Brutality - _In Mourning_
(Nuclear Blast, 1997)
by: Gregory Nalbandian (
Consistency is a quality possessed by few death metal bands in today's scene (with the exception of those that consistently suck). It seems like bands start out strong, then around their third or fourth album, the music begins to fade as it slowly atrophies into weaker forms of music that just can't please the fans of early releases. Bands like Obituary, Death, and Sepultura put out some of the best early death around, yet only succeeded in disappointing us with their last few albums. Unfortunately, Brutality can now be added to the growing black list of those that once had 'it'. Much of the cleverness appears to have vanished from their signature harmonic style that once surprised listeners but now lulls them to disinterest. _In Mourning_ is forty-seven minutes of heavy death that feels underdeveloped and sometimes even stale, with riffs that repeat five or six times when the songs naturally need a change. Even though many of those riffs are creative and catchy, the intensity of the songs is often lost in repetition and bland song structure that creates an anti-climax. The vocals don't really help the situation either as the singer barks out lyrics so cliche, they couldn't even bring a tear to Tammy Faye's eyes. What's noteworthy are the number and length of the guitar solos found throughout this recording. There are often three to four per song, some of which are performed by 'special guest', Jerry Outlaw, who I feel is a tad better than the band's own guitarists. It's a bit of a disappointment since he only plays in two out of the nine tracks. However, despite all of its faults, _In Mourning_ is an album worth considering if you are a faithful fan of death metal.
(article published 6/7/1997)
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