Webpage: www.iconsofbrutality.com
Video clip: Battalion 666 (live)
Review: 80/100 @ PoM.dk
Ever wanted to find out what inspired a particular song?

Was it based on personal experience or simply passive observation?

What happened in the recording studio or on stage to make one song sound different from the rest?

These are just some of the question bands and musicians attempt to answer in Line 'em Up - the newest page of The Power Of Metal.Dk.

This is where your favourite bands comment on their albums, track by track, because as someone once said, “Ideas are the building blocks of ideas”.



Here’s a chance for you to tell our readers about your new release, ‘Between Glory and Despair’. But could you please start off by introducing the readers to Icons Of Brutality?

Knolle: Well, we are an oldschool Death metal band from the northern regions of the Netherlands and we play our own blend of pure, in your face Death metal, raw and brutal.

We are inspired by lots of different styles and bands but I guess bands as Entombed, Dismember, Grave, Bolt Thrower, Vader, Gorefest, Asphyx are the most obvious, along with some Grind, Hardcore Punk and of course some nice D-beat Crustpunk.

The current line-up consists of Jimme on vocals, Jeunis on lead guitars (both ex-Absorbed), Bakvet on drums (ex-Grindminded), Appe on rhythm guitars and Knolle on bass and backing vocals, supported by an awesome record label (Cyclone Empire), overwhelmed by a massive number of great reviews on our album AND our live performances. Icons of Brutality are on a Carnage Campaign, so come check us out if you have the chance.

And now onto ‘Between Glory and Despair’ - track-by-track! What inspired you, which topics are you dealing with, what do you want to express with the songs etc.

Jeunis: Before walking through these songs I would state a short prelude. Most (I even think all) of the bands who did this 'Line 'Em Up', explained their songs in relation to their lyrical content. Icons of Brutality is somewhat different, so we decided to explain our songs thoroughly in relation to the musical content.

01. Just Let Them Burn

Jeunis: While practicing with the band we were talking about composing a simple, crusty song. Just a few riffs, with the well known crust feeling, and with some catchy solos. We had nothing in mind yet, but I played some riffs and asked 'Something like this guys?'. And their jaws dropped, confirming that I played some cool riffs. The riff with the Elisabeth sample was originally written as a base for a solo. But when Jimme revealed his lyrics, we thought that a cool sample will suit better. After a long search I came up with the Elisabeth sample and it was a real coincidence that the sample fitted perfectly as we speak about timing. We even play it live with the sample.

02. Between Glory and Despair

Jeunis: Before Bakvet joined IoB we had written about 5 or 6 songs. When drummer Robert left the band, we'd welcomed Bakvet and we began to practice some of the songs. We weren't quite happy with some parts of these songs, so we decided to rearrange some songs. The first riff (actually written by Knolle) of Between Glory and Despair was originally written in a more up-tempo mode and besides that, we reversed this riff. The other riffs didn't fit in the song anymore so we composed completely new riffs for the new version of Between Glory and Despair. We wanted to make a mid-tempo song with some climax towards the end, and I think we accomplished this mission.

hing about this song is the bass-lines which Knolle arranged. They are not similar to the guitar-lines, they add some extra groove to this song. 

03. Accompanied By Attrition

Jeunis: Another simple song which we have written in one session. I wanted to make a fast up-tempo song so I thought out some riffs during a rehearsal. In the beginning we had the first three riffs. We weren't satisfied because the song needed some extra power. So we tried several riffs for the mid-section of the song. After some variations I came with the mid-tempo riff which comes directly after the grind-riff. We arranged the song within one rehearsal session. During the recording sessions I added the 'clean' strum in the mid-section. It's actually distorted, haha, but the effect of this strum sounded very cool. This song is really basic, it contains no solos or rarities, it's pure, just as we wanted.

04. Icons Of Brutality

Jeunis: This song is kind of inspired by Vomitory. I was listening to their latest album, Opus Mortis VIII, a lot of times and the opening track, Regorge in the Morgue, had a fancy bass intro. I wanted to do something similar with the band so I wrote the bass intro for the song Icons of Brutality. It was also the base of the main riff for the rest of the song. Jimme suggested that we should play the riff with both crust and grind beats beneath. So we did and the result was really awesome. The second riff, with the harmonic rattle, came fluently after playing the first riff. It's an ode to bands like Gorefest, because of those harmonics. Gorefest is one of my favorite bands of all time, they taught me how to implement harmonic guitar riffing into songs.

