With the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly received a national and international presence — and since their full-length debut’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, and played the major heavy EU festivals. Along with that Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich has championed them. And they’ve managed to do so with a sound that was initially shaped by necessity — in particular, Mannaerts adopted vocal duties because no one else would.
Now, as you may recall, the Belgian post-rock trio’s highly-anticipated, Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest is slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Sargent House Records. Their sophomore effort reportedly finds Mannaerts fully embracing her dual roles as vocalist and drummer, with the album’s material revealing the full range of her talents — while the band has made a concerted effort to write incredibly tight songs with an expanded approach and sound. Thematically, the album focuses on the path they’ve all taken together, including the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream and attaining success; but there’s underlying moments of reflection in which they all consider the choices they’ve made to pursue their dreams, and the impact those particular choices had on those who they eventually had to leave behind. And as a result, the material possesses a strange yet necessary friction between their forward momentum and their desire to maintain connections to those they love back home. But there are much larger questions to ask: is that possible, when you’ve taken such enormous risks to get where you are right now? And when the things you’ve seen, done and experienced have become so different than those of your peers, can keep that connection? Is it as important and necessary as you may think?
Earlier this year, I wrote about, the expansive “War,” a track that alternated between dreamy and ruminative showcase and aggressive and forceful thrash metal, with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks and even larger power chords. Possessing a painterly quality in which the song’s musical layers are much like brushstrokes adding detail and texture to the canvas, the song evokes the raw ache of isolation and the bleakness of taking stock of oneself — completely alone. “Cemetery, Nest’s second and latest single is centered around a sound that effortlessly bridges doom metal, thrash metal, shoegaze, hardcore punk and stoner rock with an arrangement featuring thunderous drumming, blistering and enormous power chords, and Mannaerts howled vocals. And while bearing a resemblance to its immediate predecessor, the song possesses a feral and unhinged immediacy.
.Directed by Mitch Wells, the recently released video stars Jarrett Sleeper, who expressively stomps, struts, dances and howls about to the song — with Sleeper looking as though he were under the influence of hallucinogens