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Brave The Cold – Scarcity Award winner

Brave The Cold
Scarcity
by Quinten Serna at 16 November 2020, 12:38 PM

From the geniuses of MITCH HARRIS and DIRK VERBEUREN comes BRAVE THE COLD whose combined efforts have just unveiled to the world their debut Scarcity. The concept of “scarcity” invokes conceptions of abandon and detrimental consequences, and such invocations are the underlying themes behind the album.

The album begins on the song, “Blind Eye,” a track which jumps straight into the ruinous scorn of Death Metal deprived of any buildup or suspicion—a creature of pure anger and wrath; the song itself bears simple repeating motifs making it easy to headbang to as well sing in unison with. The second track, “Hallmark Of Tyranny” traverses a path vastly different than the preceding track evident in the first couple measures as it begins with a build-up coupled with a staccato rhythm—the song changes its shape and tone over the course of its progression bringing in large dynamics and even perfect vocal harmonies that create immense distension over the break. “Retrograde” once again changes the “norm” by featuring a start-stop introduction overlaid by vocals that follow the same paradigm—the song features a chorus-type of effect on the guitars which manages to saturate them enough to command attention but not disrupt the balance of instrumentation. The song “Refuge” commences in haste and unrelenting progression featuring what sounds as flattened fifths for the main riff which given the perplexing harmonies never truly resolves, the song ends leaving you wanting more. Lastly is “Shame And Ridicule” which has an almost Rock N’ Roll type of sound to its rhythm—the string progression never truly changes past subtle modulations, however it does intensify greatly as the song nears its end.

The instrumentation is striking and exacting, a melding of those things eldritch and enthusing—the guitars contain elements of varying genres and styles all of which are then combined into a menagerie of compositional prowess and insight, such as the incorporation of chorus, the weird disharmonic polyphonies, and the creative progressions. The bass is a powerhouse for the soundscape as it commands center attention just as much as it provides a foundation for the rest of the instruments. The drums share a key trait with grooves more associated with Jazz Fusion as they follow the progression of the instruments and match such in both intensity and performance, all whilst keeping the beat solid and tonally concise, though the accents are sometimes lost in the mix. Finally the vocals are a force all on their own as HARRIS show his range in full on the album especially with tracks such as, “Hallmark Of Tyranny;” his incorporation of harmonies and overdubs that rest in the uncanny valley is nothing short of impressive.

Scarcity” is an odd substance whose strength comes from its creators’ experience having such a unique sound and approach that you’ll find yourself continuously asking why the music sounds as it does. For anyone with a penchant or interest towards all things odd or otherworldly, this album should definitely be on your shortlist.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Blind Eye
2. Hallmark Of Tyranny
3. Monotheist
4. Retrograde
5. Apparatus
6. Dead Feed
7. Upheaval
8. Refuge
9. Necromatrix
10. Shallow Depth
11. Shame And Ridicule
Lineup:
Mitch Harris – Bass, Guitars, and Vocals
Dirk Verbeuren – Drums
Record Label: Mission Two Entertainment
     


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Edited 04 December 2020
 

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