‘Suspension of Consciousness’ is the new album from Welsh hardcore outfit Brutality Will Prevail. Yes, the music is as heavy hitting as the name suggests. The album is their fourth, and first with former Breaking Point frontman Louis Gauthier handling vocal duties.
The first thing that becomes clear listening to ‘Suspension of Consciousness’ is the production values seem to have taken a step up, and Gauthier’s screams have far more clarity and control than former vocalist Ajay’s. The result is a far tighter and cleaner sound for the band which instantly sounds more impressive than anything they’ve produced before. Opening track ‘Delirium’ is an atmospheric build up to the first song of the album, ‘Tower of Silence’, which opens with crashing drums and a great fuzz bass sound. Guitars slowly build up to a crushing first verse. It’s heavy, low and brutal, the band certainly deliver on their mission statement. The build up in ‘Tower of Silence’ works so well it’s debatable they even needed to ‘Delirium’ at the start, it’s the kind of thing most people will probably skip on repeated listens.
The band’s sound is typical of the type of hardcore that thrives in South Wales, with acts like Continents offering up similar sounding material. Brutality Will Prevail manage to keep things interesting here, though. ‘Martyr Anxiety’ sticks around for less than two minutes, but it’s one of the album highlights. Some of the best moments of the album come when the band keep things short. That isn’t to say other songs outstay their welcome, but the shorter tracks are well suited to this style of music and manage to avoid the tendency for this genre to sound repetitive and dull. ‘Ritual’ is a particularly interesting track, an instrumental with an atmospheric, melodic guitar line over some cool riffing and a droning synthesizer in the background. It’s a step out of the hardcore comfort zone, and it’s something that pays off. ‘Escapist’ follows, and the clean vocals at the start keep the atmosphere going. When the band announced this album, guitarist Ash Gray described it as ‘much more than just a line up change, this is a fresh start.’ It’s clear that the band have taken a few risks here, and they consistently pay off. The softer moments and instrumentals carry the album and help it stand out from the crowd.
The album closes with title track ‘Suspension of Consciousness’, and they’ve certainly saved the best for last. It’s the longest track on the album, but justifies it’s run time with a varied structure, a mix of clean and harsh vocals and some melodic guitar lines that offer a welcome respite from the low, bassy riffing on the rest of the album. Of course things end with a breakdown, fading out with thundering drums, screeching guitars and layered vocals. On ‘Suspension of Consciousness’, if it’s a fresh start Brutality Will Prevail are after, they’ve certainly set off on the right foot.