Welcome to The Lazarus Pit, a biweekly look at should-be classic metal records that don’t get nearly enough love; stuff that’s essential listening that you’ve probably never heard of; stuff that we’re too lazy to track down the band members to do a Hall Of Fame for. This week, we discharge the extreme noise terror of Disgust’s Brutality of War (Earache).
In the wake of extreme punk pioneers Discharge, there’ve been tons of loving imitators. Disrupt, Disaccord, Disfear, Disclose, Discard, Dischange, Recharge, Kegcharge, Disarm, Dishammer, Distraught, and many, many other “D-beat” bands all adopted the style and imagery of the UK hardcore act, choosing to dedicate themselves to simplistic, brutal songs with cynical political messages. Much like Disfear (which features former members of At the Gates and Entombed), Disgust were one of the better knockoffs because of the level of talent involved: vocalist Dean Jones and bassist Lee Barrett came from the equally-influential UK grinders Extreme Noise Terror.
Presumably, some of you aren’t actually familiar with Discharge and what makes them so monolithic – they’re what happens when you take Motorhead and the Buzzcocks to the natural extreme, utilizing a distinctive drumbeat to propel their ferocious crust punk forward. Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing is an undisputed classic, an essential purchase for anyone with any interest in extreme music. Brutality of War isn’t nearly as key, having come out a decade after the aforementioned LP, but it packs a pretty impressive punch into its 30 minutes of rage.
Even though their primary influence is (literally) pretty black and white, Disgust aren’t pure clones. Besides having a slightly more death metal tone to the guitars, the big difference lies with Jones, who doesn’t bother toning down his scraping shout at all. And since Discharge aren’t exactly easy listening in the first place, that makes these guys even harsher to listen to. Certainly helps get the message across, though. As far as the “songs” go, there ain’t a hell of a lot of variety (although you don’t really listen to this stuff for that). There’s an intro and an outro, but the only difference between those and the 13 bursts in between are the fact that they don’t have vocals.
Not necessarily one of the more creative or essential albums I’ve written about in this column, Brutality of War deserves notice nonetheless. It’s basically industry pros playing music that they love, and nailing it. Sure, you have plenty of options when it comes to Dis-bands, but if you need a break from Hear Nothing or Disfear’s Live the Storm, this should be high on your list.