I love when prog bands figure out how to take complicated compositions and immense technicality and somehow make it extremely accessible. London’s Brutai do just that with their debut full-length. The group play a style of modern prog that feels like a mix between Exist Immortal and Haken, which is to say it’s definitely djent-inspired, but it relies on soaring instrumental and vocal melody over mathematically-complex technicality. While I often decry the use of ultra-clean production techniques, it works well for Brutai, making everything feel warmer rather than cold and calculated somehow.
Born isn’t blazingly proggy or heavy, and it’s best when it indulges its latent alternative influence. This is a phenomenally catchy album. Which makes sense, since where the album stumbles is when it lets its heavy side out. The sparingly used harsh vocals feel unfortunately out of place and detract from the experience, and the breakdowns do help contextualize the hypnotic beauty; however, they seem superfluous. That said, when the band get it mostly right (see “Of Ashes”), the results are stunning. While this sort of post-djent modern prog metal seems to be rising out of Europe en masse of late, and by the addictively pretty sounds of Born, you get the sense that Brutai has the potential to be at the front of that future pack. They just aren’t quite there yet.