Brotherhood Of The Lake – Desperation Is The English Way Vol.2

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Overall Score: 8/10
Nihilistic Brutality: 9/10
Tar Thick Riffs: 9/10
Sing-a-long Choruses: 1/10
Pros: Another Excellent UK Underground Band Show Their Class.
Cons: Under twenty Five Minutes Long. That's Shorter Than Reign In Blood!

If you are a fan of championing home grown talent and absurdly heavy, remorseless brutality, then whet your lips in anticipation. Brotherhood Of The Lake are about to make you very happy indeed. Although this is the only happiness that you will find in conjunction with this band, for what we have here is eight tracks of the nastiest, most spiteful, hate filled tracks penned since… well since BOTL’s Vol.1 album of the same name from last year.

For a band that have been shuffled under the metaphorical umbrella of Hardcore there is precious little in common with the genres usual reference points. Not a whiff of Agnostic Front, nor a touch of Every Time I Die, barely a smidgen of Black Flag, only the teeth rattling sonic mushroom cloud of Converge enters the parameters of Brotherhood Of The Lake’s ferocious delivery. Even then it hardly even begins to tell the full story. Instead, Noise, Grind, Death and Black Metal are all bastardised and manipulated into creating a snarling aural mongrel, that recalls Burnt By The Sun, Godflesh, Entombed and Nasum at different times.

Opener ‘Untie The Tempest’ sets their stall out immediately, its 91 seconds of warp speed, guttural destruction is a warning, a wake-up call and a bench mark that the band stubbornly refuse to dip below. Every track on here is worth mentioning in its own right, but ‘To Stop Breathing’s angular grind and ‘The English Way’s slow, methodical sludge that closes the album deserve extra special praise. It’s not just one dimensional brutality either, fifth track ‘Black Gates’ begins by taking Isis’ shimmering post-rock and layering it with melodic female vocals before the inevitable chaos arrives. Another thing that sets this record apart from its peers is the production, loose, gravelly and sounding like a cassette tape demo of some long forgotten underground relic from the 80’s crust scene(This is a good thing by the way, all you pro-tool lovers). It suits the sound of BOTL down to the ground.

Frontman Robert Clark’s delivery is so intense that he makes Henry Rollins sound like Carly Rae Jepson and the noise behind him is as scathing as anything you might care to imagine. ‘Desperation Is The English Way Vol.2’ is an exceptionally, bludgeoning and brilliant album. Chances are you’ll love Brotherhood Of The Lake, and the fact that they very definitely hate you might just make you love them even more.

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