Big | Brave - Vital | Album Review



From the opening chord of the record's introduction, Big I Brave are here with something new - reverberating perspectives. Absorbing space & time before forcing it back out into their own design, to create a monster of this size must take complete trust and a soul purpose for achieving something brilliant.


To sum the band up from our immediate introduction, the Montreal three piece are...pensive. Their music is colossal, strange and exciting, keeping listeners on their toes throughout a grunge infused cacophony of instrumentation which acts as the perfect bed for the haunting vocals of Robin Wattie. A musical collaboration defying genres, Big I Brave fuse together varying musical backgrounds to deliver their fifth full length record Vital. Since finding their home with Southern Lord, the band have released three albums on the label, each greeted by more acclaim than the last. Their chaotic brand of post-rock infused, grunge driven metal has caused a stir amongst fans of the intriguing, and their impending fifth release could potentially be their most mesmerising record to date.


Giants of the unconventional, the second track ‘Half Breed’ is almost transcendent with it's borderline dangerous density. Following closely a narrative inside race, gender and how we all pass through life whilst having to negotiate the behaviours of other people, the record as a whole contains a powerful message, and this thunderous impact so early early in the track listing is a voice to be heard. Thick noise is everywhere, with the squeal of amplifiers and crushing guitar tones that force themselves into every crevice. It's encompassing, and as tightly recorded as it is well produced. Since the project's inception in 2012 the trio have become a band infamous for their evolving track lengths, with the shortest track on the record comes in at four minutes and twenty two seconds. Cryptically titled ‘Wited. Still and All…the progression of the track is dissonant and raw, mutating into the perfect precursor to the second half of the album.



The records closure and title track 'Vital 'is a nine minute evolving spectacle and potentially the most expansive track on the listing. There's an intensity to the breakdown that brings an impending sense of doom, and the sudden entry of some well placed guitar lines in its second half that seemingly come out of nowhere instantly become an integral part of the composition.


The magnitude of this record is no doubt going to be shocking if you’re a first time listener, and anyone that gets a chance to hear it will no doubt share the same opinion. Big | Brave have created something intense and addictive, and should look on with interest to see how it is digested by an already expectant fanbase.


Score: 9/10


Vital is released April 23rd digitally and June 9th on vinyl via Southern Lord.

Pre-order the record here.