaggeration: Need to Control is one of the top five grindcore albums ever recorded, and deserves a place on my top fifty albums of all time. It’s progressive without wanking, brutal without becoming stale like so many other acts of their time, angry and social without simple reactionary idiocy flooding their lyrics, and steeped in the creativity and brilliance that barely any bands can evoke these days.

Do I recommend you buy this album and listen, trembling as they drag you through the cesspool like depths of the worst excesses humans are capable of? Do I recommend you buy this album and give it a place of honor in your collection? Do I recommend you buy this album and listen to it as often as you can manage, reveling in what you’re hearing?

Yes. This is an album of a forgotten era, something that was imitated throughout the years, sometimes to great success, but never, ever, quite matched.

Killing Songs :
I love every song, but my favorites are Collapse, Black Door Mine, Ordinary Madness, Media Blitz, and I See Red
Aaron quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Brutal Truth that we have reviewed:
Brutal Truth - End Time reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
Brutal Truth - Evolution Through Revolution reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
Brutal Truth - Sounds of the Animal Kingdom reviewed by Aaron and quoted 79 / 100
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