BRUTUS – Burst (Hassle Records)
Genre – Punk
Hailing from Leuven, Belgium, BRUTUS creates a pummelling, meteor-shower of sound.
Singing drummer Stefanie Mannaerts mixes black-metal blast beats with math-rock flourishes whilst belting the most passionate vocals, shifting from deceptively melodic to out-right larynx-punishing in the blink of an eye; from the album’s opener metallic rage of March to closing track Child.
Guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden takes eerie post-rock tones to hardcore punk levels of speed and energy, beside Peter Mulders powerful sub-frequency bass, that ties this unique wall of sound together.
The three collide to make a frantic sound that at times goes from a muffling ball of feedback, to raw hardcore noise to beautifully balanced melodic rock.
Drummer / singer Stefanie said: “For this record, I had to dig deep into hidden and guarded emotions. It’s not so easy to sing about myself, so I used the third person. And it’s also not easy to drum a blast-beat over a melodic vocal to capture some exact feelings.
Despite her trepidations, she has absolutely nailed it in a not so traditional way. Mannaerts’ vocals are unusual to say the least. She can certainly sing, but she’s got a vicious growl that at times is reduced purely to shouting in tracks like Not Caring and Drive.
The first half of Burst is quite simply a blistering array of sound, so loud it’ll blow even the most hardened of hardcore fans away. But, it’s the midway track Bird where the three piece show their talent.
Mannaerts’ vocals are rough and edgy, full of raw venom that soar with a chorus of ‘I was all alone, I was never loved.’ These vocals are brought to life with the intricate playing of Vanhoegaerden and the rhythm combination of her steady base drum and Mulders bass guitar, to create a slow, atmosphere number full of heartache.
Looking for Love on the Devil’s Mountain sees a searing guitar and drum combination lead the charge, with Maanaert’s thick Belgian accent coming to the fore in her racing vocals. This track is played at 100 mph from the opening chord and sets the precedent for the following number Horde ll, which is another racing guitar number, but much more polished than its neighbouring songs.
BRUTUS have created roaring hardcore album than draws influences from a number of genres, and its raw nature really is its selling point. This album is fantastic when played at volume, and will truly blow crowds away when band take on the UK next month.
RUSHONROCK RATED – 7.5/10 Brutal BRUTAS burst boundaries