Review: “The Extreme Sound Of Truth” by Head Cleaner

Fast approaching two decades of destruction, Greek Deathgrind merchants Head Clear have been hard at work putting the finishing touches to their fourth studio album “The Extreme Sound Of Truth” for somewhere approaching six years. The long gestating record mastered by Bri Doom (Plague Thirteen, Dread Messiah, Discharge) at Black Cloud Studios in England follows a trio of split EPs with Mastic Scum, Progress Of Inhumanity, GrassRoll, WreckAge and Εν Ψυχρώ released over the past decade, prior to which their 2013 United Guttural Records U.S.A. released album “Of Worms and Men“ was King. Having shared stages with everyone from Carcass to Benediction since forming in 2002, not to mention delivering their brand of Metal to the masses at some of the most extreme European festivals, such as Obscene Extreme in the Czech Republic, Bloodshed in the Netherlands and NRW Death Fest in Germany, the return of the band seemed unlikely but the quartet are still hungry…

…with three notable exceptions what Head Cleaner have created is a collection of sub two minute violent bursts of anguish to threaten your sanity and cause tinnitus. Why three notable exceptions? Because they’ve actually surpassed the three minute mark on three separate occasions, something they have only done twice in the past four releases. Bassist Lefteris Kasmiris is given the nod to act as the starting pistol of the album, his Hardcore Punk inspired bass line the opening for the monstrous “Cold Machines“. A surprisingly groove laden affair with a bombastic quality that covers a multitude of guitar based sub-genres in one single death defying leap, it’s a testament to how good the band are that they’ve managed to carry it off. “System Of Perversity” then comes out swinging, increasing the intensity with Metallic Hardcore vibes interspliced with chaotic moments of blasting from Vassilis “Bill” Stavrianidis (Disembowel, Terrordrome) and outlandish guitars. There is real venom in Jim “Mitch” Evgenidis voice as he laces the track with socially and politically aware lyrics and that is something that shines through on all these cuts, even if you might need a copy of the lyric sheet to decipher the code once the skull bashing is over. The first of the three minute cuts, “Bread And Circuses” is just as vicious but finds the band toying with Noise Metal for an almost ambient styled darkly melodic guitar passage in the centre, the samples that top and tale it a nice touch. Sounding like early Nasum, “Mass Production Dream” is a violent delight with a plethora of well worked tempo changes in a rapid fire onslaught that is the very definition of Old School fun. It’s the kind of thing that would have been tape traded back in the 80’s and would have found them making a huge impact on the East Coast of the US if it has seen release at that time.

How fast is too fast? “Call Me Uncivilized” is real hold on to your hat moment as Head Cleaner go all out rampage with a Death Metal riff fest that puts them in Skeletal Remains territory, Stavrianidis giving another restless and relentless performance to savour from behind the kit. Put Head Cleaner on at your venue at your own risk, these mosh pit violence inciters won’t be held responsible when the crowd go feral and reduce the place to rubble with their circle pit antics creating a tear in the fabric of the space time continuum. Rattling the very foundations, “Seven Sisters” is an unstoppable force of evil which vocalist Mitch has saved his deepest, darkest death growls for and let’s be honest, we wish there were a few more of these on the record as a whole because they’re nasty. “Not Like All Of You” maintains the sickening momentum with some stomach churning riffage from guitarist Costas Chatzizamanis and another bombastic bass line. By this point the band have reached critical mass and so switch their guitar tone for “Pathetic Champions“, another vicious little ditty that refuses to outstay its welcome and instead launches a few rocks from the safety of the higher ground before running like hell. Finishing on back to back cuts that surpass the three minute milestone feels like a risk for specialists in poison dwarf sized tunes to help you breathe more easily but the almost tribal drum fills of “For Tomorrow’s Lesson” and some atmospheric genius make for a punch in the guts you’re not going to forget. Oh and “Nothing But The Truth” with the obvious Jack Nicholson sample? It’s a skull splitting affair that’s worth the admission fee alone. The era of terror is far from over – that’s the truth. [7/10]

Track Listing

  1. Cold Machines
  2. System Of Perversity
  3. Bread And Circuses
  4. Mass Production Dream
  5. Among The Living Dead
  6. Call Me Uncivilized
  7. Seven Sisters
  8. Not Like All Of You
  9. Pathetic Champions
  10. For Tomorrow’s Lesson
  11. Nothing But The Truth

The Extreme Sound Of Truth” by Head Cleaner is out 8th September 2023 via Vinyl Store with pre-orders available here.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *