You can say what you want about record labels, and boy many of us have varied opinions and thoughts about certain record labels, and there is a huge debate around if there is really a need for record labels in the 21st century. That said there are a handful of labels out there where I genuinely have to complement them on the way the owners manage their label and the quality of the bands that they manage to sign to their little independent label that gives them much creditability within their sphere of influence and the music scene as a whole. One of these labels is a little independent one in the United States of America, called Rottweiler Records owned and run by good guy, Shawn Browning. Both his character and demeanour as a person holds within itself credibility.
His eclectic taste for music is represented through many of the bands that he has released through his label. He certainly has a high bar set when it comes to the signing of bands, and it’s not like its without risk, but as someone looking in I get a picture of a label that has a discography of releases that no matter how you try to unpack it is of a very high calibre. This is where a guy like me gets excited when a new band has signed to the label, because he has already set the bar with the other bands signed to the label, and in some measure you have this confidence in that you are about to experience something of quality. Again as I said there is a lineage of creditability been established by Rottweiler records already. With that all said lets tuck into the debut release from the new kids on the block at Rottweiler Records.
The band in question calls themselves Brotality and their album is named, “WorldWide Desolation”. This metal band out of the United States of America consists of three amazingly talented individuals that on “Worldwide Desolation” capture the spirit and energy of old school metal bands of which posters adorned my walls as a teen back in the late 80’s. So Brotality are comprised of brothers Bryce Maopolski (17, guitar and vocals), Reece Maopolski (16, bass and vocals) from Narrowsburg, NY and Liam Fenton (14, drums) from Clarks Summit, PA. Brotality was originally formed by the Maopolski brothers in 2016. On first listening of “WorldWide Desolation” there is an undeniable chemistry amongst the individual band members that immediately invites or should I say draws one into their music with much appreciation for the talent and skill flowing from the band. It’s that talent and skill from these young maestro’s that manages to grab ones attention, and makes one want to pay attention, and for a guy like myself that has listened to so much music, it truly allows me to focus on the band and want to hear more.
Right from the first track they lay down a strong foundation of the kind of skilled performance one is going to be introduced throughout the album too. “…And Then There Was One” the opening track immediately grabs your attention through a hypnotic skilled instrumental introduction that marches forth, reminiscent of old school metal thrash albums before bursting your cranium, and dislodging your neck with the track that follows the introduction as the mosh pit ignites into a mass feeding frenzy of apocalyptic devastation as bodies slam and press up against each other like in a meat grinder. The song is like a dragster warming up its tyres for the race down the strip. If “…And Then There Was One” was the burnout, and staging of the lights, then “Foxhole” with its head bludgeoning riffs and solid drumming is the drag race down the strip that cements the pure talent and energy that Brotality is. The song is knitted with tight execution as a unit. What I like is that their obvious proficiency of their ability to play their instruments does not neuter the raw energy and life of the songs they have written. Which is for myself an important quality of thrash music. It is at this point I should mention from their bio that …” Brotality’s energetic stage presence along with musicianship beyond their years has landed them a myriad of live shows including high profile gigs at iconic venues such as The Bitter End NYC, Bethel Woods ( Deep Purple and Judas Priest show), Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia, Montage Mountain and Stage West in Scranton, PA where they won Best Metal Band at the 570 Music Show for 2019”. “Salting The Wound”, and “I Am Fire, I Am Death” both display the bands proficiency and energy for quality written songs with some nice lead guitar qualities. In some ways “Salting The Wound” and “I Am Fire, I Am Death” has some hardcore qualities that could go down nicely in a mosh pit. “Biohazard” kicks things up a notch with its slamtastic riffing and driving bass and drums, like a second ‘single’ if you will after ‘Foxhole’. It all moves forward at a nice pace keeping things interesting throughout showing a young band that can shoulder it with the best and slam down hard riffs and solid drumming with fluidity and passion, in my mind staying off the old guard critics.
