Somewhere in between the 2010-2012 chaos of Brutality Will Prevail’s growing popularity and the rise of Purgatory Records shirts finding their average ebay resale price at £30+ There was a shift in the direction of the band’s sound as a whole. Now, the influences that were making BWP’s hardcore sound a unique one were quite evident in their 2009 release ‘Forgotten Soul’ as well as their 2010 releases: a split with Hang The Bastard and their critically acclaimed sophomore album ‘Root Of All Evil’. This being a crushing integration of doom metal style song structures and riffs. This largely making their music a lot more negative and down-tempo, a style now used by many aspiring UK hardcore bands.
Following up on their 2010 success, Brutality Will Prevail return with a 3 song EP that largely flaunts this influence in what I consider to be BWP’s best work. In the space of a little over 17 minutes, they provide a very entertaining display of what they are capable of as a band. So, what makes this set of songs so good?
Starting up the EP; one thing will be drawing your attention immediately; the production quality. The peculiar approach to immersing the listener in the musical soundscapes that the guitarists adapt works fantasically, the faded chords and riff patterns that hang in the back of the music give the songs a nightmarish feel. The song ‘Ruins’ from their Hang The Bastard split being a good example of how their slow style has been brought back by BWP to create the lonely atmospheres found in ‘Cursed’ and ‘Sleep Paralysis’. But the guitarwork doesn’t just consist of mysterious sounding chords; fast and dynamic sets of riffs can be found in the later moments of ‘Cursed’ & ‘Heavy Eyes’, largely interwoven with the mystical effect used on the other chords. In the eponymous track of Sleep Paralysis, the true instrumental skill of this band comes alive – creating a hugely diverse atmosphere of slow, sludgy doomy riffs, to calming and explorative guitar patterns. Ultimately culminating in some impressive solos as the atmosphere continues to shift in between intensely disturbing audio samples of fearful voices describing their own experiences of sleep paralysis (I have experienced it myself, and it’s pretty much the scariest experience of my life), screams and demonic voices. There’s a fantastic variety to the inspired environment that BWP have made with this release.
It’s hard to pick a song that is particularly outstanding from this EP, as each song excels greatly in being entertaining. ‘Cursed’ features a semi-clean vocal approach by the vocalist, Ajay, a rarity in the typical hardcore style – however it works well and doesn’t at all take the listener away from the atmosphere of the song. Rather, it adds to the mystical style, as his voice works well with the guitar. Breaking into the harsh vocals, he exhibits a wide range of pitches, emphasising the dark nature of the lyrics in his pained howls: ‘The night terrors that come for me, twisted sounds and illusions. I can feel the hands of evil, casting the pain upon me.’ The sense of hostility, fear and anger that Brutality Will Prevail explore never lets up. It’s impossible to not want to bang your head to the middle break of Heavy Eyes after the very low bass grinds out a sludgy intro and the guitars find the drum pattern that works excellently as a two-step. Another thing to be noted is the dynamic drums, the blazing speed of the riffs and vocals is compensated for by the excellent work of the drummer Marc. There’s excellent side-to-side moments thrown in with pounding build ups for the explosive moments of the songs that shine from this release.
On a whole, with the release of ‘Scatter The Ashes’ still resonating to a much larger audience, for me it’s hard to say whether or not BWP have adequately explored this avenue of dark hardcore. The influences that they have sustained throughout all of their releases do their absolute best here – with every member putting in 110% to make a cracking EP. Ever still, even if they happen not to return to this mysterious, dark and lonely form, this release will always remain one of their strongest and a very memorable one in modern day hardcore.
2. Heavy Eyes
3. Sleep Paralysis