Progressive metal has enjoyed a stellar period of late. With an incredibly healthy scene thanks to the explosion of top-tier bands and dedicated festivals like Tech-Fest in the UK for example, progressive metal is now a vastly populated scene. The problem this creates however for emerging talent is that the bar is now incredibly high to surpass, and often emerging bands fail to hit the quality to successfully trade blows with the heavy hitters in the scene. For the past eight years the UK’s BRUTAI have been making ripples in the scene but now, finally, they are ready to unleash their debut full-length record, titled Born. The result? This is a record of absolute musical bliss.
The record opens with Relapse and after a brief ambient introduction the track whirls into life through a steady. Moments of intricate guitar play from Henry Ryan show a glimpse into BRUTAI‘s technical prowess before the track explodes through a barrage of growled vocal deliveries from vocalist Felix Lawrie. This builds momentum before showcasing a fantastic dual clean vocal effort from Lawrie and keyboardist Alex Lorimer in the chorus. A fine start indeed.
As Born progresses on, the quality on display here only further impresses. Deep opens with harmonious clean vocal deliveries and heavy use of Alex Lorimer‘s keyboards before whipping up a riff PERIPHERY would be proud of. The groove on display here is outrageous but it is so captivating you feel yourself move through consistent rhythm. Of Ashes opts for sheer ferocity in it’s approach to the riffs, the combination of Felix Lawrie and Alex Lorimer‘s dual guitars creates a crushing atmosphere which is only heightened by Christian Sturgess thick bass tones. The melody of Lawrie‘s soothing clean vocals is a sharp contrast to the dazzling guitar-play but it doesn’t feel out of place, rather adding a thick underlining tone which creates a captivating listening experience.
With such a strong opening to Born, you’d be forgiven if you’d assume that the record lags in it’s second half. Thankfully however, the record only continues to deliver. Clocking in at six and a half minutes Valediction is one of the standout tracks on the record. The track opens with masterful lead guitar play before delivering one of the strongest riffs on the record. Lawrie delivers again with his vocal output, with his range of harsh and clean vocal deliveries being wonderful in tone and not detracting from the sheer musical wizardry in the background. And whilst the track sacrifices momentum by focusing on ambience through the percussion of Mathieu Bauer and Alex Lorimer‘s keyboards, the track recovers with a massive conclusion of a mesmerising lead solo from Henry Ryan.
In truth, there is rarely a dull moment with Born. From the intoxicating chorus on Never Change, the magnificent grooves of Dear Emily and to the progressive behemoth that is closing track The Border, BRUTAI have crafted an absolutely outstanding debut record. In a scene that is vastly over-populated, it takes something truly special to stand out in the crowd and with Born, BRUTAI have achieved that and then some.
Born is set for release on November 25th via Transcend Music.
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