Big|Brave - Vital

22 Apr 2021 - Simon

post-metal,doom | Southern Lord | Release date: 23 Apr 2021

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Big|Brave take you on a rewarding sonically dense journey into a brave new chapter of Post-Metal that demands your attention

What do lyrics in music mean to you? Do you pour over them meticulously and try and understand their deepest nuances, or do you not even listen to them and just enjoy them as part of the music? Each is acceptable (I’m not saying either is right or wrong) but if you are the type of person to ignore the lyrics then I am going to humbly beg one thing of you when listening to this new album by Canadian band Big|Brave and that is to try and give them a chance, they are exceptional, heartfelt and poetic. The aforementioned lyrics are made all the more powerful due to the stunning vocals of lead singer Robin Wattie as she sings impassionedly about “navigating the outside world in a racialised body and what it does to the psyche as a whole while exploring individual worth within this reality” If all of that sounds a bit high falutin’ to you then by all means just sit back and let the brilliant musicality of it all wash over you, after all, the vocals will hit you in the feels even if you don’t want them to!

«««< HEAD Musically, the trio work wonders and manage to convey exactly what the vocals are trying to say, they are weighty, oh my goodness are they weighty. That’s not to say they are heavy for the sake of it, yet the music seems to have a gravity all its own. It’s repetitious, sit’s low in the spectrum and you get the impression that it’s got real mass, but here’s the thing, this weighty mass of music has a thread of vulnerability running through it like a shimmering stream, occasionally catching the sun for a dazzling show of wonder. Indeed, it’s the moments of reflection and silence which seem to carry the most weight, I’m not sure how they’ve done it, but it’s quite an achievement.

Opening song and standout <i> Abating the incarnation of Matter </i> tears right out of the gate with its thunderous rhythm section, seriously fuzzed guitars and repetitious nature. And then Robin starts singing and it’s glorious. The moments of silence I spoke of earlier come through most prominently at the end of next song <i> Half Breed </i> when the music drops out and Robins refrain of “The pattern for” (which is an excerpt form the book <i> How to Write An Autobiographical Novel </i>) roars out of your speakers dripping with raw and naked emotion, quite simply, it’s stunning. And this after another bravura show of song writing from the previous 7 or so minutes.
Mid song Wilted, Still and All… is ambience soaked and serves almost to catch your breath after the ferocious sounds which have come before. The album then dives headlong into the final 2 songs which pick up the baton and runs with it. Of This Ilk is a particularly challenging song with pounding, pulsing drums which build to near excruciating levels and then collapses in on itself into another of those stunning silences punctuated with just the mearest hints of ambiant sound.
This is an overwhelming, dense, crushing, challenging and utterly captivating album. It asks questions of you and rewards you in equal measure. It will take a lot of unpacking and a dose of effort on your behalf, but once you get tangled up in its web, it’s nothing short of stunning. Hugely recommended. ======= Musically, the trio work wonders and manage to convey exactly what the vocals are trying to say, they are weighty, oh my goodness are they weighty. That’s not to say they are heavy for the sake of it, yet the music seems to have a gravity all its own. It’s repetitious, sit’s low in the spectrum and you get the impression that it’s got real mass, but here’s the thing, this weighty mass of music has a thread of vulnerability running through it like a shimmering stream, occasionally catching the sun for a dazzling show of wonder. Indeed, it’s the moments of reflection and silence which seem to carry the most weight, I’m not sure how they’ve done it, but it’s quite an achievement.

Opening song and standout Abating the incarnation of Matter tears right out of the gate with its thunderous rhythm section, seriously fuzzed guitars and repetitious nature. And then Robin starts singing and it’s glorious. The moments of silence I spoke of earlier come through most prominently at the end of next song Half Breed when the music drops out and Robins refrain of “The pattern for” (which is an excerpt form the book How to Write An Autobiographical Novel ) roars out of your speakers dripping with raw and naked emotion, quite simply, it’s stunning. And this after another bravura show of song writing from the previous 7 or so minutes.

Mid song Wilted, Still and All… is ambience soaked and serves almost to catch your breath after the ferocious sounds which have come before. The album then dives headlong into the final 2 songs which pick up the baton and runs with it. Of This Ilk is a particularly challenging song with pounding, pulsing drums which build to near excruciating levels and then collapses in on itself into another of those stunning silences puntuated with the mearest hint of ambiant sound.

This is an overwhelming, dense, crushing, challenging and utterly captivating album. It asks questions of you and rewards you in equal measure. It will take a lot of unpacking and a dose of effort on your behalf, but once you get tangled up in its web, it’s nothing short of stunning. Hugely recommended.

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