Sharing past and present members with Anaal Nathrakh and Mistress, one can predict the level of ferocity to be provided by this, Fukpig’s sophomore album, before going anywhere near the ‘play’ button. Although the disdain for religion shown first by the album title is getting a little old, the musical ideas, which I assure you are nothing original, are not.
My point here is that although much of this is in a similar vein to guitarist/drummer Mick Kenney’s ‘day job’ Anaal Nathrakh, there resides an altogether crustier, and even a more vicious feeling to this. Blastbeats galore permeate the album, and riff-wise, there is a clear crustcore influence, although two of the most recognizable riffs on the album, the opening ones to the title track and ‘This Is The News?’ respectively are evidently borrowed from two of the most famous tracks within extreme metal – Mayhem’s ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ and Slayer’s ‘Angel Of Death’.
Not that anyone minds. Even if you’ve worn your LPs of those to death, bought a replacement CD and somehow worn that out too, those two fit in so snugly here that it wouldn’t seem at all out of place to someone who inexplicably had found Fukpig without being aware of those two. Also ‘borrowed’ is the Sunlight Studios-esque guitar tone offered – and this sounds right at home too. We’re all aware how heavily the Stockholm bands borrowed from the Swedish hardcore punk scene of the time, and this is a chance to hear their tone given back to an altogether punkier context.
What I’m not saying, however, is that this album is a rehash of ripoffs. No, there are plenty of original factors – although mathematics dictates that all three-chord riffs must have been used by now, the bassier tone used here makes them all seem highly original, as they cut through the mix like a hot knife through butter. Relentless aggression here is done well – the usual tedium factor that starts to kick in after 25 minutes or so is not present here at all.
Drum-wise, the patterns alternate between blasts and d-beats – this is a grindcore album after all. The production lends the drumming a nice organic sound, which should please the crusties around to no end. As a point of comparison for the drumming in particular, but also for the vast majority of the album, imagine a combination of Disfear and Anaal Nathrakh.
One of the main things which makes this album appeal to me than many other black metal/grindcore hybrids is the way in which each individual song has hooks within it to make it stand out from the rest, despite them all being stylistically similar. I’ll point you in the direction of the gang chants which start ‘This Is England’ (which are followed by one of the most frenzied vocal performances I’ve ever heard) and to the desolate feeling, borrowed equally from crust punk and black metal, which is particularly apparent in ‘Dawn Of The Dumb’.
Altogether, I’d say that although it’s completely derivative, Belief Is The Death Of Intelligence is a fantastic album – marginally better than Fukpig’s first effort Spewings From A Selfish Nation, and certainly way above par within its genre. Although it’s long been sold out, this is an album worth seeking out at most costs. One of the best of last year.