Brutal Blues – Brutal Blues [Mini-album]

Brutal Blues
Brutal Blues
Released June 2014
Grindcore
Released via Selfmadegod Records

Brutal Blues - Brutal Blues

I’m no stranger to the stranger side of extreme music, or music in general. I grew up in a social environment where certain mentalist side projects of one Mike Patton were par for the course during a mid-week chill-out session with mates. Ambient-acid-thrash for the morning after breakfast? Sure, we’ll give it a shot! Talking of which, does it come with a whisky chaser? I like to think it prepared me for most insane audio meanderings that may be presented. Well, I asked for something weird and heavy to review this week, and by Christ if I didn’t receive!!!

On their debut mini-album, Brutal Blues thrash out some truly mind melting noise in the way that I always figured most grindcore bands miss out on. Opening track, Skjold (from an old Norse word for shield) weighs in head first with the screaming lunacy, so much so, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s happening on first spin. I’d forgive most who claimed this was just noise, but there is definitely more to it than that, albeit for consumption by the true connoisseur of ugly sounds.

Remember the Converge/ Agorophobic Nosebleed split, The Poacher Diaries? Well, this isn’t too dissimilar to the AN side of that particular psyche-shattering opus. In questioning the limits of what actually constitutes music, it turns out what may be creation in pure form. Clattering and clanking through just over a quarter of an hour and six tracks, this self-titled release will give you a serious, high-intensity mental work-out – if you’re willing to push yourself. Trivium it ain’t.

I find it impossible to discern the lyrical meaning, with other song titles as disorientating as the tracks themselves: Rett could mean ‘about to be made red’..? Others named Stafett (relay), Medalje (medal), and Tradisjon (tradition), seem to tell a tale of sporting events, whereas Alminneleg Utsegn (literally translated ‘her ordinary statement by’???) completely escapes my understanding.

Brutal Blues have delivered the equivalent of reading a chapter from H. P. Lovecraft’s personal copy of the Necronomicon, or for those less initiated to the wilds of artistic human consciousness, seeing the shadow of The Great Old one himself, as he strolls casually down the street outside your window. The whole affair races past in a blur of confusion, which, to me, says, try again! The next time you might discover the secret. However, continuous repeat listening may not be the greatest advice for all. I’m not sure the stamina of the average mind could withstand it.

A challenging listen, and not designed for mass-appeal even within the metal community, this would be a rare yet relished spin that I would be happy enough fork out for, especially if it had add-ons such as luxury packaging, posters, signed sleeves; y’know, the things that make a physical recording unique. Unique enough to match what’s on the record. There have been words of a vinyl release through Drid Machine Records (Norway)/Nerve Altar Records (USA), so that may actually be a possibility. Utter chaos on wax has a ring to it.

3.5/5

Paul Macmillan

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