The confines of what is and what isn’t considered ‘hardcore’ are pretty narrow. Root Of All Evil is a concept album, something that hardcore bands generally don’t do. It comes with no liner notes, no song titles, just the web address www.rootofallevil.co.uk, which, at the time of writing, contains only links to buy the album and a brief video of some guys dresses in robes looking very serious. The sleeve features three pictures – a bank, a church and a topless girl holding a bottle of beer and giving the finger [NB that was the promo - as you can see, the finished product features a homeless type sitting by a particularly desolate Nat West machine]. Based on the title, the assumption is that the album revolves around the concept of the root of evil within the modern world. Of course, this is only an assumption as there is no explanation offered with the record itself. The explanation will be offered on the website, once it goes live. Whilst it’s nice to see a band put a bit of effort and thought into their releases, it does limit the shelf life of the album’s concept. If the key to Root Of All Evilcan only be found online, what happens in a couple of years time, when Brutality Will Prevail or label Holy Roar stop paying for the domain and the site goes offline? Or if a listener has no access to the internet? If the intention is for Root Of All Evil to be more then a collection of songs, would it not have served the purpose better to have the songs accompanied by something more then a couple of photos. As it is, the photos point to the church, banks and topless drunk girls as the root of all evil. At least they’re trying.
The experimentation continues with the styles of music. Root Of All Evil is the document of a band trying different things. As a genre, hardcore is pretty straight laced. It doesn’t really allow for a lot of deviation from the trifecta of short, fast and loud. Root Of All Evil is a continuous piece; it ebbs and flows, with no gaps or breaks, the whole thing being one long ride through Brutality Will Pervail’s own tastes in musical brutality.
Things get off to a slow start. The first couple of songs tick the boxes of meandering instrumental doom metal and dull chugging tough guy hardcore. Once they find their footing, Brutality Will Prevail carve out a respectable niche of down tuned metalcore. Aside from the incredibly unadvisable acoustic turn – the less about which is said the better - the tail end of Root Of All Evil sees Brutality Will Prevail deliver a solid hardcore effort. The guitars are tuned so low that the strings rumble rather then twang; the drums are pummelling; the riffs crushing. Brutality Will Prevail cover all the bases, but like the concept aspect of the album, the songs lack anything that makes them standout. Not bad, but not amazing either. Whilst the end of the album is certainly better then the beginning, it still doesn’t achieve anything truly remarkable.
6David Pott-Negrine's Score