There is enough old school and new school elements to appease the metal nazi critics. My favourite track from a personal preference is “Empty Existence”, I could honestly camp around this song for a lengthy and in-depth review that would bore your brain into catatonic eruption so I won’t but this song for me has that perfect balance of what makes a great song in terms of its structure and energy. It’s melodic without being commercially retarded I can see some calling it metal-core, but personally I would not call it metal-core, that’s an injustice to the quality and variedness and depth of the musical atmosphere of the song. That said it is like an emo-thrash song in some ways in how its delivered. That must be a first, and I am not a fan of emo but this song resonates with such great musicianship and potency from start to finish it is hands down the climax of the album for me. What talent. They hit the commerciality arena with “Prisoners Of The Abyss”. Everything screams commerciality on the song, not saying its any less quality or any less talent, in fact I would say the talent comes together on this track with solid execution, it’s just something that one can expect to find on a global commercial radio station. What is wrong with that, nothing at all, and if there is a band that deserves to break open big in 2021 then it should be these guys. There are two lovely little drum solo pulled off in the song too. It’s in way for me a show off song if I was to be frank about my feelings of it, again nothing wrong with it. One thing that can be said about Brotality is they pull off some awesomely proficient riff brutality throughout. The band name is an embodiment of the playing style. These are Bro’s that play brutal blend of metal splendour.
I really think they actually cross or influenced by a large array of influences as “Dirt Trap” (Reminded me in one part of Old school cross-over thrashers Excel) and “Spiral Out” have a very progressive leaning to them. Again like a stuck record it highlights the obvious by now proficiency of this band, and I genuinely feel me explaining these two songs will be counterproductive in terms of just how good and well executed and mixed they are. So get the album and listen to them first. “Legion Falls” is the band in full kick your head in and tear your body a part brutality mode song. It has a bit of hardcore punk overtones to it, and its intensity is rupturing state of full throttle brutality that can leave you bruised and bleeding just listening to it. “Garden” steps aside from the brutality showcasing the softer more huggable side of Brotality. The song caught me slightly unawares with its beauty. It almost felt like a beautiful serenade of sort and for me seemed to be almost an introduction to the last track of this very full and intense album.
The last track on the album entitled, “The Way Of The Suffering” continues the progressive metal leanings of the band which I feel is their sweet spot of execution, largely due to their talent and gifting. At 8:59sec this song could be labelled epic, and is a wonderfully written song that helps finish the album strongly. “Worldwide Devastation” as an album is a very solid release that even when they introduce poppy characteristics to it like on this track, the heaviness plays off the poppy elements very nicely like a well executed ballet performance.
At the end of listening to the album one really does sit back and go wow these young dudes are talented and gifted all in one. The album is truly an experience, and trying to find fault with the album would be me really nit picking like a old soggy bottomed prick, that would come off more like jealousy than actual criticism. Being as young as they are I hope they keep their heads screwed on straight and their eyes on the goals they have set for themselves and do not stray from the path, because these young lads can go far if they continue to play their cards right. They rightly deserve to make it too with such glorious talent flowing through their fingers. There is not a song on this album that I genuinely did not like, sure I liked some more than others, but it’s been awhile since an album has grabbed me with every song. It’s not that the songs are entirely perfect, but you do not find yourself skipping tracks. There is so much going on in a good way in each track, so particularly as a musician you get drawn in by the flavour of it all, and the aroma that stumps your head because just the fluidity, and tightness coupled with the raw energy knock ya like a Bruce Lee flying kick to the belly. In short Brotality is an amazingly talented band that plays with infectious Release Date:energy and proficiency, a natural skill set that is tightly executed. Brotality introduce a style of metal that appeals both to the new school and old school metal head fanatics. Their music mixes up old school thrash with new school thrash with a dose of groove metal creating a style that is their own. In an era where a lot of bands sound the same or chase after other bands of the past to capture a similar style or sound Brotality is a fresh reminder that it is possible to create new music that is both original and fresh to an old coot like myself who has just about listened to everything under the sun. Well done to a band that deserves to go far in their musical career.
Written by Donovan de Necker
1)…And Then There Was One
3) Salting The Wound
4) I Am Fire, I Am Death
6) Empty Existence
7) Prisoners Of The Abyss
9) Spiral Out
10) Legion Falls
12) The Way Of Suffering
Bryce Maopolski: Guitar / Vocals
Reece Maopolski: Guitar/ Vocals
Liam Fenton: Drums
Release Date: 5 February 2021
Record Label: Rottweiler Records
‘Spiral Out’ (D45 / 2020)
‘Foxhole’ (D45 / 2020)
‘Prisoners of the Abyss’ (D45 / 2020)
Video for ‘Salting The Wounds’
Video for ‘Biohazard’