Review: “The Showdown” by Browbeat

After a decade of abstinence, the return of Browbeat in 2019 with “Remove The Control” was very much the rising of the phoenix from the ashes that the Modena Italians had started the band with in early 1998. The intention remained very much the same with that album has it had with the bands previous works in 2000’s “No Salvation“, 2003’s “Audioviolence” and 2005’s “Eve Of Darkness“; to create music with intensity and integrity coupled with angst and aggression. This time around, the band returns with something of a concept; finger pointing with weighted accusations against corrupt Governments and powerful multinational Corporations who are pursuing their own hidden agendas, illegally exploiting the environment and leaving humanity to pay the price before turning to the media who have brainwashed the public…

…Recorded, mixed and mastered by guitarist Luca Cocconi and Simone Sighinolfi at Audiocore Studio, it is clear that this is a DIY affair with Browbeat at the heart of the decision making, creating the music that they want to create regardless of what anyone else wants. That means a record that has influences in 90’s Hardcore with the arty sample that opens “The Real Face” reminiscent of Biohazard and a solo that sounds like it belongs on “Burn My Eyes” from Machine Head stitched together with with kind hard hitting staccato riff attacks that would set off any mosh pit. The opener is groovy and infectious, an immediate triumph and statement piece that grabs you by the throat and declares war without compromise before the title track comes in swinging, with the aforementioned attack on the media with the lines “F*** you! I won’t do what you tell me” borrowed from Rage Against The Machine delivered with fresh venom and vitriol, as relevant in the present as they were in the past. Having those influences on the sleeve of Browbeat gives them an instant appeal, even for those who have yet to appreciate their legacy as they deliver what can only be described as a tour de force of 90’s Metal and make absolutely no apologies for doing so. Loaded with gang chants and a sublime “Bleigh!” moment, “The Call Of Falldown” continues the flow with angular riff attacks and tight rhythms bringing that two step ability that we all know and love, it doesn’t need to be complicated to make for a good time and there is absolutely no hiding place when it comes to Hardcore like this. Stripped to the bare essentials “Slave New World” has been reimagined as a thunderous Metallic Hardcore cut with drummer Nicholas Badiali matching Iggor Cavalera stride for stride; fitting perfectly to the theme of the tracks that come before it, the right choice at the right time. To that end, “Bleeding Age” is an interesting one as it is the odd piece of the puzzle that would only fit either at the start or the end, an atmospheric piano and programming accompaniment to a news reel sample that actually feels like it is the half way point of an album and brings us to the only problem with this blistering set of cuts. It leaves you crying out for more [8/10]

Track listing

  1. The Real Face
  2. The Showdown
  3. The Call Of Falldown
  4. Slave New World (Sepultura Cover)
  5. Bleeding Age (Outro)

The Showdown” by Browbeat is out 22nd January 2022 via

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