Review: Anthem by Bruteus
Raleigh, NC’s instrumental trio Bruteus has released their sophomore effort, Anthem. The twelve-track studio recording, released on November 1, 2018, is an album that picks up right where their self-titled debut album left off.
The lead-off track Babalu begins with the drums of Lars Hartmann and the envelope-filtered bass of Sean Geist. Guitarist Yontz Sucre‘s theme hits you hard, like an arena rock marriage with some tastier prog.
Brutal is aptly titled, and evokes a nineties grunge vibe with the tones and tempo. Long legato lines from Yontz float over the steady rhythm work. This is a standout track for Sean Geist, one of the first-call bassists in central North Carolina.
Anthema is a moodier, more progressive piece, and is a nice contrast to the hard-hitting, straightforward rock sounds of the first two tracks. Some overdubbed guitar harmonies and a tempo switch keep things interesting.
Track 4, Grey Sunday, could pass as an updated tune by Mountain. Seventies-styled rock riffs and tones galore here. The bluesy coda also features some metal-inspired syncopation from each member of the band.
The Sea has that lonesome, reflective feeling that can inspire. Suspended chords and a memorable head are contrasted with a chorus that could be a power pop tune. Carnivosity has a Govan-meets-Satriani vibe. If it were to have vocals, you can easily imagine a grunge hit as a result.
The cleverly titled Number 7 features more prog-inspired syncopation and nifty octave divider work from Yontz. Trance begins with a cello-sounding interlude and proceeds to show itself as the most exotic-sounding track on the album. There’s some really inventive drum work here, as well as some cool studio effects.
Monsterbot is more of the pop-prog-metal mixture. One of the shortest tunes here, Monsterbot really packs a punch. Recurrence features a unique opening line by Geist and more memorable, thematic work by Yontz.
Labyrinth has a dramatic, cinematic feel from the get-go. The dynamic shifts in this tune really serve to highlight each member of the trio’s prowess and taste. The closing track is a fairly faithful take on Rush’s YYZ.
Fans of artists such as Tool, Dream Theater, Steve Morse, Guthrie Govan, Satriani, Vai, (and Rush of course) will find something to like here. The tunes are catchy and the album was obviously well recorded and mixed. There is no insane, unnecessary shredding, and melody is king. Find their music and more at the links above.