"Audioviolence" (Self-produced; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Browbeat is a modern metal (i.e., nu-metal) band from Italy that sounds more like they hail from sunny Southern California. Overall, Browbeat are rooted in the style perfected by Fear Factory, Machine Head (the first two albums, anyway), and Skinlab. Certain stylistic elements made popular by Korn creep in at times, too.

The music is crisp and the songs are well-developed. "Audioviolence" doesn’t sound like something that was slapped together over the course of a few weekends. The songs definitely sound road-tested and probably met with tinkering from the band after audience reactions. The verses mix nu-metal's rap influences while injecting more of a groove as opposed to a straight urban rap style. The choruses definitely have the flavor of Fear Factory's at their melodic best and most memorable.

I find it odd and pleasing all at the same time that Browbeat are playing a style more commonly thought of as a North American style. And as much as I wanted to like "Audioviolence," I know I would have enjoyed this CD more had I heard it five or six years ago before I became enamored with melodic death metal and other forms of extreme music outside the 'nu-metal' norm. However, I must give credit where credit is due: Browbeat certainly seem to enjoy performing this particular style of modern metal -- they’d have to as this particular genre was played out about two years ago.

Fans of the nu-metal genre (and you know who you are) would be wise to consider to this Italian export of modern metal.

"Audioviolence" was produced by Browbeat. The production is solid -- clear enough for the band to get its sound across and not so polished as to lose their sonic edge.

Browbeat: Fabio Amico on vocals, Alberto Gualdi on guitar and vocals, Luca Cocconi on guitar and vocals, Roberto Vecchi on bass and vocals, and Andrea Cavani on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:09 -0400.