There’s a historic neighborhood in Tampa, Florida, United States called Ybor City. It was founded in the 1880s by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and other cigar manufacturers and was populated by thousands of immigrants, mainly from Cuba (also Spain and Italy). For the next 50 years, workers in cigar factories rolled tons of cigars every year. The cigar industry employed thousands of well-paid workers, helping Tampa grow from an economically depressed village to a bustling city in about 20 years and giving it the nickname “Cigar City”. But Tampa for all deathsters around the world is a kind of Mecca of the genre and some may not even heard that nickname. Unfortunately, despite the many and great bands this land has offered, Tampa is just another city (ok, too big to name it ‘just another city’, as it is almost 4 million) where Death Metal is a parasite of music industry that suffers in the underground. Ybor City grew and flourished almost 100 hundred years before Death Metal, from the 1890s until the Great Depression of the 1930s, when a drop-in demand for fine cigars reduced the number of cigar factories. After decades of decay (the occurrence of the crisis despite the good salaries for a long time was deterministic, however, because the cause of the economic crisis lies in the fundamental opposition of the system between social production and the individual-capitalist appropriation of its results) the formerly vibrant neighborhood was virtually abandoned by the late 1970s. Some years later Death Metal was born. In the 80’s when everyone thought the end of the world was near, in fact it was the end of Cold War that was so close yet no one could predict. It seems that Reaganism, poverty and abandonment were the fuel that burned the hearts of the youth of America and consequently great bands were formed and great albums were recorded in the area, in the famous Morrisound Studios. After all the demand for fine music was never reduced in any society. Brutality (formed in 1986 as Abomination and in 1987 changed name to Darkness before choosing Brutality) recorded “When the Sky Turns Black”, their second album for Nuclear Blast with the same writing formula as in their almost excellent debut “Screams of Anguish” (1991). Thick sound, tremolo riffs that bring in mind U.K. legends Benediction and Bolt Thrower, meaningful solos, huge chords, almost disgusting melodies all around creating a sick atmosphere, ferocious drumming, creative double bass rhythms that do not just follow the guitar lines and what the hell having such a name you thought it correctly, tones of brutality…In the same year Death Metal around the globe offered some really awesome records. Obituary delivered “World Demise”, Bolt Thrower “…For Victory”, Incantation “Mortal Throne of Nazarene”, At The Gates “Terminal Spirit Disease” and Cannibal Corpse their magnus opus “The Bleeding”. Tough competition in a genre that already was losing popularity and its dynamic as the audience were searching for either corpse painted arsonists in Scandinavian shores or rap rhythms mixed with their chugging guitars in a so-called nu metal paranoia. Still many middle-class workers and blue collars wanted something urban, powerful and vital to keep ‘em strong and Death Metal was there to fill the gap that grunge created by killing not only the triptych of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll by only keeping drugs, but also the revolutionary element of extreme sound. After a miserable shotgun echo what was left was a checkered shirt as a flag of emptiness and despair … Why Brutality never became big? I really don’t know and I don’t care either. Their high standard songwriting, the intelligent lyrics (not the naïve and typical gore ones), the tasteful guitars, the variety and the catchy groove of their music was definitely promising for something bigger, but still they never gained the fame and recognition they deserved. The 1996 follower entitled “In Mourning” was decent and its quality wasn’t the reason (neither the abandoning of their iconic logo to a more hardcore-like one) they eventually split up until 2005 (only for a couple of months before split up again until a small surfaced in 2008, a new split and finally reunite in 2012 until now!). Highlights: “When the Sky Turns Black”, “Race Defects”, “Artistic Butchery“ and “Shrine of the Master”. Plus, a nice effort on Black Sabbath’s “Electric Funeral”. 2013’s EP Ruins of Humans was like manna from Heaven for their diehards but no one expected the triumphant return in 2016 and the brilliant “Sea of Ignorance” via Repulsive Echo Records. Check also this year’s 7” single entitled Antecedent Offerings via Ceremonial Records.