Post-Rock, Shoegaze

Brutus – Unison Life (Review)

Release:Unison Life
Genre:Post-Rock, Shoegaze
Release Date:21st of October, 2022
Released viaHassle Records / Cargo
Cover ArtworkHassle Records / Cargo

No long introduction: Unison Life is one of my favorite albums of 2022.

Three years ago, I wrote a review about the last Brutus album Nest. I wrote that Brutus is in my opinion one of the bands that could have a bright future. In my view, they step by step achieve more views, likes and listeners across all platforms. I have the feeling that their name kind of rises on the flyers of festivals, well deserved of course. After 1.5 years of work, the band now releases their third studio album Unison Life.

As the band published their first singles this summer, I had a good feeling about the release in October. A clear recommendation is “Dust”, which is in my opinion, along with “Victoria”, the strongest track of the album. Playful, strong, hard. The other three songs didn’t disappoint either, so “Liar” is a song which reminds me the most of the old Brutus albums, but you can clearly hear the work and the experience the band achieved in the recent years.

The rest of the album is equally good. The opening song “Miles Away” clearly shows where the songs and spirit of the album will go for the next 40 minutes. With “Brave”, Brutus set the first real benchmark for the rest of the album. At this point I must point out what a beautiful voice Stefanie Mannaerts has, even while giving the drums hell.

“Chainlife” deserves a special mention. While it feels like a more poppy song in the beginning, it develops more and more into the most “Metal-sounding” song on the album. The structure of the whole song has no particular breaks, everything runs smoothly. This song alone shows the quality the band has achieved by now.

No song resembles the other, even if you recognize the typical sound of the band, each song is a work of art in its own right in terms of sound and lyrics. In combination with all the other songs, it adds up to a great album as a whole. I could write a big paragraph about the lyrics alone, but that would go beyond the scope.

In an interview, Peter Mulders, bassist of the band, said that they had to purify the “Brutus Sound” after the last album, shedding unnecessary layers. I would describe the musical choices on Unison Life as more of an ennoblement. On the last two albums, one clearly recognized their own sound, which often seemed a bit raw and unpolished. But now you can clearly hear that this rawness has been refined without changing the typical sound of the previous albums. Various musical rough edges have been removed in order to let the remaining parts shine even brighter.

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