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Brain for the Masses – Monochopsis

Brain for the Masses
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 26 January 2023, 8:59 AM

BRAIN FOR THE MASSES is a Groove Metal band formed in Portugal. This is the band’s debut EP, and it has five songs. “Bleak” is the first. It’s a hardened sound with lots of backing filler. The vocals are harsh and it sounds a bit like CIPHER SYSTEM from Sweden. The guitars are always moving, keeping the riffs from becoming stale. Piano helps fill in the cracks, and this is complicated music, but also very listenable. This combination is hard to get just right. “Retribution” moves with a low groove from the rhythms and some steady drumming. Everything is going fine until the cleans in the chorus. They are a bit of a letdown. Sometimes, I criticize bands for not having cleans…but in this case, they just aren’t strong enough, and it’s probably better to let the harsh vocals rage.

“Seclusion” is a slower offering with a bite of darkness. In this case, the cleans work much better with the acoustical guitars, and when the roar of harsh vocals comes in, it sounds that much more aggressive. The piano and leads also work very well with the sound. “To Be Alive” begins with solemn piano notes, leading to a heavy and fast-moving riff. The rhythm section is so tightly packed that you couldn’t squeeze a dime through it, and the clean vocals work much better again. “Stay Afloat” closest the album; a seven-minute song. Clean vocals and acoustic guitars with a solemn feeling open the song. Staying afloat is definitely a struggle a lot of us have had in life, and the emotive qualities of the music reflect that. The final few minutes are a gut-wrenching crescendo of agony.

Although only five songs, the amount of different elements packed into the music is noteworthy. The also show a seasoned musicianship, and a penchant for composing different sounds on the album, while presenting them as a cohesive whole. This is a band that I wouldn’t sleep on, and watch out for their debut full-length soon, hopefully.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Bleak
2. Retribution
3. Seclusion
4. To Be Alike
5. Stay Afloat
Goghy Laurus – Bass
Alex Bran – Guitars
Ryu Nyx – Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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