This debut album by London’s BRUTAI is the equivalent of when you see an old friend from school, who has blossomed into a hottie. One brief listen to Born and you’ll think, ‘when did BRUTAI get so gooood?’ The signs were always there in their self-titled EP, but with this release the band are more comfortable and nurturing their own sound. A mature and solid album, this record has without doubt been worth the wait.
The album opens with guitar strokes reverberating in your ears while other instrumentation starts to sneak in. Then BAM! opener Relapse is well underway like a drum roll for the remainder of the album. The metalcore influences are there with a nature of KILLSWITCH ENGAGE but there is a definite contemporary edge to proceedings to prevent BRUTAI getting bogged down with such a label.
What’s hinted in Relapse comes to the fore in the single, Deep. Sounding like the lovechild of a poppier TESSERACT and INME, it is catchy as hell but poses no risk to a loss of punchiness. The production is superb with the instrumentation sounding crisp and clear without losing impact. Felix Lawrie’s vocals is nestled nicely into the mix along with the superb use of keys. It is this sprinkling of keys which give their sound an extra edge, with Of Ashes being no different. By this third track it is clear BRUTAI sound more confident with songs that are more coherent compared to earlier releases. It is hard not to compare some elements with fellow British metallers DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL and THE FIVE HUNDRED, but with an added bit of cheeky djent.
Lucidity is almost 5 minutes of expertly executed metal. The killer beginning to the song features piano and a killer guitar solo, a bit like AVENGED SEVENFOLD sans cheese. It is one of the most impressive and memorable tracks of the album, with a hearty chorus the likes of CHAOS DIVINE and WESTFIELD MASSACRE would be proud of. Lawrie’s vocals help give BRUTAI a distinct flare, that by the time Valediction starts playing, there’s no doubt the band are well on their way to developing their own signature sound.
New single Never Change is a glorious example of what BRUTAI have to offer with a soaring chorus and rich layers of sound to make the song sound massive. If this song isn’t a reflection of what the band are about then I don’t know what is. Yet things take an interesting turn in Over Now. Starting with a bit of an 80s tinge, Lawrie practically croons his way through the song until it erupts into an absolute belter. Trust me, it’s a treat.
Album closer The Border is a 7 minute conclusion which sums up the tone of the album nicely. Incredible melodies and punishing riffs bring together BRUTAI’s clean style and raw edge seamlessly. When the track ends you’ll be left dumbstruck. What a debut.
The future of British metal has indeed been born.