Brutus - Nest

29 Mar 2019 - Knut

| Hassle Records | Release date: 29 Mar 2019

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In 2017 the Belgian band Brutus burst into the metal scene with their acclaimed debut album. Two years later they release their sophomore full length, Nest. In the two years between these albums, Brutus has developed their musical style almost turning to Post-Metal. To call a band such as Brutus a power trio is fitting, but it is almost an understatement.

With their sophomore album the three musicians behind the band deliver a masterfully played and produced metal album. It is hard, it is emotional, it is full of guitar riffs, soaring guitar solos (by Stijn Vanhoegaerden), rolling and thundering bass (by Peter Mulders), spectacular drumming (by Stefanie Mannaerts ) and the strong, clean, fierce and emotional vocals (also by Stefanie). It is impressive how this band matured from their first album to this one. With boldness they take on the task of delivering a generous metal-related album. That the vocalist also handles the drums makes it even more impressive. To do that in studio, OK. But to handle both equally masterful on a live stage, that takes skills. Just watch one of their live performances on YouTube.

The album consists of eleven tracks and lasts a bit over 40 minutes. That means songs are short, clocking in about three minutes, but a couple tracks are longer. But with all the riffs, turns and shifts they do inside each track, it does not feel that any track is too short. Let us look at three tracks to represent the album.

The album opener ”Fire” starts with glitching sounds, echoes and sound effects, then picks up pace and heads straight ahead into Post-Hardcore with rolling bass, heavy and cold riffs and drums at full speed. And then the clear vocals arise singing, ”Fire/Burn them all/I´m breaking your walls down”. And that is what they do during the following tracks: they break down the musical walls surrounding the hardcore genre and develop the music on the album into different styles towards fast-running Post-Metal and even throw in some extreme metal.

Before they released the album, they put out an album teaser video on YouTube, built around the sixth track, “War”. This track starts with an acoustic guitar introducing the anguished clear vocals that are almost at breaking point. And then the whole band comes out in full force, the solo guitar over rolling bass, riffs and drums at a fast pace until the tempo halts a bit and the desperate clear vocals are back soaring over the trio´s instruments. It is a very strong track.

On the last track, it is almost as if the band explores what possibilities the post-genre offers a band. It is the most diverse track, also the longest on the album and might point towards the musical direction they plan to take. It starts out slower than the others, with heavy, dark riffs over the slow bass and drums - it is almost played in staccato mode. It quiets down to give room for the shimmering pristine and longing vocals. And then the track picks up pace again in the same mode with riffs, bass and drums. The music quiets down yet again to give room for the voice, now over an ambient acoustic guitar that slowly fades away. And they come back with a sound of wall, almost like each instrument plays in solo mode before loosening up into a melody supporting the vocals as it fades away into an echo.

This album is so well played, excellently produced and so diverse abundant with depths and dynamics, that it is hard to believe it do not last more than 42 minutes. As 42 is the answer to many things, they have really increased expectations for the listener to how they will answer the musical possibilities they have set up for themselves.