Brute Force: Force Fed
I’ve read several “rave reviews”, if you will, of Brute Force’s maiden studio album, unabashedly named ‘Force Fed’, but let me leave you under no illusions. Straight up, this album is decidedly average. Brute Force are a pretty good live band, so to speak, with great stage presence and an decent sense of power about them, but one you’re past the jumping-around-and-going-mad-at-the-gig phase, the fact is that the music is terribly repetitive, the vocals are nowhere near strong enough, with the corny playback chants from the rest of the band doing little to help. The lead guitars are fabulous, without a shadow of doubt, but if we were to judge bands just based on the speed and length of their solos, DragonForce would be the number one band in the world. Variety is the order of the day. That’s not to say the album lacks variety altogether, however. Remember, I said average, not bad.
So, breaking it down, the first four tracks (“Ground Zero” to “Brute Force”) are painful, to be perfectly honest. Naught but plain old been-there-done-that thrash metal that is utterly predictable and borders on the annoying at times, although the drummer and bassist do very little wrong. Comparisons to “Hit the Lights” are welcome to pucker up to my rear. “Opportunity Denied” and “Axis”, on the other hand, are great tracks, with clever song progression, renegade lyrics, and guitars that fuse wonderfully to produce an instant hit-back to Testament. A job very well done, there. “Forgotten Heroes” follows somewhat in the same vein, but sadly the album ends just the way it started with a very mediocre “The Elite”.
At this point, if you don’t think I’m a raving lunatic, you may ask me for the bottom line, and I will say this: Brute Force are not a bad band at all, and they aren’t far away from hitting that perfect blend that will have even the most cynical of us throwing away our notepads and jumping around. As it stands, however, two good songs out of eight do not make a great album. Three words should sum it up: Can Do Better.