Ex-Anthrax, Nuclear Assault, and Stormtroopers of Death bass guitarist Dan Lilker formed Brutal Truth in 1990. They were one of America’s best Grindcore acts and arguably released the best Grindcore album of all time, Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses.
The band became well known in the American underground metal scenes. Their live shows were spastic and left many in shock and awe as they lay witness to the pummeling ferocity of the band. Drummer Scott Lewis was a beast behind his kit and became known for pioneering the Hyper Blast drumming style which Crytopsy drummer Flo Mounier made popular later on.
Extreme Conditions… is the debut album by Brutal Truth and it has become legendary in the scene. Just like Napalm Death’s Scum or later albums such as The Inalienable Dreamless by Discordance Axis and Inhale/Exhale by Nasum, Extreme Conditions… laid the groundwork for many acts to follow and to this day there is always something being carried along from band to band that owes a debt back to Brutal Truth.
For a Grindcore album, it is quite lengthy going on over 45 minutes with about 15 tracks, but not all songs are too long. “Collateral Damage” is the shortest coming in at about 0:04 seconds (*Once the Guinness World Record for “Shortest Music Video”*). Second track “Birth of Ignorance” is a grower and trots along like a T-rex ready to eat its prey. Once the guitars of Brent "Gurn" McCarty start sharpening and shredding you know they mean business. Lilker’s bass is also front and center on the album mixing in well with Lewis’s ferocious drumming, but the glue holding it all together is vocalist “belcher” Kevin Sharp. He is no Seth Putnam or Chris Barnes and that is a good thing! His growling and shrieks are top notch and he even throws in a bit of Hardcore Punk vocal style by way of classic acts like Repulsion and Siege.
First song I ever heard from this band was “Walking Corpse” and to this day, it is still my favorite. I even tried to get my wedding dj to sneak it in during the reception dinner but he chose to help keep me from being in the doghouse for a year by not playing it and instead played that one Fugazi track I asked for (Thanks Micah…).
Lyric wise, this album sets itself apart from the rest and is mainly political, which is the type of Grindcore I like. If I wanted to listen to the gory stuff, I could find that elsewhere easily. Funny to say, but Gridcore with “substance” is nice. The album art is also striking with its many pictures of worldly chaos and icons. You can get an idea from just looking at the cover as to what this will be like. I like it when metal bands actually try hard to make interesting artwork for their albums and not just some blood soaked body or charcoal pastel landscapes with unreadable bands names to invoke a certain type of mood.
Some other great tracks to check out are “H.O.P.E.” with its driving force, “Stench of Profit” for those glorious blasts beats, and “Time” for its chugging length and epic heaviness. Overall though the album is quite the showpiece and a solid contained unit of ferocity and anger exploding like an atom bomb once it gets started.Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses came out 27 years ago and since then it has only gotten better like fine wine. Here is another Metal 101 album you need to hear, so go dig it!