Album Review: Kruelty – Immortal Nightmare

Album Review: Kruelty - Immortal Nightmare

Album Review: Kruelty - Immortal Nightmare
Reviewed by CJ Claesson

Having formed in 2017 in Tokyo, Japan and despite their relatively short existence, Kruelty already have a hearty collection of releases in their catalogue. Following several demos and EPs they released their vicious debut full-length album ‘A Dying Truth’ earlier this year. Instead of taking time off during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kruelty decided to pit boss the global downtime by unveiling yet another powerful EP, ‘Immortal Nightmare’, packed with their refined mix of beatdown hardcore and death metal brutality.

Described as a “quarantine EP”, ‘Immortal Nightmare’ contains two re-recorded tracks taken from their EP ‘The Beginning to the End’ which was released in October 2019, and a ruthless rendition of ‘Into the Grave’ by the Swedish death metal legends Grave.

I discovered Kruelty in 2019 by devouring every hate5six video available at the time, and I’m happy I did. The video captured Kruelty playing a set in Osaka, Japan. Clad in ski masks, the band unleashed aggressive beatdown chuggery mixed with crushing gutturals for a bit over 20 minutes. I was hooked. Extra points for the Dissection / Kruelty logo mash-up which front man “02” is sporting on his hoodie.

Influenced by East Coast US and Japanese beatdown hardcore bands like No Retreat, One Second Thought and Second to None as well as Dutch death metallers Asphyx and countrymen Coffins, Kruelty showcases their diverse and extreme repertoire on this EP. Having been re-recorded with live drums, ‘Narcolepsy’ and ‘Desire’, are both monstrous tracks, sounding better than ever. Mixed by heavy hardcore royalty Taylor Young (Nails, Xibalba, God’s Hate, Twitching Tongues etc.) and mastered by Nick Townsend (Fireburn, Dagger, Red Death etc.) the result couldn’t have been anything short of perfect. From two-step invoking rhythms to colossal beatdowns, the first two songs follow the recipe every fan of the genre craves. No questions asked, it hits the spot.

Album Review: Kruelty - Immortal Nightmare

If you weren’t convinced by the beatdown / death metal blend Kruelty is pouring into your cup, they decided to end the EP on an extremely high note by covering the title track of the 1991 debut record “Into The Grave” by Grave. Undeniably a death metal classic, Kruelty’s rendition would not offend even the death metal diehards, which traditionally is a hard crowd to impress. In my opinion, of course rooted in empiric evidence, I found it to be more common for death metal diehards to be less receptive of the “hardcore” branches of the extreme music tree, which in this case includes beatdown, than the other way around. By covering a death metal classic like “Into the Grave”, Kruelty is certainly doing their part in breaking that barrier. Death metal, beatdown, black metal, punk, who cares? As cliché as it sounds, it’s all, to quote the back of the notorious Morbid Angel shirt; “extreme music for extreme people”.

Kruelty keeps on spoiling their followers with music but after this tasty amuse bouche I’m ready for (another) main course. Found on the band’s Bandcamp, a supporter said it best: “vile music, in the best possible way”.

The EP is now streaming on the band’s Bandcamp and will by available on CD and vinyl via Creator-Destructor Records on July 17th.

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