Brutus have entered their “ambitious third album” phase, and it sounds like it’s really working for them. The Belgian trio made waves with their second record, 2019’s Nest, which showcased their posthardcore-meets-postrock chops. Anchored by the soaring vocals and complex rhythms of singer and drummer Stefanie Mannaerts, their dynamic, aggressive songs swerved between emo introspection and over-the-top epic climaxes. All the elements that made Brutus so irresistible on their first two albums are back on the brand-new Unison Life—and this time they’re dialed up to 11. The hooks are bigger, the guitar riffs are more surgical, the bass is heavier than hell, and the songs feel louder and more layered than ever. Brutus have always had a flair for the dramatic, which can be felt in their heart-wrenching vocals and expansive arrangements, but here Mannaerts has unquestionably stepped into her position in the spotlight. She’s more than just a singing drummer—she’s an emotional powerhouse with a massive set of pipes. With Unison Life, Brutus are clearly operating on a new level. It’s catchy, it’s heavy, it’s fun, and the combination has me coming back to it over and over.
Brutus’s Unison Life is available through the band’s webstore.