The mid-section of this song was suggested by Jimme, however he cannot play guitar or bass, he does know how to arrange, and that's exactly why Jimme and I still play together, besides of our sickened kind of humor and passion for long evenings of discussions. But about the mid-section; the idea was to create a slow section filled with chords, followed up with the same riff played fast, like a rattling Gatlin machine gun, but that didn't quite work out well. So I wrote a completely new riff which complemented the slow chords-riff. Later on we rearranged that riff with an added break in it.

05. Built To Grind

Jeunis: This is actually the first song we have written. Unlike the title suggests, this is not a grind-song. It's more a mid-tempo song. We wrote this song during our first rehearsal with the band.  Because Robert, our former drummer, played in several hardcore bands, this song contains a bit of a hardcore feeling. It's an easy song and the main riff was already written by me a couple of weeks before we started IoB. It's a basic song, only three riffs and a cool solo, what more could you wish for?

06. Unleashed By The Carnifex

Jeunis: Before I talk about this song I would like to thank John Rambo. He was the main inspiration for this grinding song. Try to visualize Rambo's hiding place, smell the gunfire and feel the warm blood and imagine now why I came up with these riffs. The first and second riffs were written in one rehearsal session. I came up with the fast grind-riff and Bakvet directly responded with creating some fast drum tracks. In the beginning the song was very short, just the first and second riff played twice and then it stops. But the more we played the song we had the idea it wasn't complete yet. So I wrote some very fast riffs and a slow one, because this song is really exhausting to play. The strange mid-section refreshes the song. The solo has got an icy feeling, just how I prefer it, freezing cold.

07. Right Leg Solution

Jeunis: Besides the cool lyrics, which are kind of rare if I am to believe some of our reviews, I guess this song is one of the most powerful songs of IoB. This song was written with The 8th Sin, the former band of Jimme and I. In that band I wanted to introduce some crust-riffs, just because of the mass energy those kinda riffs mostly contain. Personally I think this was the best song The 8th Sin ever wrote - it is a strong number with a great headbanging potential. But there was one thing in the song which we didn't like, it was a lame bass-part. We had to get rid of it. So I replaced the original bass-part with a fancy, hardcore stylus, bass-part. And the grinding breakdown after it was also new. About the breakdown, a reviewer mentioned it by telling that this is how breakdowns are meant to be played the right way. And you know, there is only one way, that's the brutal one.

08. Sacred Days Of Tyranny

Jeunis: This song is maybe an odd man out. It contains the feeling of both the European and American style of death metal. I wrote the harmonic riff as a base for this song. I listened a lot to bands like Edge of Sanity and Dark Tranquility at the time, and maybe they subconsciously were inspiring me. I recorded the riff using a metronome, and I thought out the dual riff. I presented the riff to the rest and they liked it, so we all together went writing further on the song. First the intro, originally we played it with chords, but in the studio Fredde (our producer) and I tried something else, alternately riffing, ha ha. But it sounded cool so why not. The crust riff was thought of within a minute. I was jamming and I came up with that riff, and the other guys asked me to play it again, 'cause that riff was awesome. So I did. Together we arranged the song in to how it sounds right now.

09. Battalion 666

Jeunis: About one month before we went to the studio recording Between Glory and Despair I came up with this song. I recorded some riffs at home and I sent them to Bakvet. He created a drum-track for the riffs with a drum computer. I rewrote some riffs and recorded a demo for the band. It was my first experiment with playing in drop A. This song contains some death 'n' roll elements, for example the riff where the solo is played. It's really fun playing this song. The rest of the guys were enthusiastic when I introduced them to this new song. Within a month we practiced the song, and luckily for us we could record this masterpiece as well.

Tell us a bit about the artwork – who made it etc. and how important do you feel it is to have a cool artwork?

Cool artwork is essential for giving strength to music. We asked our friend Marcel for the artwork. We’ve known him a long time and he even played together with Bakvet in Morte Aeterna ages ago. And we knew his artistic capabilities, so we asked him if he could design a cover for us. We gave him complete freedom - we just gave him some keywords: Oldschool death metal. We are very happy with the result. It has a dark, obscure atmosphere.


Thomas Nielsen, April 2013